This weekend the Yokozuna Asashoryu won the Prime Minister's Cup - one of the big sumo competitions. This leads beautifully into a number of themes - Asashoryu's recent injuries and controversies; the fact that he's Mongolian and most sumo wrestlers now come from outside of Japan (the first caucasian champion of a competition was crowned last year) and all sorts of assorted sumo trivia. However what I'd like to talk about is the huge, fuck-off cup he got for winning:
I mean seriously. When it comes to trophies I'm pretty sure that one takes the cake - which incedentally is what most sumo wrestlers will do if you invite them to dinner. Zing! I'm here all week folks!
Actually I'm here every day... which is depressing in a way...
Anyway, the photo above is Asashoryu receiving the cup from Japan's current Prime Minister Taro Aso. I saw the presentation on TV and was all like "Blimey! That's a hell of a cup!" then went looking for a photo on the web. It took me bloody ages to find that one, but it was a lot easier to find the previous iterations of the same event.
That's Shinzo Abe, and he was... two Prime Ministers ago. Last year's Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda gave the prize to Hakuho who beat Asashoryu. He won it prior to that though, when Koizumi was in power:
Man, look at the size of that thing. I mean, he's got to have been tempted to walk into a bar, or possibly a ramen shop, and say "fill her up". Or use it to bathe his dog. Or his kids.
And in closing, I guess that - in sumo-trophy-photos - is my presentation on how Japan has had a lot of Prime Ministers in recent years. Thank you.