Japan’s sumo fans welcome Trump Trophy | Sunday Observer

Japan’s sumo fans welcome Trump Trophy

TOKYO - U.S. President Donald Trump can expect a warm welcome from the sumo wrestling community when he presents a custom-made “Trump Award” to the winner of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo on May 26.

However, with Trump expected to view the bouts from a chair instead of sitting cross-legged on a cushion as ringside viewers typically do, some fans have been left upset at his special treatment.

Trump is expected to watch the final three bouts on the last day of the tournament at the Ryogoku Kokugikan venue alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his May 25-28 state visit. Their wives, Melania Trump and Akie Abe, are also expected to attend. He will present the trophy to the winning wrestler following other awards, the Japanese Sumo Association (JSA) said. “I’ve always found that fascinating,” Trump said of sumo at a news conference in April. Some members of the sumo community welcomed the increased exposure that Trump’s visit will give their sport.

“Sumo is Japanese traditional culture. It is not just about winning and defeat. So, it is good that the president is involved and will present a trophy,” said Kazuo Saito, a sumo coach at Nippon Sports Science University.Saito also doesn’t think the U.S. leader’s presence will affect the wrestlers’ performance. “I believe that they will compete at their best,” he said.Trump, 72, will sit in a chair, instead of on a “zabuton” cushion on the floor as is customary.