Looking like time travellers from a bygone era, sumo wrestlers gather for a competition
The bashoiri – the arrival of sumo wrestlers before a tournament – unfolds outside a venue in Tokyo. With the sumo lifestyle still dictated largely by tradition and the Japan Sumo Association, the wrestlers emerge from cars that they cannot drive, wearing robes that denote their rank, and sporting chonmage haircuts, looking splendidly anachronistic as they interact with mobile phones and pose for photos with fans. Colourful and carefully crafted to highlight the hierarchy of sumo wrestlers, Mari Shibata’s film is a brief glimpse at the unusual intersection of tradition and modern celebrity that this sport occupies in Japanese culture.
Director: Mari Shibata