06 March, 2021

Sumo Diary

In Outlook this week, a diary on the sumo wrestlers of Japan.

Illustration by Saahil
Sumo Diary
Redoubtably Mesmeric

If anything other than the mystically picturesque Mount Fuji—or Fuji-San, as the Japanese call it—personif­ies Japan, it has to be Sumo wre­st­ling. It not only has been the most popular sport in Japan for centuries, but is also a prominent and significant cultural heritage. I have been fascinated by photographs of those towering, monstrously flabby but innocuous-looking wrestlers or rikishi with their trademark topknot or chonmage. Watching those fubsy grapplers in signature loincloth in action with their elephantine movements was on my long-time wishlist. That was fulfilled during my recent sojourn in Japan for the ong­oing Rugby World Cup, as my itinerary coincided with the Grand Tournament.

Dohyo, Centre of Universe

The September edition was the penultimate of the six Grand Tournaments staged in each of the odd months and was the final event of the...

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