Tuesday, 29 January 2013

the colour of the tassel on the referee's fan

is how you know the level of the match being played in the great fighting discipline that is sumo. One of the all-time greats, Taiho ("Great Phoenix") has died at the age of 72, very young for Japan. In fact he was half Ukrainian. I saw him fight once, in 1980 in Tokyo. Sumo out-cools every other fighting discipline there is.The Koreans and the Mongolians have their own versions of it, but they don't come close. Taiho was slim for a wrestler ("rikishi") and always said he had to make up in cunning for what he lacked in weight. A bit of a looker too I think you will agree. But because of their weight rikishi don't make old bones. They get diabetes and their feet fall off and they have strokes. They often marry supermodels. RIP Taiho.

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