And then came Koryu and Sunahama. The retired sumo wrestlers held sway over a full-to-bursting amphitheater, discussing the life of the sumo wrestler with the easy charm common to laid-back Hawaiians. Answering questions, demonstrating painful-looking stretches you won't believe a 300-plus-pound man can achieve and sparring with volunteers from the audience, Koryu and Sunahama owned the crowd. Children and adults sweated it out good-naturedly in a long line after the presentation, chatting with the big men and taking photos together.
Happily for everyone, Koryu and Sunahama return to this year's Japanese Festival, which takes place Saturday through Monday (September 2 through 4). The garden opens at 10 a.m. all three days, and admission is $3 to $10 daily, but the Tea Ceremony costs extra.