COVID-19 super-outbreak in Grand Sumo

Following the two retirement events (Goeido/Takekuma oyakata and Tochiozan/Kiyomigata oyakata) at the end of January, which were apparently held without tests or control of the whereabouts of the participants, there are now dozens of infection cases throughout the Sumo world.

It started with new Ozeki Mitakeumi, of whose infection we were informed on January 31st.

Then on February 2nd, the NSK announced that Takanosho, Daieisho, Tobizaru, Daiamami, Tsurugisho and Aoiyama were infected as well.

Today, we have been informed of 4 oyakata and 12 Rikishi, and, the press adds, a gyoji:


  • Kasugano
  • Takenawa
  • Kiyomigata (Tochiozan)
  • Tokiwayama


  • Kimura Ginjiro


  • Tochinoshin
  • Takakeisho
  • Wakatakakage
  • Wakamotoharu
  • Kotokuzan
  • Terunofuji
  • Midorifuji
  • Nishikifuji
  • Ichiyamamoto
  • Yutakayama
  • Tokushoryu
  • Hoshoryu

There have been no information of lower-division rikishi who were infected at this point.

We wish all those infected a swift and complete recovery. Some of them, most notably Yokozuna Terunofuji, are at a high risk due to diabetes or other co-morbidities.

10 thoughts on “COVID-19 super-outbreak in Grand Sumo

  1. On the bright side. All of these wrestlers will be recovered in time for the next basho. If they are all going to get Omnicron ( and as contagious as it is we will likely see more) getting it early in February may be better than getting it in March. Also, Omnicrons effects have been less severe than Alpha or Delta, and being that all these wrestlers were triple vaxxed the likelihood that any will have to be hospitalized remains low. I wish them all speedy recoveries.

    • So relieved they were finally vaxxed; really does seem to make the difference with Omicron outcomes. Hoping for a speedy and complete recovery for all affected.

    • One hundred people died as a result of Omicron infection in Japan yesterday. Vaccination lowers all risk factors but that protection wanes with time and the booster shot campaign has only just begun in Japan. For sure the outlook is better in general for those infected than in pre vaccination times but there is no guarantee rikishi ‘will’ recover. Their weight and widespread underlying conditions puts them at greater risk.

  2. This is a disgrace. The JSA should have known better than to go forward with Yoshikaze’s retirement ceremony and the exhibition tournament during the Omicron surge. Heads need to roll, starting at the top. Hakkaku needs to resign.

    • Agree, having Yoshikaze’s event go ahead while 19 out of 70 sekitori have just been diagnosed with Covid soon after they participated in events with a similar format and similar risks as this seems like a huge error of judgement.

      • Well at least they didn’t let Yoshikaze’s little girl pollute the dohyo by stepping on it.

  3. I think it’s time to stop encouraging weight and instead encourage building muscle. That would drastically reduce the underlying health conditions and probably at least some reductions in injuries. If these guys were less obese, it wouldn’t be anywhere near as worrisome. Even leaving Covid out of it, sacrificing years of life, mobility, and well-being shouldn’t be necessary.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.