“Street Arm” pumps up quake-hit Japan city

By day, Kenichi Watanabe runs an insurance agency. By night, he’s an arm wrestler — and on a recent Saturday, he’s preparing to do battle.

Under a moonlit sky, Watanabe and his opponent face off across an arm wrestling table in a bustling pedestrian street in Sendai, a northern Japanese city hit hard by the March quake. Watanabe is lean and cut, like a lightweight boxer, but his rival looks a couple of weight classes bigger.

They grip hands and adjust elbow positions. Biceps bulge, forearm veins pop. Lights from arcade and karaoke signs dance across their faces as they lock eyes and await the "Go" signal.

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