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Akebono leads ‘zombie’ swarm on Tokyo Tower in Halloween stunt

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Former sumo grand champion Akebono, center, and other participants in zombie costumes, performed during a Halloween event at Tokyo Tower in Tokyo on Thursday.
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TOKYO » A zombie swarm in Tokyo? Why not, it’s Halloween.

Led by a former sumo grand champion, about 1,000 beauty schools students and Halloween fun-seekers descended on Tokyo Tower — the Japanese capital’s most iconic landmark — on Thursday (Wednesday in Hawaii) in a "zombie attack" organized by Fox International Channels, Japan, to mark the beginning in the country of Season 4 of the popular TV show "The Walking Dead."

Replete with black eyes, blood-soaked clothes and enough open wounds to fill several emergency rooms, the "zombies" covered the grounds of the tower in central Tokyo after making their way across town on buses and trains — much to the surprise of unsuspecting onlookers.

Halloween is popular in Japan, and Tokyo’s subways are often crowded with partygoers in full costume on Halloween night.

"Our only concern is that somebody might see all these zombies and have a heart attack," said Dan Smith, a Fox producer who thought up the stunt.

Leading the zombie charge was Chad Rowan, who is famous in Japan under his sumo name, Akebono. Rowan, who is now a pro wrestler, is the first foreigner to reach sumo’s highest rank and stands 203 centimeters tall (6-foot-8).

"It’s great to be doing this in Tokyo," said Rowan, who was dressed in black and had his face made up to look like he had two large gashes on his forehead. "It’s so unusual to be able to do something like this here."

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