I love all kinds of physical comedy. My personal dream is to produce a TV show where I travel around the world and feature funny performances based on local culture. I just added Japan to the list when I learned about shokkiri or comedic sumo wrestling.
Sumo is a centuries-old sport with deep traditions. It follows strictly defined rituals and has many rules. The more seriously someone takes themselves, the more attractive they are for being made fun of. Sumo is no different. Shokkiri was created over a century ago as a way to demonstrate sumo techniques and to show all the illegal moves. It has since evolved into a comic art form. Breaking the rules is of course one of the oldest comedy techniques. A shokkiri performance is created by lower-ranking wrestlers. It isn’t performed at official tournaments but at exhibitions and retirement ceremonies.
If you are ever tasked with creating a comedic sumo wrestling event, here is your reference. First, I am amazed that a sumo wrestling can do a “pancake” position, as shown in the poster frame of this first movie.