Japan Airlines Needs Extra Plane to Fly Sumo Wrestlers

Japan Airlines Scrambles for Extra Plane to Fly Sumo Wrestlers
Japan Airlines Scrambles for Extra Plane to Fly Sumo Wrestlers
Written by Harry Johnson

There are no weight restrictions or classes in sumo, so, as a result, weight gain is an essential part of sumo training.

Sumo is a Japanese style of wrestling and Japan’s national sport. It originated in ancient times as a performance to entertain the Shinto deities. Many rituals with religious background, such as the symbolic purification of the ring with salt, are still followed today. In line with tradition, only men practice the sport professionally in Japan.

There are no weight restrictions or classes in sumo, meaning that wrestlers can easily find themselves matched off against someone many times their size. As a result, weight gain is an essential part of sumo training.

Japan Airlines said that it was forced to take the “extremely unusual” measure last week, when it was determined that two of its passenger jets were exceeding weight limits because of the sumo wrestlers on board.

The sumo wrestlers were scheduled to depart on flights from Haneda Airport in Tokyo and Itami Airport in Osaka, where they were due to compete at a sports festival on Amami Oshima, an island in the far south of Japan.

Japan Airlines first became concerned about potential fuel problems late last Thursday when they discovered that the flights were to contain large numbers of sumo rikishi (competitors). The Amami airport was considered too small to be able to safely land a larger aircraft, forcing the airline to accommodate 27 sumo wrestlers with the specially-arranged new flight.

The average weight of the sumo passengers was estimated to be 120 kilograms (265 lbs) – far larger than the average passenger weight of 70 kilograms (154 lbs).

The carrier had to scramble to lay on a short-notice extra airplane and extra flight for the super-sized wrestlers, after it concluded that the scheduled aircraft would be unable to safely carry the required amount of fuel in addition to the unexpectedly large passengers.


WTNJOIN | eTurboNews | eTN

(eTN): Japan Airlines Needs Extra Plane to Fly Sumo Wrestlers | re-post license post content


 

About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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