Japanese Sumo Wrestler of Ukrainian Descent Received an Award From President of Ukraine

By Worldwide News Ukraine, PRNE
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

KIEV, Ukraine, January 19, 2011 - President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych awarded Koki Naya
(Taiho) - prominent Japanese sumo wrestler of Ukrainian descent with the
Order of Merit III Degree for developing Ukrainian-Japanese humanitarian
relations and promoting the image of Ukraine.

During his official four-day visit to Japan President
Yanukovych met with Koki Naya - world famous 48th yokozuna- highest rank in
professional sumo wrestling in Japan. KokiNaya (Taiho) (name at birth - Ivan
Boryshko) was born 29 May, 1940, in Southern Sakhalin (formerly Far East of
the SSSR. - Editor) to a Japanese mother, Kie Naya, and an ethnic Ukrainian
father, Markian Boryshko. The family was repatriated to Japan, Hokkaido, in

Koki Naya remembers his origins and has been enthusiastically
promoting a positive image of Ukraine in Japan for many years. Naya is
included in the list of famous Ukrainians abroad. The Kyiv exhibition
dedicated to famous Ukrainians abroad features his autograph as well as his
palm print.

Koki Naya started his wrestling career in 1956 under a
nickname Taiho (Big Bird).He became a yokozuna in 1961 at the age of 21 and
won a record 32 tournaments in 1960 - 1971.Koki finished his wrestling career
in 1971 and became a head coach of his own Taiho sumo wrestling school. In
2005-2008, Koki Naya worked as a director of sumo museum in Tokyo.

A 70 year old champion has been decorated with other awards
including: "For significant contribution to the cause of the global humanism"
(1982), Japanese Medal of Honor with purple ribbon (2004), and Order of
Cultural Merit (2009).During his visit to Japan in 2010 the Vice Prime
Minister of Ukraine B. Kolesnikov has awarded Taiho with an Honorary
Decoration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine at the reception
dedicated to the 19th anniversary of Ukrainian independence.

Ukraine is world famous for a number of its renowned sports
champions: Serhiy Bubka - six-times world champion in pole vault; Yana
Klochkova - swimmer, winner of multiple world championships and the Olympics;
Andriy Shevchenko - world famous football star, Volodymyr Klichko and Vitaly
Klichko - world heavyweight boxing champions.

For more information, please contact Maryna Khorunzha +380509151565 news at wnu-ukraine.com, Project Manager at Worldwide News Ukraine

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