- Title: Japan's Kisenosato honoured at Tokyo shrine after being crowned champion
- Date: 27th January 2017
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (JANUARY 27, 2017) (REUTERS) VISITORS LINING UP AT AN ENTRANCE TO MEIJI SHRINE VISITORS LINING UP VISITORS LINED UP WITH A HANDMADE SIGN HANDMADE SIGN READING (Japanese): "KISENOSATO" VISITORS WAITING FOR JAPANESE SUMO WRESTLER, KISENOSATO, TO PERFORM VISITORS KISENOSATO (MIDDLE) WEARING YOKOZUNA BELT WALKING IN FOR CEREMONY VISITORS TAKING PICTURES KISENOSATO STOPPING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SHRINE AND BOWING A VISITOR WAVING A JAPANESE FLAG VARIOUS OF KISENOSATO PERFORMING RING -ENTERING CEREMONY VISITORS WATCHING VARIOUS OF KISENOSATO WALKING OUT (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) VISITOR, FUMIHIKO KOBAYASHI, SAYING: "It's been 19 years since there's been a Japanese yokozuna, so it's great. His performance was also much better than what I expected." (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) VISITOR, ATSUSHI WATANABE, SAYING: "It's my first time coming to an event like this. The Meiji shrine, along with the ceremony, had a very serene atmosphere which I thought was great." VISITORS AT MEIJI SHRINE
- Embargoed: 10th February 2017 09:02
- Keywords: sumo Kisenosato wrestling shrine Meiji belt ceremony
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- City: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Sport,Sumo Wrestling
- Reuters ID: LVA00160UVJ2X
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Japanese sumo wrestler Kisenosato performed a ring-entering ceremony at the Tokyo Meiji Shrine on Friday (January 27) after receiving the yokozuna belt in a ceremony marking his status as Japan's sumo grand champion.
Hundreds of people lined up in and near the shrine in downtown Tokyo. The ceremony began at 15:00 JST (0600 GMT), but some visitors began waiting as early as 10 am (0200 GMT) to get a better view, according to local media.
Kisenosato was first handed his yokozuna (grand champion) belt, then performed a ring-entering ceremony in front of a cheering crowd.
"It's been 19 years since there's been a Japanese yokozuna, so it's great. His performance was also much better than what I expected," Fumihiko Kobayashi, who has been an avid sumo wrestling fan for over a decade, said after the ceremony.
Japan rejoiced on Wednesday (January 25) as Kisenosato became the first Japanese born and bred grand champion in nearly two decades, ending foreign-born wrestlers' domination of the ancient sport's top rank.
Sumo, which features giant wrestlers clad only in loincloths, has seen such an influx of foreign grapplers over the last 50 years that prior to this week all three grand champions - known as yokozuna - were Mongolian. Hawaiian-born Americans have also held the rank.
Until January 2016 a homegrown rikishi, as the wrestlers are known, hadn't even won a tournament championship for a decade.
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