Learn about this sad sumo jargon while enjoying a few photos of sumo wrestlers petting cats!

Puns aren’t exactly considered the highest form of humor in the English-speaking world, but they do make up a quite a bit of Japanese comedy. Considering the large number of homonyms and double entendres in the language, it makes a lot of sense, but this might be one of the darkest puns we’ve ever come across…

“So this is the ‘kawaigari’ of the sumo world, huh? It’s more intense than I ever imagined!”

Obviously, for this joke to make sense, we’ll need to know what “kawaigari” means — and usually it’s a good thing. “Kawaigaru,” with the same root as “kawaii” or “cute,” is usually used to refer to doting on someone, like showering a beloved cat with lots and lots of love and attention! But in the sumo world, it has a different meaning, though it’s also actually been adopted by the mainstream. And what does it mean? Well, it’s basically hazing, and in the sumo world, “kawaigari” can get pretty awful — one junior wrestler even died after being beaten.

So, in the tweet above, we’d read it as a cute joke suggesting that doting in the sumo world is far more intense (and cute, because of the “kawaii” connection) than expected while also being reminded that “kawaigari” refers to brutal hazing. Basically, it’s a darkly morbid joke that is also super cute.

▼ And it’s horribly depressing! So here are more photos of sumo wrestlers with cats.

Sources: Hamusoku, Tweet/@yamadamaru
Top image: Tweet/@yamadamaru