Did a podcast on the Twisted History of Obesity last week, and the subject really hit home because at 6’5”, 290 pounds, I am what doctors refer to as “morbidly obese”... This corresponding blog will be filled with GIFs of what the kids call "thicc" models trying to fit into pants, and I hope they hit home with you.
I started the pod by throwing out a bunch of stats about how fat the world has become… And it was staggering to learn just how quickly we are waddling towards the abyss.
I talked about the fattest man in history, the fattest woman of all time, and a Long Island guy who was so girthy, he wore the world’s longest belt.
I also highlighted history's fattest serial killer- Joseph Roy Metheny, the fattest US president- William H. Taft (Donald Trump came in third, btw), and some worthless ISIS leader that was so disgustingly huge, he was referred to as “Jabba The Jihadi.”
I also talked about sumo wrestlers, and if there was one thing I learned from my deep-dive into these Japanese giants is that the sumo is a fucked up culture… Here are some bullets:
- Sumo referees, or gyoji, wear kimonos during sumo matches, the colors of which vary by level of the bout. Inside their kimonos, they have a dagger, and if a referee makes a misjudgment, he should be prepared to commit hara-kiri.
- They are slightly sexist inasmuch as sumo is a male-only sport… Big girls can compete in the amateur ranks, but women are still prohibited from competing in professional matches. They are also not allowed to take part in sumo ceremonies because they are impure due to menstrual blood (obviously).
- Sumo wrestlers aren’t allowed to drive cars.
- Their diet consists of about 10,000 calories a day… And they exercise on empty stomachs and sleep on full stomachs in order to gain weight.
- As opposed to Super Bowl or World Series or Final Four, the last night of a sumo tournament is called the ‘Pleasure of a Thousand Autumns’.
- Their weight, combined with high consumption of alcohol, means that modern sumo wrestlers’ life expectancy is more than ten years shorter than that of the average Japanese male.
Last thing- Sumo wrestlers have certain requirements… One of them is that men must be at least 5 feet 7 inches tall.
Now… 5’7” is below average around these parts, but it can be a high hurdle to clear for scores of adorable little Japanese men who have lifelong dreams of living a life ten years shorter than that of the average Japanese male.… As a result, would-be wrestlers like Takeji Harada have had silicone implants in their scalps.
In 1994, Harada, just 16 at the time, added about six inches to his height, boosting him from 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 8 inches - thus making him eligible to become a sumo wrestler.
As you can see in the picture above, although an extra six inches means the world to an Irish guy, it really didn't stand out on top of Harada's head… Particularly because sumo wrestlers almost always wear their hair in a traditional top-knot that could be moved around to mask Takeji's newfound height.
In response, Japan's Sumo Association banned the procedure, explaining:
“There have been more than three cases of wrestlers having received silicone implants on their heads. We have decided to ban further use of implants for health reasons.”
So although the title of the blog may have deceptively led you down a different alley…
As of 1994, you cannot compete in the 'Pleasure of a Thousand Autumns’ without first experiencing the pleasure of being able to ride any roller coaster at Disney.
Repōto o torimasu.