Shobushi, whose name is Suetake Kiyotaka, has died at the age of 28.
日本相撲協会からのお知らせです。https://t.co/3ma0DJML8D— 日本相撲協会公式 (@sumokyokai) May 13, 2020
The sumo world mourns his loss and is rocked by the news.
Shobushi was well known for his comedy sumo act at special events.— Inside Sport Japan (@InsideSportJP) May 13, 2020
Photos from Feb 9th this year at the Kokugikan#Shobushi #sumo #covid19 #coronavirus #相撲 @takadagawa #高田川部屋 #相撲 #翔武士 pic.twitter.com/jqvhZONcD9
The official statement from the Kyokai was very brief and provided few details. More detail is provided in this Japan Times article, including the detail that he had been the first positive case in sumo, on April 10 and he was sent to the ICU on April 19. Six more men from Takadagawa stable, including its master, later tested positive.
Kyodo News also reports that the Kyokai will begin antibody testing to understand who else may have caught the virus in the past. I hope this is paired with broader testing of active infections, as well. We have seen that people may be asymptomatic or only have mild symptoms.
Tachiai extends our condolences to Shobushi’s family and friends.