Fresh interest in sumo draws tourists

TOKYO, Aug 15 ( - Their interest piqued during COVID-19 lockdowns and by a new Netflix drama, a fresh rush of foreign tourists are flocking to Japan for a look inside the insular world of sumo.

Japan’s national sport — hundreds of years old and steeped in tradition — has long been a source of fascination outside the country, but those in the industry say interest has spiked in recent years, with some making the most of the new attention.

At a recent lunchtime “performance,” two imposing sumo practitioners strutted their stuff in a Tokyo restaurant full of cheering tourists.

Afterward, the spectators took selfies with the hulking athletes and donned padded sumo costumes and wigs to try their hand at the ancient art in a bout against retired professionals. ...continue reading