File photo shows Mongolian-born grand sumo champion Yokozuna Asashoryu and other sumo wrestlers leaving after performing the traditional New Year's rite at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo

 
File photo shows Mongolian-born grand sumo champion Yokozuna Asashoryu and other sumo wrestlers leaving after performing the traditional New Year
Mongolian-born grand sumo champion Yokozuna Asashoryu (2nd R) and other sumo wrestlers leave after performing the traditional New Year's rite at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, in this January 6, 2010 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