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"I could quite get into this sumo wrestling you know, probably the only sport which would make me feel thin and lovely anyway" (16 February 1988)
Sumo

Sumo (相撲 sumō, literally "striking one another") is a form of competitive full-contact wrestling where a rikishi (wrestler) attempts to force his opponent out of a circular ring (dohyō) or into touching the ground with any body part other than the soles of his feet (usually by throwing, shoving or pushing him down).

The sport originated in Japan, the only country where it is practiced professionally. It is considered a gendai budō, which refers to modern Japanese martial art, but the sport has a history spanning many centuries. Many ancient traditions have been preserved in sumo, and even today the sport includes many ritual elements, such as the use of salt purification, from Shinto.

Links to Peel

Peel enjoyed Sumo Wrestling, since the 80's when it was shown on British TV and mentioned it a few times enjoying the sport on his shows. JP explained in greater detail why he enjoyed the sport on his 21 October 1990 programme:

"I'm a great fan of sumo wrestling on television. For a couple of years, it was quite fashionable: not quite sure that it's so fashionable now. I like it for lots of reasons, one of them being that it makes me feel positively svelte and actually really rather lovely and easy on the eye. Nobody else has actually confirmed this for me, but it does make me feel slightly better when I look at these chaps. In the last basho that was televised, I can never remember the names of the participants, which is embarrassing, because I want to be able to trot them off and really impress you, But there was a yokozuna who kind of disgraced himself by losing more contests than he won. If you do that, you have to kind of volunteer for oblivion, is my understanding of it. You have to kind of...go to the governing body of the sport as it were, and apply to be sacked. It's terribly grim, and I wonder what became of him, because he's a man I rather liked when I heard him being interviewed." [1]

Beyond the 90's, Peel rarely mentioned Sumo Wrestling, probably due to British terrestrial television deciding not to show the sport anymore. He also played many songs that featured the word Sumo in their titles, perhaps being influenced by the sport that he once enjoyed.

See Also

External Links

Footnotes
  1. The disgraced yokozuna was presumably Futahaguro (aka Kitao), who left sumo at the end of 1987. (See Wikipedia.)
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