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Mongolian sumo wrestler Harumafuji, the latest loin-clothed giant from his country to make his mark on Japan’s ancient sport, has a unique way of preparing for his bouts – listening to soothing Buddhist sutra music.
The method helped the 25-year-old ‘ozeki’ win his first major tournament last month and he is already being tipped to join compatriots Asashoryu and Hakuho at the elite rank of ‘yokozuna’ following his surprise Emperor’s Cup triumph.
“It’s good for concentrating,” he told Reuters. “The sutra is a prayer for good health. I listen to it praying not to get injured in bouts.”
Harumafuji’s success is all the more surprising when you consider his interests as a young boy growing up in Ulan Bator were “drawing and street fights” while the wrestler admits he found it hard to leave his mother’s apron strings and move to Japan as a 16-year-old sumo apprentice.