Congress Salutes Hawaii-Born Sumo Wrestler

The US Congress on Monday saluted Hawaiian-born sumo wrestler and stablemaster Azumazeki, a foreign pioneer in the ancient Japanese sport who is retiring after a 45-year career.

Hawaiian-born sumo wrestler and stablemaster Azumazeki, pictured in 1980

Hawaiian-born sumo wrestler and stablemaster Azumazeki, pictured in 1980

Azumazeki — who was born Jesse Kuhaulua and changed his name to Daigoro Watanabe after taking Japanese nationality in 1980 — won hearts in Japan for his devotion to the ritualistic sport and polite, cheerful manner off the ring.

In a resolution, the US House of Representatives hailed Azumazeki for his “achievements to sumo and his contributions to enhancing United States-Japan relations…”

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