Sumo, the Longest-Running Japanese Sport, Returns to LA in the 18th Annual US Sumo Open

May 12 event in Long Beach is sponsored by NHK WORLD-JAPAN, 24-hour English-language channel that presents Grand Sumo coverage throughout the year and is available in LA market via KCET partnership

Washington, District of Columbia, UNITED STATES

LOS ANGELES, May 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Saturday, May 12, the powerful men and women of sumo will come thundering back to Southern California for the 18th annual US Sumo Open at Cal State Long Beach’s Walter Pyramid.  NHK WORLD-JAPAN, the international channel of NHK, Japan’s sole public broadcasting organization, is a Gold sponsor of the event.

Appearing at this year’s event is celebrated NHK newsman and sumo expert, Hiro Morita. Born and raised in Tokyo, Morita spent his teenage years in Columbus, Ohio. He is an anchor for NHK NEWSLINE, play-by-play announcer during grand sumo tournaments, host of GRAND SUMO Highlights, and a reporter for various other NHK WORLD-JAPAN programs. Hiro Morita will be introducing the event and then will be present at the NHK WORLD-JAPAN booth on the mezzanine to greet visitors and answer questions about sumo, which has been Japan’s national sport for over 1500 years.

This year’s competition features 60 international men and women sumo wrestlers vying for a win. Collectively, they have seven World Sumo Champion titles and over 30 total medals at the World Championships. Athletes from Japan, Mongolia, India, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Russia, Bulgaria, Poland, Germany, the UK, and the US will all be storming the ring at 10:00 AM on May 12 for the preliminary matches, and from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM for what is considered the main event.

 NHK WORLD-JAPAN also brings viewers GRAND SUMO Highlights, featuring daily highlights from the Grand Sumo Tournament and exposes the ancient sport to other cultures throughout the world. The tournament is held six times a year in Japan during every odd-numbered month, in a different city, for 15-day tournaments. The next one begins May 13th. Powerful wrestlers with an average weight of more than 350 lbs. clash in the sacred ring in a bid to claim the Emperor's Cup. In addition, "Sumopedia," which offers short introductions to sumo's profound history and fascinating trivia, airs every day after the highlight show.

On May 20, NHK WORLD-JAPAN will be presenting a special live television championship sumo match, GRAND SUMO LIVE, from Japan. It is one of the first broadcasts of sumo from Japan in the USA. It can be seen by Los Angeles-area viewing audiences on digital terrestrial channel 28.3, a sub-channel of KCET and on AT&T U-verse channel 1221, Time Warner Spectrum channel 1277, Charter Spectrum channel 194, Xfinity channel 372 and Cox channel 813, at 1:10am-2:00am PDT.

NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) is Japan’s sole public broadcaster, operating the nation’s largest domestic and international television network. In Japan, NHK broadcasts four TV channels and three radio stations. NHK also transmits two international television channels, NHK WORLD-JAPAN (English, HD, 24/7) and NHK WORLD PREMIUM (Japanese, HD, 24/7), as well as international radio services in eighteen languages.

NHK WORLD-JAPAN reaches over 300 million households in 160 countries and regions via local satellite and cable TV providers. Online live streaming and VOD (video on-demand) services through the free mobile app and the website, give viewers access to NHK WORLD-JAPAN anywhere and anytime. You can also connect through Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. Presenting an extensive range of Asia-centered programming, NHK WORLD-JAPAN with a tagline of Widening Horizons, is your window to Japan, Asia, and the rest of the world. For more details, visit

About Japan International Broadcasting, Inc.
Japan International Broadcasting Inc. (JIB), a subsidiary of NHK, is responsible for the worldwide distribution of the HD English language news/lifestyle channel “NHK WORLD-JAPAN,” as well as the HD Japanese language channel “NHK WORLD PREMIUM.” Currently, the two channels are broadcast around the world on three international plus domestic satellites in their respective markets and reach households, hotels and others via DTH, cable, IPTV, and terrestrial broadcast.

About USA Sumo
USA Sumo was established in 1998 in Los Angeles, California, dedicated to: teaching sumo techniques and tradition to men and women of all sizes, ages, and backgrounds; training world class sumo athletes who compete internationally; educating the public about traditional Japanese sumo, and about international amateur sumo; promoting the sport of sumo through demonstrations, tournaments, and other events; and supporting international efforts to make sumo an Olympic sport.

James A. Boyle
Boyle Public Affairs, LLC