Hakuho Tests Positive for Covid-19

As announced by the NSK, Hakuho reported symptoms related to his sinuses and took a PCR test. With the positive result, and close contacts within his stable, the rest of Miyagino-beya will be PCR tested. This undoubtedly will mean Hakuho and possibly others from his stable will be kyujo from the tournament which starts this weekend. Shibatayama-oyakata has gone on record that there are currently no plans to cancel the event or to hold the tournament without spectators.

Tachiai wishes the Yokozuna a quick and full recovery and hopes that the infection does not spread further, though there seems to be a quicker pace of these announcements. According to the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 dashboard, the country is within its third, and worst, wave of infections. Japan’s Prime Minister Suga is considering an Emergency declaration and has stated that the country will not begin vaccinations until February. Internationally, the UK has announced a lockdown as a “UK variant,” which spreads easier than previous strains, has led to international travel restrictions as the new variant has popped up in other countries, including Japan. Japan closed its borders to all foreigners in response.

We will continue to report on the situation as it develops.

Gyoji Kimura Motoki positive for COVID-19

The NSK announces that on January 4th 2021, in the morning, the Makuuchi-ranked gyoji from Minato beya suffered from high fever and coughing, and took a PCR test, which came back positive.

Kimura Motoki, whose real name is Okamura Hiromichi, 53 years old, belongs to Minato beya. However, his contact tracing investigation showed that he has not been in contact with any of the heya members recently (older, married gyoji, tokoyama and yobidashi usually live outside the heya). However, the NSK, on its own initiative, will give everybody in the heya a PCR test, as an extra safety measure.

We wish Motoki-san a full and speedy recovery, and we will keep you posted if any updates come in.

Arashio-beya Corona Cluster

We open the New Year with an expanding cluster of positive Covid tests at Arashio-beya. News of Wakatakakage falling ill hit yesterday, leading to testing of those around him, in his family, and at the stable. Those additional tests have come back with a total of eleven more positive tests. Arashio-oyakata and Wakatakakage’s Juryo-ranked brother, Wakamotoharu, are among the positive cases. Eight more wrestlers ranked makushita and below, as well as a hair dresser have also tested positive. Of the twelve, three are symptomatic with things like fever but are so far mild cases. Tachiai wishes all twelve full and quick recoveries.

New COVID-19 case and an update on Minato oyakata

The NSK officially informs us that a new COVID-19 case has turned up at Tatsunami beya, bringing the total number of infected in that heya to 11. The rikishi is not a sekitori and therefore his name was not disclosed. He tested negative in the first round of close contact testing, but on the 18th he came up with a runny nose and other light symptoms, and got re-tested, and this time he was positive.

Since the first test, he has not gone out nor has he mixed with the other rikishi still in the heya, so there are no close contacts to test at this time. He will be sent to a hotel, according to the instructions of the local health authority.

Elsewhere, Minato oyakata, who has been confirmed positive on the 15th, his been admitted to hospital on December 17th, says Shibatayama oyakata, who serves as the NSK’s spokesperson.

We wish both the unnamed rikishi and Minato oyakata a quick and full recovery.