PUNCHING ABOVE MY WEIGHT IN TOKYO

And trying not to hit below the belt

 

Akio Tsurugamine and myself in Tokyo 1963

Above is a picture of myself punching the popular and famous sumo wrestler, called Akio Tsurugamine in 1963. I remember the day well. My father had somehow managed to be invited to visit the sumo wrestlers when they were training in Tokyo, and took me along as a treat. I was very excited by this, and remember seeing them wrestling in the sand – I suppose I couldn’t help but want to join in. I also remember going to a sumo wrestling match and sitting cross legged on tatami (Japanese straw matting), in a small box. I think I was better behaved on that occasion. As children growing up in Tokyo we loved the idea of sumo wrestling.

 

Akio Tsurugamine is described as follows on Wikipedia:
Tsurugamine Akio (26 April 1929 – 29 May 2006), real name Akio Fukuzono, was a sumo wrestler from Aira, Kagoshima, Japan. His highest rank was sekiwake. He was twice runner-up in a tournament and won 14 special prizes, including a record ten for Technique, and earned ten gold stars for defeating yokozuna. After his retirement he was the head of Izutsu stable and coached two of his sons, Sakahoko and Terao, to the top division.