Poll: Should Natsu 2020 Happen?

Simple question. Bruce’s article about 1918 begs the question, given this worst case scenario — fatalities — should Natsu 2020 happen? Has the NSK taken enough precautions to ensure the tournament can happen without spreading COVID-19 throughout the sumo world? They appear to have stopped the spread at one heya, which in my mind is remarkable given their communal living quarters.

I will ask this now…and at the beginning of May. I think it will be very interesting to compare the results.

16 thoughts on “Poll: Should Natsu 2020 Happen?

  1. Yes. It should happen because I’m a selfish pos and need sumo in my life right now.

    For real though, it totally depends on how things are on may.

  2. If they do decide to go ahead, it would be wise of them to test ALL participants in the basho- the rikishi, the oyakata, yobidashi, gyoji, sewanin- anyone who will be in that arena. I have no idea what Japan’s testing capabilities are, so I couldn’t say if it’s possible, but considering the nature of the sport, the vast number of people involved, and the fact that at least one heya has already been affected, that seems to be the most prudent way to go forward. But do I think it’s a good move to hold the basho? Ehhhhh….. I couldn’t really say, and I’m very relieved to not be in the position to have to make this call. I want to watch sumo, but if more rikishi sickened or worse, died, as a result, in the end it would not be worth it.

    • To me, it sounds like testing takes a backseat to symptoms. If you have symptoms for two days, that’s when the processes kick into high gear. It has me wondering if that’s the idea…herd immunity. If people in the sumo community get it/have it and don’t suffer from it, and are no longer contagious, where’s the harm? The only real harm comes to those who get hammered by symptoms…who get promptly isolated and treated. This is where I am very curious about what Leonid’s opinion is.

      • The current understanding is that infected individuals can transmit for several days before they show symptoms (and of course some never show symptoms at all but can still transmit), so if the isolation is based on two days of symptoms, there’s been plenty of time for spread in a close-knit community. That’s why a lot of the re-opening plans revolve around frequent widespread testing, with immediate isolation of anyone testing positive and tracing and testing of their contacts.

      • I guess part of my concern, and desire to see testing done, is that there are so many individuals with underlying conditions in the sumo world. I understand that diabetes is widespread, and many images I’ve seen from within the heyas show rikishi napping with CPAP machines. And not only them- there are the oyakata to consider, who can have similar preexisting health conditions as well as being older and less robust in their immune systems. Herd immunity is a good thing and all, but it seems to necessarily come with a certain degree of casualties along the way. I don’t know that we understand the virus well enough at this point to wait for symptoms to trigger testing (although that does seem to be how the Japanese are choosing to handle testing).

        I dunno. Like I said, I’m just glad not to have to make that kind of call. But if It were up to me I’d want All The Testing On Everyone, largely because of asymptomatic spread.

  3. Do I want it to be cancelled – no
    Should it be cancelled – probably

    As Mauricio said, very much depends on the circumstances at the time.

  4. The world is not going to recover in time. This thing can explode from just 1 person as it always starts, so as long as 1 case exists there is a threat of this getting starting all over again. Considering the living conditions of Japan and the stables in general… considering the average age japan has and the general health of Sumo wrestlers.. no… just no. It’s not worth the risk. I care more about the Rikishi being as health as possible then I wanting to see them clash.

  5. I voted no – but I’m missing it in advance… :( It all depends on the recovery of that one unnamed, infected rikishi. If all sumotori is healthy on the 17th of May, they should do another one without audience…
    Let’s hope for the best!

  6. I rather thought this was could be a disingenuous question, but then I saw you included the choice “and Nagoya too”, which I truly respect. This is where we are at. Even I can’t take the plunge and say “cancel Nagoya” yet.. but the choice should be there, for the NSK to consider even now as well.

  7. My guess is that they will delay the decision to the last possible moment. And if there is any chance of going ahead without breaking any regulations or jeopardising health, we will have another silent basho. That would be fine with me as I usually mute the commentary anyway. Most of the wrestlers seemed to adapt without any problems. The banning of the usual training regime will add another layer of oddness should the basho go ahead. It would be like a chess tournament where pawns are not allowed the two-squares-forward initial move: there will be one or two funny results but the cream will continue to rise to the top,

    As I’ve pointed out before, Horse Racing in Japan is continuing just fine behind closed doors: the big Contrail vs Salios showdown in the Satsuki Sho last Sunday went off without a hitch. And Oju Chosan won his fifth Nakayama Grand Jump.

  8. I agree with most of the posters here. If no one is placed in danger and rules are followed, there should be another interesting, silent basho.

  9. They should hold the basho but do it as a lock in, everyone must sleep in the Kokugikan and they have to live-stream the entire thing.

    • Now I’m imagining rikishi being silly in the arena, after hours, having zabuton fights. I would absolutely watch a livestream of that.

  10. Yobidashi handle the towels the rikishi wipe their faces and bodies with, and then touch the salt bucket, ladle, envelopes, sagari, and probably other things. I’m sure tradition would not allow them to use gloves or masks, nor sanitize between bouts. So sadly, I voted to cancel.

    • Since they actually changed the chikara mizu process to where they mimed and weren’t supposed to drink, I hope those changes would be on the table. They seem reasonable.

  11. This just in:

    For the first time in a sumo wrestler, a new corona infected by a teacher and Sekitori, and 4 young people who were positive.

    On the 25th, the Japan Sumo Association announced that Jukan and Shiratakayama (25) in the same room as Master Takadagawa (former Sekiwaki and Akinoshima) were infected with the new coronavirus . It was also announced that four other wrestler trainers had been infected by this date. The names and rooms of these wrestler trainers have not been published. [Photo] Defeated corona with “Sumo-san mask”!  According to the association’s announcement, Master Takadagawa has a fever this week. A PCR test was conducted at a medical institution on the 23rd, and a positive result was confirmed on the day. Mt. Shirataka had no symptoms such as fever, but a PCR test was conducted on the 24th. It was said that the positivity was confirmed on the same day. The association also announced, “In addition, for the wrestler trainers, a PCR test was carried out after the onset, and a positive result was confirmed, and we are currently hospitalized and undergoing medical treatment.” All infected people, including Master Takadagawa and Mt. Shirataka, are currently hospitalized.  For the first time in Kakukai this month, a corona infected person was confirmed by one wrestler under the curtain. However, this is the first time that the master of the room and Sekitori have been positive. After the infection was announced on the 10th, the association said it had “no new infection” until the 23rd, but announced 6 new infections on this day. We have taken measures such as banning people from going out unnecessarily and banning rehearsals by colliding at the rehearsal hall, but we were unable to prevent the spread of infection.

    The association said, “For each room belonging to a person who was found to be positive, based on the guidance of a specialist and a public health center, we will not perform any rehearsals or go out for the next two weeks, and will thoroughly disinfect the room and carry out physical condition management and health observation. We will do our best to prevent the spread of infection. ” It has been extremely difficult to hold the summer place (first day of May 24, Ryogoku Kokugikan), which has already been postponed for two weeks.

    Hochi Shimbun

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