Grand Sumo returns to the United States

 for the first time in 20 years


October 7-9, 2005

Mandalay Bay Events Center

(Friday & Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm)

 Las Vegas, Nevada


Tokyo - One of the most popular and venerable sports in Japan is returning to the United States. The Japan

Sumo Association, the supreme governing body for the sport, announced that a special Grand Sumo

Tournament will be held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas October 7, 8 and 9, 2005. A

field of 42 top Makunouchi Rikishi (the highest level sumo athletes) will compete with a champion determined

each day and a Grand Champion named after the Sunday event.


Heading the field will be Asashoryu, the current Yokozuna or Grand Champion of sumo. While there can be

more than one Yokozuna, Asashoryu currently stands alone at the very pinnacle of the sport. At the age of

only 24, this native of Mongolia has conquered Japan with his prowess. He is hugely popular and appears to

be poised to hold the crown, or in this case, the traditional belt, for many years to come.


Sumo is more than a sport in Japan. It is an important part of the culture. According to Toshimitsu

Kitanoumi, Chairman of the Grand Sumo Association and one of sumo’s greatest Yokozuna , “Our

Association works to preserve Grand Sumo’s traditional culture, valuing the courtesies and rituals cultivated

over its long history built up by ceaseless efforts of our predecessors.” Every part of the bout, every move,

even the construction of the dohyo or sumo ring is governed by rules codified over centuries.


The organizers are stopping at nothing to present a truly authentic experience for those who follow sumo and

those merely attracted by the novelty of this unique event. For example, a special crew will construct the

dohyo over a three day period to ensure that it meets all the requirements of the sport including the proper

mixture of clay and sand and the correct deployment of the tawara, or rice-straw bales. A traditional yakata,

the roof over the sumo ring, will be imported from Japan specifically for this tournament.


As 2005 is the 100th anniversary of the city of Las Vegas, it seemed only appropriate that the tournament be

held there. And as home to many marquee World Championship Boxing bouts, the Mandalay Bay Events

Center is the ideal venue. Glenn Medas, Vice President of Entertainment for Mandalay Resort Group

summed it up this way: “I wish to express our excitement and enthusiasm for the upcoming Grand Sumo

Tournament at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The event is truly unique, even for Las Vegas.”


Grand Sumo Las Vegas is being produced by Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Inc. of Japan, in association

with Mandalay Bay. It will be broadcast in Japan by NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) and is sponsored

in part by Japan Airlines. The producer, Dan Yoshida, handled the year-long show in Japan by Las Vegas

icons Siegfried & Roy as well as tours by Cirque de Soleil and other artists.


For more information or tickets, visit:




- Press Release issued by Grand Sumo Las Vegas with a little editing from us (highlights, etc..)