Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2001
The Japan Sumo Association on Monday rewarded former yokozuna Akebono with 100 million yen for his distinguished contribution to the sport, JSA officials said.
Akebono, who submitted his retirement to the JSA last week, said he was "grateful for the recognition that I have received" after attending a sumo elder's deliberation council at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Hawaiian-born Akebono, sumo's first foreign-born grand champion, won the Emperor's Cup 11 times in his career, putting him seventh on the list of all-time tournament champions.
Plagued by knee injuries, Akebono retired after sitting out the just-concluded New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.