We have decided to try something new, and that’s posting short video segments to YouTube covering sumo news. This won’t every try to take on actual match coverage, as the current sources are superior to anything we could glue together. But it seems that some folks like to have a bit of sumo news in their daily video feed. Here is the latest, covering the COVID 19 outbreak in Tamanoi beya.
Japanese press reports that Abi has handed in his intai documents, according to Shikoroyama oyakata.
The board convenes on August 6th to discuss his punishment, and will also decide whether or not to accept his resignation. However, the chances of it not being accepted are said to be slim.
The Japanese media is reporting Abi will not return to the July tournament. He is also exhibiting at least one symptom of COVID, a fever. Multiple outlets report the fever was 37.6 Celsius, 99.7 degrees F. He had gone out with another wrestler from a separate heya who was already kyujo. It has now come out that the other night was not the first “adventure” for Abi, the newly wed, to “a night business” (夜の街) during this pandemic lockdown. He had gone at least once, prior to the tournament.
Night business is a euphemism for the variety of host/hostess clubs and “cabaret” clubs and night clubs around Tokyo. I do want to be clear that this does not mean that Abi went to a brothel or some red light district. A lot of these places are very PG-13 or R-rated. But they CAN be rather seedy and the point of them is to be in close contact with other people. Exactly how close, though, umm…well…that depends and is outside the scope (thankfully) of this update. Let’s just close with the certainty that they’re not the kind of place the Kyokai wants its staff frequenting during a pandemic, and they are often cited by officials as COVID hot spots.
Also, due to my misunderstanding of the type of test he had taken, I incorrectly tweeted that he’d had a PCR test because it wasn’t an antibody test. He’d had, as Herouth correctly noted, an antigen test which are often used when urgent, quick results are needed. One hopes Abi’s antics do not lead to more infections in the sumo world. It is good to see them taking this event seriously and apparently taking appropriate precautions to avoid any spread of whatever ails Abi.
In Tachiai’s unscientific fan poll, our readers were split right down the middle on whether Natsu should be cancelled. More than 21% of the fans who responded believed that the Nagoya tournament should also be cancelled because of the Coronavirus. The Nihon Sumo Kyokai will announce their decision on Monday. If the decision comes early in the morning, like the banzuke usually does, expect some sort of brief post Sunday night in the US.