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The Big Picture goes Sumo Wrestling!

26 September 2012 / All photos: © ANP /

Sumo is the national sport of Japan and is almost 2000 years old. It's not only the oldest of Japanís various martial arts, it also evolved into the most distinct and ritualistic. We've selected some pictures of Sumo Wrestling worldwide.

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Mongolian sumo grand champion Hakuho offers a ritual entrance into the ring during the 'Honozumo', an exhibition sumo tournament at the Yasukuni Shrine precincts, in Tokyo, Japan

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A sumo wrestler walks under cherry blossoms in full bloom on his way to a bout for the 'Honozumo', an exhibition sumo tournament at the Yasukuni Shrine precincts, in Tokyo, Japan

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"Yokozuna", or sumo grand champion, Hakuho from Mongolia (facing) throws compatriot Kakuryu to the dirt during their playoff bout at the Spring Grand Sumo tournament in Osaka

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Kelly Gneiting (R) takes Leon Arave out of the ring during the US National Sumo Championships at the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas

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Natalie Burns and Taunia Arave battle as referee Nick Stevens (R) looks on during the US National Sumo Championships at the Riviera Hotel & Casino

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Three-time World Sumo champion Byamba shares his knowledge with kids during the children's day LA Bloom at Little Tokio in Los Angeles

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Sumo wrestlers perform an acrobatic bout as they joke around during the 'Honozumo', an exhibition sumo tournament at the Yasukuni Shrine precincts, in Tokyo, Japan

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Chris Jimenez (R) helps his father, sumo wrestler Randy Jimenez, with his belt as he gets ready for the US National Sumo Championship

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Sumo wrestlers prepare for the fight in the display window of the 'Puppenhausmuseum', the Dollhouse museum, on the occasion of the 'Museumsnacht', the Basel Museums Night, in Basel, Switzerland

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Mongolian "ozeki" or champion, Harumafuji (R-facing) hugs his senior disciple Aminishiki (L-back to camera) to celebrate after winning his final bout to finish the 15-day Autumn Grand Sumo tournament with an undefeated record in Tokyo

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Mongolian "ozeki" or champion, Harumafuji (bottom-R) flings down his compatriot, "yokozuna" or grand champion, Hakuho (top L) during the final bout to win the 15-day Autumn Grand Sumo tournament in Tokyo

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Harumafuji (L) receives the prime minister's cup from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (R) during the awards ceremony for the 15-day Autumn Grand Sumo tournament in Tokyo on September 23, 2012

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Cassio Gomes of Brazil throws a handful of salt into the ring during the Sumo wrestling South American Championship in Sao Paulo, Brazil

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Maria Cedeno (top) of Venezuela, a heavy weight and open female champion, faces her opponent during the Sumo wrestling South American Championship in Sao Paulo, Brazil

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Mongolian sumo wrestler Harumafuji holds a large red sea bream and smiles after he was promoted to become the 70th grand champion or "yokozuna" in Tokyo on September 26, 2012