On 25 September 2022, H.E. Mr. Singtong Lapisatepun, Ambassador of Thailand to Japan, presented a “Chiang Rai Elephant” as the new Thailand-Japan Friendship Cup to Tamawashi Ichiro, a Mongolian sumo champion of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament 2022 at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.
The presentation of Thailand-Japan Friendship Cup started in 2017 which marked the 130th anniversary of Thailand-Japan diplomatic relations and continued until now.
Five years have passed and brought 26 September 2022 to the 135th anniversary of the friendly relations between the two countries. On this special occasion, the Embassy, in cooperation with the Chiang Rai Elephant Foundation, proudly presented a new Thailand-Japan Friendship Cup in the shape of an elephant, the symbol of Thailand.
This cup is made of fiberglass and was beautifully designed by local Chiang Rai artists, illustrating Thai and Japanese arts that can perfectly reflect close and cordial bilateral relations.
One side of the cup was painted with a picture of monkey soldiers from the Ramayana epic, wrestling under a Ratchaphruek tree, the Thai national flower. The concept was inspired by the Thai painting "ThaChab" (fighting gesture)of Rama's army monkeys from Ramayana epic literature book in the reign of King Rama I of Thailand, currently being kept at the National Museum in Bangkok.
The other side of the cup depicts sumo wrestlers fighting in a Japanese atmosphere under cherry blossom trees, a scene inspired by Japanese Ukiyo-e.
In addition to the new cup to mark this auspicious occasion of 135th anniversary of the bilateral relations, the Embassy and the Japan Sumo Association agreed to extend the award to all six sumo tournaments in four prefectures across Japan, namely Tokyo, Osaka, Aichi, and Fukuoka prefecture.