Haha, here's me and the new man in my life. T is glad he is only made of cardboard. I have always been rather fascinated by sumo wrestling. I never really went for European style wrestling but there's something so ritualistic about sumo. It seems to be about more than just hurling the other guy out of the ring. (I have just found out that it has roots in Shinto religious rituals).
When our kind friend Eiko took us to the Edo-Tokyo Museum in the Ryogoku area of Tokyo, I was fascinated by some obviously old photographs of sumo champs that were stuck up in the railway station alongside the slot machines and next to the neon lights and hot water pipes.
I don't know what the dates of these huge photos are but to me they look quite old, perhaps originally taken in black and white and beautifully coloured with those transparent paints people used to tint photos with.
You can see this one is a little torn at the bottom, which again suggests that it is old. I didn't ask Eiko what the writing on the frames said.
These are handprints and signatures of more recent sumo greats.
There is a sumo stadium nearby but sadly it was the wrong season going to see a match. I was quite fed up about it. Still, the next best thing to seeing sumo in Japan seemed to be to follow this pair who shot past us on bikes.....
They were heading for the sumo training centre nearby. There's an interesting little museum there, and it's free, but you are not allowed to take photos inside.
What interested me most in the museum were beautiful old woodcuts of sumo in which everyone seemed really cheerful and to be having a great time. I think this fellow from about 1850 looks as if he really enjoys his life. I wish I understood what all the things in the picture were.
If and when we return to Japan, I'll try to time the visit to coincide with sumo season.
I'm finishing a revision of my biography of Lewis Carroll. It is the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland's publication this year and a lot is going on. My other website went off just before Christmas and we've now got it back - I think. It's been very frustrating. I'll have to start updating it more seriously, and next thing I'm going to do is update the blog.
Do you like watching local sports when you go somewhere new?