Rising to meet the challenge of the wrestling game
Tuesday 12 July 1994
Photographs in tabloid newspapers showed Goji Harada looking like a hydrocephalic Elvis Presley after he had passed the entry exam. He was unable to move his mouth properly because the skin on his face had been stretched so tightly to accommodate the lump on top of his head.
Harada had failed the test five times. But determined to gain entry into the world of wrestling giants, he had gone to a cosmetic surgery clinic to have four silicone injections to increase his height. Each visit cost him about pounds 4,000.
Sumo wrestlers are expected to go to extraordinary lengths to increase their bulk: apart from eating huge quantities of chanko-nabe - chicken and vegetable stew - every night, they polish off beer by the crate and whisky by the bottle. All this goes to widening their waistbands, and lowering their centre of gravity to make them harder to throw out of the ring. It also means most sumo wrestlers must book double seats when travelling on planes or trains.
Harada's upward bodily expansion programme, however, was a strictly temporary affair to pass the test: it will have to be removed before he can get involved in any head- clashing bouts - assuming the sumo association does not decide to revoke his exam result and ban him from the sport. He was not the first wrestler to try it: Mainoumi, who is now in the top division of wrestlers, used silicone to squeeze past his height test when he entered the sport some years ago.
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
- 5 Businessman charged £75 for three small bottles of water in London hotel
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...
£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...
Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...
£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...