Friday, May 04, 2007

Crying-baby sumo

The Japanese expression Naku ko wa sodatsu (泣く子は育つ) means "A child who cries will thrive." This saying dates back to an age when the infant mortality rate was high, and a child who was too quiet was cause for concern. In other words, having the strength to ball one's eyes out was the sign of a healthy child.

From this belief evolved the tradition of konakizumo, or "crying-baby sumo," in which real sumo wrestlers face off in the ring holding a child. Whichever child cries first is the winner. has a photo gallery of a konakizumo tournament held recently at Senso-ji temple, a very photogenic locale also known as Asakusa Temple.

Superman wouldn't cry ... so he loses!

—Mellow Monk

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