First Decent Japanese Sumo Raised in Captivity for Fifty Years
For the first time in a generation a Japanese sumo wrestler has been raised to adulthood in captivity, sparking nationwide celebration.
In recent years the Japanese sumo wrestler has been in drastic decline following the destruction of their natural habitat, but apparently this wrestler, who has been born and raised successfully in captivity, is actually quite good.
“It is quite a remarkable achievement,” said Professor Taishi Fujita, Head of Sumo Studies at University of Nagoya. “Back in the 1950s there was something in the region of 500 decent sumo wrestlers across the land, but that saw a sudden decline during the bubble years.
“This spawned a movement to try and breed them in captivity, but the sumo are a shy species, and thanks to their natural bulk they find it particularly difficult to mate,” he added. “There have been concerns that the breeding of a fully functional, successful wrestler in captivity would prove impossible, making this recent development all the more remarkable.”
For hundreds of years sumo wrestlers roamed the plains and mountainous regions of Japan freely, feasting on the vast chankonabe forests that grew there. But since the mass industrialisation and urbanisation of the country, much of the land where they once lived and mated has been eroded, replaced in the 1980s by mass pits of partially used and discarded TVs and VCRs.
Since then many of the country’s sumo have been imported from Mongolia, where they still live in the wild, grazing on plains where the chankonabe fields continue to thrive making them strong and superior to the Japanese wrestlers in every way.
While most of the country has celebrated this achievement, some activists have seen cause for protest.
“The sumo are a beautiful, peace-loving species that belong in the wild,” said Gozo Amano, spokesperson for sumo rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Sumos (PEToS). “Forcing these beautiful creatures to fight in arenas for our pleasure is both barbaric and unethical, comparable to cockfighting in Mexico and American Football. It should be stopped.”
However Professor Fujita has rejected PEToS’ claims of cruelty: “The sumo have been part of our society for hundreds of years, and they are treated perhaps more humanely than most people would their own pets. Besides,” he added. “What is more beautiful than watching these great beasts compete?
“Amano is probably gay, or something.”