While it’s the only sport where being obese is encouraged, sumo wrestling is a supremely significant Japanese tradition. But modern society has slowly been digging its grubby mitts into those oversized nappies of theirs (not literally), with gambling, match fixing and organised crime becoming a more permanent aspect of the sport.
As an escape from the scandal sumo has been attracting, photographer Paolo Patrizi has documented the daily routine of a wrestler and the strict codes of behaviour associated with it, highlighting how controlled their life is. What the wrestlers eat, how they wear their hair, what they’re allowed to wear in public is all regulated. It’s a surreal world where grown men are forced to do chores like holding a higher ranking wrestler’s towel and made to take naps to help put on weight after large lunches. There’s so much discipline it maybe isn’t surprising this control has been extended to exploiting the wrestlers and the sport for money.
- Hey presto, it's Best of the Web!
- Paris-based Studio Jimbo creates "impact and power" with punchy poster designs
- Minju An's oddly sinister illustrations depict strange characters and floating bread
- Friday Mixtape: Warpaint's Glastonbury picks
- Karifurav Caihua’s weirdly erotic Japanese-inspired illustrations
- High octane Nike China animation gets kids to wear their bandages as a “badge of honour”
- “Evolve or die”: Bloomberg Businessweek creative director Rob Vargas on the magazine’s redesign
- Southbank Centre visual identity redesigned by North, to be a “confident masthead” for the institution
- Photographer Khadija Saye has died in the Grenfell Tower fire, her family confirm
- The Buzzfeed redesign: UK art director Tim Lane talks us through his seven-month overhaul
- Alex Norris’ hilarious three-panelled webcomics are universally appealing
- Fresh Yale grad Franci Virgili applies an academic approach to graphic design