Summer can be a brutal season. The humidity is often uncomfortably heavy and relentless; intense thunderstorms and the hot, blinding sun make weeks on end unbearable. But it’s not all bad: Summer is also the season when the world comes most fully to life, the nourishment of rain and sun causing fields of large, tall sunflowers and even larger, even taller sumo wrestlers to sprout from the earth.
Sumo wrestler Katsuaki Nakahara has documented this seasonal phenomenon with a remarkable photo that shows 10 of his fellow titans standing in a sunflower field. Its caption explains that he “took this photo...in the sunflower field behind the Hiratani village government office,” which suggests that it was carefully planned and staged, but can easily be ignored for the better vision of him simply walking behind a building and unexpectedly playing witness to the incredible scene at hand.
It’s a simple, wholesome, and joyous photo. Large men—most of them smiling widely—pop out of the leaves and flowers like newborn Cabbage Patch Kids. Humanity and nature are in perfect harmony. Both the sunflowers and the wrestlers are sturdy, healthy, and very big.
Twitter, basking in the warm glow of the image, has commented on the happiness inspired by looking deep into the composition, noting the infectious joy of one of the flower-men in particular.
Others have noted that this photo would not have been possible without the existence of a seasonally-specific ecosystem that nurtures big dudes and big flowers in tandem.
But really, nothing at all needs to be said about this photo to enjoy it. It just is what it is: A group of scantily-clad warrior giants taking some time off from the demands of the sumo life to pose among the only flowers mighty enough to match their presence.
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