men_in_full: (red sumotori)
Don't have much time to post today, but a kind reader sent this awesome photo of two sumotori in a wild grapple. Thank you so much! The strength, beauty, and flexibility of these men never ceases to amaze me.

(Link, click to enlarge)

men_in_full: (sumo ai)
... Hope no one else does, either.

Someone pointed out this charming 1834 woodblock print of sumotori bathing, by Katsushika Hokusai, from this site. Thanks! (The bigger version is a little grainy because I enlarged it a bit.) I'm not sure why it's called "Sumo Dandies;" to me the men engaged in various stages of bathing look very natural, spontaneous, and unforced.

Wrestlers grip each other's mawashi (colored waistband) to get a firm hold and hopefully throw their opponent off-balance. It's an intense, high-energy maneuver, but this shot manages to make it look graceful, almost tranquil.

An amateur wrestler gets a little love in between bouts:

men_in_full: (de vos bacchus)

I really like sumo wrestling, as you can see from my earlier entries:

Giants of Fleshy Action
Sumo: Men with Hara
More Sumo Love
Sumo in the advertising world

For awhile I've been googling and looking at books of Japanese woodblock prints for any erotic images of sumotori (sumo wrestlers), as opposed to those of sumotori competing, or portraits. So far I've come up dry; that doesn't mean there's nothing out there, but I do wonder why sumo wrestlers aren't found in Japanese erotic imagery. I mean, you can find (NSFW) images of women and squid. You would think that as important as sumo has been to Japan throughout history - far more than "a sport" - that sumotori would figure in erotica.

I did ask around a bit, and artist/translator [ profile] aadroma kindly pointed me to this most-assuredly NOT safe-for-work sketch for a woodblock print, although to our mutual disappointment, the man in the sketch is quite a bit smaller than the "usual" depictions of sumotori.

My first assumption was that sumotori weren't considered "sexy," yet when I watched the sumo demonstration last September at the Missouri Botanical Garden (linked to in "Men with Hara" above), the woman giving the presentation took pains to point out that in Japan, at least, sumotori were considered "sex symbols" and highly desirable. So it's still something about which I'm curious and a bit confused.

I like this image of a geisha with a sumo wrestler blazoned on her kimono. Perhaps she was a fangirl, a mistress, perhaps both ...

men_in_full: (Default)
Everybody's seen the car wash clip, as well as the sumo/soccer player match clip. I thought I'd bring you some which you might not have seen. Quite a few which I reviewed were insulting or ridiculous, so I didn't include those.

Under a cut because there are a lot of video clips ... )

men_in_full: (daniel lambert)
Here are some assorted sumo videos. This one is from a National Geographic program, and I was intrigued by the remarks that the sumotori "embody the ideal Japanese male," and are seen "like gods."

This clip is of the reigning yokozuna (top wrestler) Asashoryu, from a basho (tournament) in Nagoya, Japan, in July 2008. It also shows the intimidation, staring, trying to unnerve the opponent which precede a bout. Some complain that Asashoryu is "too aggressive." (He is Mongolian; not Japanese - son of a Mongolian professional wrestler and a Mongolian wrestler himself before entering sumo world.)

[ profile] blachubear pointed out to me the German movie Sumo Bruno, and suggested I look for youtube clips. Here is the trailer:

The final bout in the film:

Sumo Bruno is available on DVD here but unfortunately for us on this side of the pond, comes in PAL format only, and thus not playable in the USA. But good for you in the UK, though!
men_in_full: (Default)
Sumo wrestling goes back thousands of years in Japan. Traditionally, sumo was said to have developed as entertainment provided by men for the gods. Sumo wrestlers (called sumotori for "he who wrestles," or rikishi for "strong man") are not always large, but many are, some impressively so. In the West, it's become more common to see sumotori in advertising, where some aspect of their size or fleshiness is used for attention, and often these ads can border on the absurd. For many outside of Japan, that might be their only visual experience of sumo. But in professional sumo, the relatively brief matches (most last under a minute) are embedded in a wealth of Shinto ritual, and the life of the sumotori themselves follow strict rubrics of traditional observance.

A friend recently pointed me to the photo below (click for full view.)

Apparently it's traditional for sumotori to participate in baby-holding contests outside the Senso-Ji Temple in Tokyo, where the baby who cries the first wins. The ritual originated from the belief that babies which cry loudly will grow up healthy, and that crying is good for them. It's also a way to ask for health, luck, and protection on the babies. There are a wealth of sumotori baby-holding pictures here, here, and here. It's not my child-rearing style; I could never let babies cry for any length of time, much less encourage them to cry. But it's endearing to see these "gentle giants" holding the children, and interesting how these big men are seen as the conduits, so to speak, through which the blessings on the children flow.

More thoughts on the sumotori body )

men_in_full: (red sumotori)
Someone called my attention to a New York Times Magazine photo spread called Bodies of Work, showing the various body types of athletes who practice different sports. Interestingly, both the male shot putter (height 6'5", weight 335 lbs) and the female weight lifter (height 5'9", weight 300 lbs) with their respective BMIs of 40 and 44 would probably both be considered "morbidly obese." "Sneer quotes" around the BMI categorizations are fully justified.

But if the late psychologist William Sheldon (1898-1977) was right, this variety of body types in athletes and everyone else shouldn't surprise us at all.

Somatotypes and bodies, with some SFW pictures )


men_in_full: (Default)

September 2013



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