Three years into the Trump presidency, we might have stumbled across the president’s most bizarre controversy.
This week Trump is due to visit Japan as part of a four-day trip to the country. As part of the visit, Trump will be presenting the trophy to the winner of a major sumo tournament at the Ryogoku Kokugikan hall in Tokyo.
Though, before the visit has even begun, sumo traditionalists are fuming with the president for one important reason.
Apparently, Trump plans to watch the sumo match on a ringside seat rather than the traditional mode of sitting cross-legged on a cushion.
This tradition dates back more than a millennium and a half, so its followers are not impressed that Trump will not be respecting it.
One fan, Masaru Tomamoto, 73, told Reuters:
I also want to sit on a chair as we watch sumo wrestling. But if (Trump) watches a Japanese traditional sport, sumo, I think that it would be much better for him to sit cross-legged with the cushion on the floor, rather than on a chair.
Another sumo fan, Izumi Chiba, from Sapporo, told the agency:
As we say, when you are in Rome, do as the Romans do.
It is likely that security concerns will play a part in Trump's decision not to sit in the traditional way. But it is some feat to infuriate the sumo wrestling community. Will American-Japanese relations ever recover from this?