Hakuho leads traditional new year stomping ceremony in Tokyo
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[January 06, 2017]
TOKYO (Reuters) - Mongolian
Hakuho led the best sumo wrestlers in welcoming in the New Year with
a traditional foot-stomping performance at Tokyo's famed Meiji
Shrine on Friday.
Hundreds of spectators, wrapped up on a cold day in Tokyo, cheered
as Hakuho, in traditional dress, performed the ritual at the shrine
ahead of the first event of the year on Sunday.
"I'd like to show performances that will make sumo fans remember me
as powerful warrior of this era," said the 31-year-old Hakuho, who
has won a record 37 top division championships in his career.
Hakuho's compatriots and fellow Yokozunas Harumafuji and Kakuryu
also attended the ceremony.
Some Japanese expressed their dismay that foreign-born wrestlers
were winning the top title of Yokozuna, or grand champion.
"Sumo wrestling is a Japanese sport so it's a little sad to see
Japanese wrestlers lose to foreigners," said 16-year-old Haruka
[to top of second column]
Mongolian-born grand sumo champion Yokozuna Hakuho (C) leaves after
performing the New Year's ring-entering rite at the annual
celebration for the New Year at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan January
6, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato
last Japanese-born wrestler to hold the rank of Yokozuna was
Wakanohana, who retired in 2000.
(Writing by Patrick Johnston in London, editing by Ed Osmond)
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