Top sumo wrestler ushers in the New Year
Hundreds of sumo fans and visitors have gathered at Tokyo's Meiji shrine to usher in the New Year with a performance by top sumo wrestlers.
Dressed in nothing but a pink loin cloth in the middle of winter, Japan's top sumo wrestler, Mongolian-born Hakuho, led the traditional New Year rites.
Twenty-six-year-old Hakuho, which means "white phoenix", weighs 153 kilos (340 pounds) and is 1.93 metres (6 ft 4 inches) tall.
He is now the 69th grand champion of Japan's ancient sport, which some historians say dates back 2,000 years.
06 Jan 2012
- From the section Asia