In Japan, children don’t chase ice cream trucks — sumo wrestlers chase Google cars.
One sunny day, after training was finished, a sumo wrestler from the Hakkaku-Beya sumo stable in Tokyo was standing outside in his mawashi loincloth when he saw a Google car drive past at the end of the street. The car was doing what it does — photographing streets and neighborhoods for Google Map‘s street view option. The car’s cameras captured Toshiki Hokutōu and some of his wrestling mates standing outside on a side street as a line of preschoolers out for a walk go by.
Hokutōu grew excited at the sight of the vehicle and ran after it to get a better look, standing at the corner still wearing his wrestler’s loincloth as the car went about its business…
…totally unbeknownst to him, capturing his sweet little moment of excitement.
The sight of a barefooted sumo wrestler in his mawashi loincloth, standing nonchalantly in the middle of a very average-looking neighborhood, is a sight that has “Japan” written all over it.
Hokutōu discovered the photos some time later after they had been uploaded to Google’s street view, and tweeted about the incident from his Twitter account.
北勝旺 俊紀 (@kirin_oh) August 22, 2016
One day after practice, as I was unfastening my mawashi, I saw a Google car drive by. I remember saying “Look! A Google car!” and chasing after it, but had no idea it was photographing…
His recount of the moment paints the image of a young child chasing after an ice cream truck. At 23 he’s not exactly a kid anymore, but he still seems like one at heart!