Pro Wrestling at Yasukuni Shrine

  • Sport and fitness
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While it's a magnet for controversy at other times of the year, even Yasukuni Shrine is allowed to have fun every now and then. No more so than during this annual spring wrestling tournament, when fighters scrap it out in what's unironically called hono puroresu – literally, ceremonial pro wrestling. This blessed brawl dates back to 1961, when legendary wrestler Rikidozan oversaw a tournament at the shrine that showcased future stars including Antonio Inoki and Shohei 'Giant' Baba. After a more than four-decade hiatus, the format was revived in 2005 by the Zero1 promotion, and has since become a yearly concern. This year's lineup includes a single match between Shinjiro Otani and Daichi Hashimoto, and a tag match pitching Ryoji Sai and Yoshikazu Yokoyama against Tsuyoshi Kikuchi and Tamon Honda.