Thursday, April 10, 2003

There's a programme on TV right now called The Biggest Women in Britain. One of the participants is Britain's only female sumo wrestler (not pictured above). It must be pretty lonely being Britain's only female sumo. Who on earth does she fight? Anyway, the show prompted me to research the subject and here's what I came up with: (the following is translated from Russian - um, not by me - so you have to excuse the errors...)

Despite sumo seeming to be the most masculine sport, as early as in the 1700's women sumo ("onna-zumo") did exist. It started in Osaka and was performed in connection with prostitution houses. Matches were organized between women and also between women and blind men. Some of female sumoists were actually skilled wrestlers. By 1744, onna-zumo's popularity had reached Edo (Tokyo). Tournaments were held at Asakusa Temple until authorities closed them down on the basis that it was immoral.

Not to mention unsightly.

This week, I have read Twelve by Nick McDonnell, a fantastic book about a group of teens in New York. And I went to see The Rules of Attraction, adapted from the Bret Easton Ellis novel. Ellis is one of my favourite writers - there's something about his deadpan depiction of amoral scumbags that really appeals to me; it's like staring into a moral vacuum; very scary. But, somehow, very funny too; laughter in the dark. He is the greatest satirist on the planet. And it's a shame that most people only know about him because of the awful, mostly unnecessary scenes of violence in American Psycho. Anyway, the film was cool and bleak and funny and also pretentious, and I loved it. James van der Beek - Dawson from the Creek - is extraordinarily evil in it. The only thing the film lacks is female sumo wrestling.