Is sumo sport, ritual, or fetish?

Attending in person has changed my impression about sumo. It’s a parallel universe of enormous men who wear lovely colored kimono in public and ass-baring costumes in the ring. The sumo performers conduct strange rituals under Shinto banners that last far longer than the fights themselves, and their extended careers create fascinating rivalries. Oh, and it’s a sport that’s open to large men from many countries, including Mongolia and East Europe.

I love watching the sumo players moving through Tokyo and, of course, arriving at the sumo hall by taxi. I also like how the station near the hall memorializes decades of personalities, outfits, and flesh.

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