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Daily Archives: July 15th, 2010

Grand champion Hakuho, center, bulldozes his opponent Aran out of the ring during their bout in Nagoya, central Japan, on Wednesday July 14, 2010. Hakuho, who hails from Mongolia, extended his winning streak to 36 since the year's January tournament. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

NAGOYA, Japan — Sumo is more than a sport to Japan. It’s like a religion, a bastion of traditional culture and a matter of national pride. Wrestlers aren’t just athletes — they are icons, role models and, often, larger-than-life heroes.   

Unless, of course, they are getting busted for smoking marijuana, breaking noses in drunken brawls or hobnobbing with gangsters.