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Original Issue


No man is an island, but Konishiki, who, at 630 pounds, was the
heftiest sumo wrestler ever, is rumored to have shown up on
navigational charts of the Pacific. Though he retired from sumo
in 1997, his celebrity remains immense in Japan. What really
endears him to the public is his TV show, Nihongo de Asobo (Let's
Play in Japanese), in which he introduces small fry to
traditional Japanese sayings. Konishiki plays a singing, dancing,
blond-wigged blob born out of the unholy union of a palm tree and
a Hawaiian volcano. "The costume is totally funky," he says. "I
look like a giant orange."

--Franz Lidz

COLOR PHOTO: COURTESY OF KONISHIKI HOST WITH THE MOST The ex-sumo star, down to 580 pounds, has ahuge following among kids.