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Sumo in crisis

, November 30, 2012

Mongolian-born grand sumo champion Yokozuna Asashoryu, wearing a ceremonial belly band, performs a ring-entering ritual at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo in this file photograph. With a history spanning centuries, sumo once graced the Imperial courts of Japan and wrestlers were held in the highest regard. Sponsors lavished gifts on the hulking giants and to join the ranks of the sumo was considered a worthy occupation. Those days are long gone, however. Tarnished by scandals involving drug use, bout-fixing, violence and alleged links to Japanese organised crime, sumo struggles to fill stadiums and attract new fans.  Reuters/Issei Kato/Files




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