Japan's traditional sport of sumo turned from a battle of brawny titans to a contest of cry-babies Saturday.
Dozens of 1-year-olds clashed in the annual "crying sumo" at the Senso-ji Temple in downtown Tokyo, cheered on by parents who say an impressive wail is a sign of good health.In crying sumo, amateur wrestlers holding a baby face off inside a ring, each trying to get his infant to burst into tears first - and the louder the better.
The match - there were 64 competitors this year - begins with a blessing by a Buddhist monk, who places a little ceremonial stamp on the forehead of each baby.
In one match, toddler Kohei Inami ignored his wrestler's herculean efforts: making funny faces and tossing him up and down to scare him into tears.
Then a judge appeared with a Japanese demon mask over his face, with the predictable, tearful results.
"When he cries, he cries hard," said proud father Yoshinari Inami, smiling at his infant after his successful cry. "He cries using his whole body."