President Moshe Katsav met on Tuesday with
a delegation of 13 top sumo wrestlers that arrived on Monday for a tour of Israel.
The wrestlers demonstrated to the president several basic sumo moves.
Israel is hoping that the tour will promote an exchange of cultures and lead to a positive view of Israel in Japan. "The main idea is to show the people of Japan the face of Israel through the eyes of the sumo leaders that will go everywhere," said Eli Cohen, Israel's ambassador to Japan.
The stable now visiting Israel, named Sadogatake, contains a particularly notable wrestler. Kotooshu, 23, was born as Kaloyan Stefanov Mahlyanov in Bulgaria. A fluent speaker of Japanese, he is the first European to reach the champion rank, the second-highest in the sumo ranking system.