Feeds

Hair-stripping fungus threatens future of judo and sumo

Martial artists felled by itchy foot to the head

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Japanese academics have warned that the national sports of sumo and judo are under threat of extinction because of the rapid spread of a fungal infection that is making participants' hair fall out.

The All Japan Judo Federation has commissioned research into the spread of Trichophyton tonsurans, The Times reports, amidst fears that it is sapping the strength of the nation's martial artists.

The fungal infection is similar to athlete's foot, but causes itchy red patches on the neck, face and upper body, and can attack the hair follicles, causing icky flakes and ultimately baldness.

Unsurprisingly, the fungus has spread like wildfire through a sport that centres on close-quarter grappling, throwing and choking, rather than the more theatrical long distance kicking and striking found in other martial arts. A third of adult judo clubs and half of high school teams have been affected, and there are fears that the country's entire judo sector could be wiped out if the fungus is not obliterated first.

Striking even deeper at the Japanese psyche, the fungus is rife amongst sumo wrestlers, with baldness not even an option amongst the top-knotted man mountain practitioners.

This could leave ju-jitsu, judo's somewhat rougher ancestor, as the sole grappling art in Japan, if only because it augments the throwing and grappling of judo with punching, kicking, gouging and the use of weapons, making hair loss the least of its practitioners' worries.

Apparently the infection was first brought to Japan by judoka who were grappling in Europe and the US. The disease apparently originated in Cuba, spreading with the exodus of refugees to the US after the Castro revolution. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title
Folio Society crowns fittest of surviving volumes
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?