Emperor And Empress Watch Grand Sumo

Emperor and Empress watch grand sumo

Japan's Emperor and Empress attended the New Year Grand Sumo tournament now underway in Tokyo.

The Imperial couple visited the Kokugikan sumo arena on Sunday afternoon to watch the tournament. This was their 23rd visit to the arena and their last as Emperor and Empress before Emperor Akihito's abdication in April.

The Chairman of the Japan Sumo Association, Hakkaku, and stable masters welcomed the couple as they arrived. The couple also greeted cheering sumo fans in the arena, waving their hands.

The Emperor and Empress enjoyed the day's last nine bouts contested by wrestlers in the top division.

They applauded Yokozuna grand champion Hakuho when he beat his opponent with a pulling underarm throw.

Hakkaku later told reporters that the Emperor thanked him and the Empress expressed her concern for wrestlers who are staying out of the tournament due to injuries.