January 23, 2009

Tokyo hosting major sumo wrestling event

The New Year Grand Sumo Tournament taking place in Tokyo gives fans chance to see firsthand the traditional Japanese sport of sumo wrestling.

Sumo wrestling fan Hikao Kinuyo, 67, said the event showcases the skills of wrestlers who weigh at least 300 pounds and are intent on throwing the competition out of their way, the Los Angeles Times said Friday.

I love this, she said at the event, which began Jan. 11 and ends Sunday. It's better than baseball. Sumo wrestling is classic Japan.

Miyata Hiroshi, a 70-year-old sumo, told the newspaper participants in this year's New Year event appeared stern as they arrived at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan sporting arena.

They have their faces clenched in the fighting mode, he said, adding that fans were concerned about the possible impact of recent match-fixing scandals on the wrestlers' moods,

You have to respect them, so I don't ask for autographs or pictures, Hiroshi said. Maybe after the bout, but only if they win.