28-year-old sumo wrestler dies after contracting coronavirus

“Like the fighter he was, he tenaciously fought against the illness until the very end.”

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Join the hordes of net users giggling at GIFs of sumo wrestlers performing comedic moves【Videos】

Unless you’re striving to become one of the big guys yourself, you may not have much connection to the world of professional sumo. As an ancient sport with plenty of ritual elements, the wrestlers, known as rikishi in Japanese, have a highly regimented training lifestyle. With all those rules, it’s certainly easy to overlook the comedic side of sumo.

Wait, there’s a comedic side to sumo?

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Shokkiri: The obscure art of sumo comedy

Sumo is often thought of as a frighteningly strict sport in which every aspect of a wrestler’s life, from the clothing they wear in public to etiquette in the ring, must adhere to a traditional set of rules. In other words, it seems like the least fun sport to be a part of in the world.

That’s why you might be surprised to learn that there’s a sumo comedy routine out there in Japan that’s been going on for over a century. It’s known as shokkiri and is essentially a sumo match where anything goes, sort of like a Harlem Globetrotters game. And despite being based on such uniquely Japanese traditions its humor is pretty universal and sure to crack smiles anywhere in the world.

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