Even before its successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games, Tokyo was always Japan’s number one sporting hub. CNN’s Coy Wire explores the competitive spirit and sports culture of Tokyo, as well as the ambition of its young athletes. In a special two-part series called ‘True Tokyo’ Wire discovers the secrets of sumo wrestling, watches a chaotic and extreme sport called botaoshi, and meets the Japan’s karate hopefuls fighting to qualify for the 2020 Games.


Two Sides of Japanese Wrestling

Sumo wrestling is one of the most iconic of all sports in Japan. Wire visits one of Tokyo’s so-called wrestling stables, where young wrestlers begin their lifelong sumo journeys. The young men train, eat and live in the stable — and CNN gets front-row access to a hard-hitting, three-hour training session as the fighters prepare for a major tournament. Sumo is around 1,500 years old, but in modern Tokyo, there may be a new contender in the wrestling ring. Wire also discovers New Japan Pro-Wrestling, an increasingly popular form of wrestling both in Tokyo and worldwide. There, he meets up with Kenny Omega, the current NJPW heavyweight champion.

Extreme, and Traditional, Sports in Tokyo

Every year, high schools in Tokyo hold a special field day to celebrate the importance of empowerment and teamwork through sports. And several of the games they play are uniquely Japanese. Wire experiences one of the most interesting — the Japanese sport of botaoshi. It’s a chaotic mix of rugby, martial arts, and capture the flag. Wire speaks to players, parents, and referees about botaoshi, one of the most extreme sports in the world.

Fighting to Qualify for Tokyo 2020

The martial art of karate is one of the oldest sports in Japan. But it’s about to make its debut on the world sporting stage at the 2020 Games in Tokyo. And CNN speaks with several of Japan’s young karate hopefuls during a training session at a Tokyo dojo, including 26-year-old Ayumi Uekusa. This year, she won a gold medal for Japan at the Asian Games.

‘True Tokyo’ is produced by CNN Vision, the global creative production powerhouse of CNN International, which brings the world’s breath-taking diversity into cinematic focus, telling stories that inspire audiences around the world.

Watch the promo here: https://cnn.it/2CW5pUD
‘True Tokyo: Part II’ images: https://bit.ly/2R8pudp

Website: www.cnnvision.com

Airtimes for 30-minute show:

Saturday, 27th October at 2030 HKT and 2330 HKT
Sunday, 28th October at 0330 HKT and 0830 HKT
Monday, 29th October at 1130 HKT
Tuesday, 30th October at 1730 HKT
Wednesday, 31st October at 0030 HKT and 1630 HKT