252 rikishi infected with COVID-19 since Hatsu Basho

On February 8th, the NSK held a mass PCR test for all its workforce, including rikishi, oyakata and support staff, excluding those who already tested positive following the hana-zumo events at the end of January.

The results came in today, with an unprecedented number of people infected.

Infected Sekitori

  • Shimanoumi, Shiden, Churanoumi (Kise)
  • Chiyonokuni (Kokonoe)
  • Takarafuji (Isegahama)
  • Shodai (Tokitsukaze)
  • Kiribayama (Michinoku)
  • Akua, Meisei (Tatsunami)

Total – 9 sekitori in this round of tests.

Infected Oyakata

  • Michinoku, Urakaze (Michinoku)
  • Tokitsukaze
  • Tatsunami
  • Kabutoyama (Isenoumi)
  • Sakaigawa
  • Kise
  • Onogawa, Katsunoura (Isenoumi)
  • Ajigawa, Tateyama (Isegahama)

Total – 11 oyakata in this round of tests


The NSK did not give the names of rikishi in lower divisions who were infected. But they did inform us that in total, including the previous tests, the number of members infected since the end of Hatsu basho is 252.

Yes, that’s two hundred and fifty two.

The press informs us that none of those who tested positive is showing severe symptoms. We hope it stays this way, and that all of them recover quickly and fully.

20 thoughts on “252 rikishi infected with COVID-19 since Hatsu Basho

  1. 😶

    I’m seldom speechless but WOW. Thank you, Herouth. That’s…wow. I sure hope all recover quickly.

  2. We are likely to see more. It may be fortunate that they are getting it now and can recover on time for the next tournament. And the fact that none are showing severe symptoms is a good sign.
    Do we know the status of any {f those previously infected? How many hospitalized? Any recovered?

  3. Truly frightening. Given the numbers involved, it is very likely that there will be some severe cases. Looks bad for March.

  4. This is terrible. I really hope no one is severely affected. I can’t imagine why they thought holding two retirement ceremonies without testing was in any way acceptable – they’re really putting a lot of people’s lives at risk for no (?) good reason, after years of experience with Covid no less.

  5. Have there been any updates on how they are doing? The Winter Olympics athletes who tested positive all seem to be recovering, but they aren’t carrying so much weight.

    • Well, Terunofuji and Mitakeumi have been hospitalized for a while but have been released several days ago. Shibatayama said that they were hospitalized more for isolation than for severe symptoms. As for the others, he says even those who had a fever have regained normal temperature within a couple of days, and the worst they had so far was a throat ache.

      But cases continue. Since I posted the above Ura, Hiradoumi and Shikihide oyakata all tested positive.

  6. Thanks for the update

    Glad to see many have recovered quickly.
    However, we will most likely continue to see new infections for a couple more weeks. Good news is the new infection rate is dropping(maybe because everyone has now gotten it). Can’t wait until we don’t have to worry about COVID anymore.

      • Was there any update on Koki, the Jonidan rikishi who featured on Chris Gould’s channel being carried out of the arena unconscious and taken to hospital after an injury in his last bout of the January tournament. I never heard any more from Chris G or anywhere else about whether he has recovered.

      • That may be true in Japan as a whole, but there can’t be that many rikishi left that haven’t already tested positive.


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