Sumo saunter

Sumo’s autumn tournament has just recently finished in Tokyo, with Mongolian Yokozuna Asashoryu winning with a hugely impressive and almost effortless record of 14 wins and 1 defeat; silencing his many critics with a dominant, and thankfully almost controversy free, display.

Yet as regular as the wrestlers look in the ring, whether it be live or from the living room, out in the real world and mingling with the masses, they still sort of fit in,

Sumo wrestler

but yet at the same time rather fascinatingly don’t.

Sumo wrestler

Especially so considering the strict controls over their clobber.

Sumo wrestler

Along with not only their heft, but more often than not, height.

Sumo wrestler

And, for the higher ranked rikishi at least, their hairstyles.

Sumo wrestler

All of which, despite the sport’s worryingly waining popularity among the nation’s youth, still makes them mesmerising to many.

Sumo wrestler

Mask or no mask.

Japanese workers working #19

Exactly how many years this little old lady has been plying her trade is a mystery, although feasibly it’s for longer than the salary man whose shoes she’s servicing has actually been salaried.

Tokyo shoeshine

(Not quite so) sinister Japanese scarecrows

Despite the previously posted mannequin-based scarecrows being suitably sinister, not all of them it seems are quite so unsettling.

But whilst they still aren’t exactly what one would want to stumble across in the semi-darkness, this lady at least is more sombre than scary.

Japanese scarecrow

Plus some are simply shy.

Japanese scarecrow

And, rather strangely, with his bouffant and brown blouse, this relatively new kid on the block wouldn’t look all that out of place in an 80s/90s boy band.

Japanese scarecrow

Although, as a new edition, he can’t really take that to heart, as he’s not yet in synch with the rest of the rabble.

Tokyo’s under-supported underclass?

It’s arguably not so many moons ago that the vast majority of Japanese considered themselves middle-class. If indeed they were even concerned with such classifications.

But now, with the job for life system long gone, and a third of all workers on temporary contracts, Japanese society is in real danger of fracturing; irreconcilably separating into the have and the have-nots. Or, in the case of the nation’s working poor and homeless, the have-nothings. An ever-growing group that is often referred to as the underclass, which very sadly is sometimes quite literally true.

Japanese homeless

With seemingly little in the way of support to help them pull themselves out of their predicament.

Japanese homeless