Photographs by Charles Fréger. Essays by Chihiro Minato and Didier Mouchel.
Artimo / POC Editions,
144 pp., 108 color illustrations, 9x12¼".
From the photographer who brought you wrestlers,
now: sumo wrestlers. Charles Fréger has supersized
his life’s work with this large book of larger-format
portraits of...substantially larger subjects. And
perhaps a larger topic: Sumo wrestling, which
dates from the Heian Period, some 1300 years ago,
is not just physical combat but also a nexus of
religion, history, leisure and athletics. While it has
come far from its roots as an offering to the gods,
and is known best in Japan as a professional sport,
these amateurs display a reverence and a piercing
gaze that marks them as preparing for a meditative
struggle, a battle of wills and of eye contact
as well as body contact. But first, the battle is to
get big enough—some of the youngest wrestlers
here have hundreds of pounds to go.
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