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.

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.