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Sumo patrols


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Reported by the Telegraph:

Sumo patrols put fear of god into Tokyo criminals

The dark streets of Haruecho, part of the sprawling Tokyo conurbation, echo to the sound of eight giant sumo wrestlers in tight formation. In case anyone does not notice them coming, they shine torches into alleys and take turns to clap wooden blocks together in a traditional way of demanding attention. After a hard day's training, the wrestlers joke and look relaxed, clad in track suits and slippers. The luminous sashes they wear declare their serious purpose: the wrestlers of the 250-year-old Isenoumi club are on crime patrol. As Japanese fret over the rising crime in their once famously safe streets, the wrestlers have begun nightly patrols to reassure their neighbours and deter criminals. The initiative has been enthusiastically lauded by residents and the media. [...] The wrestlers are unarmed, but, as the police joke, they do not need to be: any criminal would run a mile. Because of fears that the wrestlers could injure or even kill a suspect if they employed any of their sumo skills, they are under orders to contact police if they see anything suspicious, not to "have a go". Mr Isenoumi said: "We have been amazed at people's reaction. I suppose it is because no one expects professional sportsmen to being doing such a thing."

=> News

Japan sumo heavies throw weight behind crime fight

=> http://movies.lycosasia.com/entertainment_news/7000056214_C.html
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