Hatsu Basho Sumo News Update

Hello dear readers. Sumo fans around the world are waiting to see what steps, if any, the Japanese government will take in response to a request from several prefecture governors (including Tokyo’s Yuriko Koike) to call for a state of emergency in the face of a steady increase in COVID cases in the metropolitan area. The prior declaration, in March, signaled the cancellation of the Natsu basho in May, and Team Tachiai worries that something similar could happen for Natsu 2021.

In response, the sumo association has stated their commitment to move ahead with Hatsu, even if they are required to do so without spectators. The prospect of another “silent basho” is not one that anyone looks forward to, but it may be the sole alternative. Some may rightfully suggest it would be safer to simply cancel Hatsu all together and make sure nobody gets COVID-19 because of a sumo tournament. But this is tempered by the belief that the NSK is currently in a serious financial bind, with it’s only way to raise funds being to conduct sumo tournaments.

In the days leading up to the start of the basho, both dai-Yokozuna Hakuho and rising star Wakatakakage have been diagnosed with COVID. Now comes word that all of Miyagino heya will likewise be kyujo, removing Ishiura, Enho and a variety of other fan favorites from competition.

Meanwhile, the NSK presses ahead working to prepare the dohyo for competition, as shown in the twitter video below.

Team Tachiai will continue to follow the news from Tokyo, with fervent hopes for a Hatsu basho for fans to follow starting this weekend.

7 thoughts on “Hatsu Basho Sumo News Update

  1. One thing is for certain. Takakeisho is praying for January basho to go ahead. Without Hakuho (and Wakatakakage) his goal to win it and become yokozuna would be so so much easier

  2. I really hope Hatsu goes ahead, empty seats if need be.. The last silent basho turned out to be anything but silent, and very enjoyable to watch.
    The only huge downside to empty seats would be to me if Takakeisho won.. Earning his promotion in front of fans would be so much better, even 5000 of them would make quite a bit of noise for a yokozuna teary T-Rex I am sure.

  3. Takakeisho is not Yokozuna calibre. Even if he won enough bouts the council would not promote him, burely on the basis he is too one dimensional

    • Sumo is a simple sport. If you win, you win. There are no style points.
      After his recent yusho, Takakeisho basically said that if he is strong enough, he will win with his style of sumo. If he isn’t, he won’t. It is up to his opponents to exploit his one-dimensionality, If they can’t, he will become a yokozuna regardless of his style.

      • Takakeisho is a bit of a one-dimensional rikishi, but he does have some a variety in his pushing maneuvers. Wave attack, thrust down, push out, push followed by a pull. It’s just not as obviously varied as somebody who uses different throwing techniques. I think he’s good enough to be Yokozuna. Perhaps not a great Yokuzuna, but one who can win 5-10 tournaments over the course of his career (if he avoids serious injury). In a way he reminds me of a rounder and slightly less versatile version of Akebono.

  4. I’m really hoping they cancel this basho because I don’t feel like it’d be safe, even without spectators. We’ve seen outbreaks in several heya, detected only after people showed actual symptoms. If anything like that happened during the basho, it could spread. Shobushi dying last year was enough – I don’t want to miss out on a basho but I feel like it’d be the right decision to cancel.


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