Sakaigawa Wrestlers Pull Woman from River after Suicide Attempt

On Friday morning around 5:30, a man yelled for help after spotting a woman fall from the Fureai Bridge over Kena River. It appeared to be an attempted suicide. Not 30 seconds away from the bridge stands Sakaigawa stable where morning practice has been pushed back to 7am due to the virus. Sakaigawa-oyakata, hearing theContinue reading “Sakaigawa Wrestlers Pull Woman from River after Suicide Attempt”

Hakuho Remains Cautious, Takakeisho Resumes Full Contact Training

On the 27th, Yokozuna Hakuho relayed information on his current condition and state of mind with this month’s Natsu Basho having been canceled, and over a month and a half to prepare for the relocated July tournament. On Tuesday, Takakeisho also gave details on his progress. “While we battle the unseen virus, I have hadContinue reading “Hakuho Remains Cautious, Takakeisho Resumes Full Contact Training”

End to Japan’s State of Emergency? JSA Errs on the Side of Caution Either Way

On the 21st, sumo association spokesman Shibatayama addressed reporters about the possibility of a further extension to the state of emergency in Japan. “If it’s extended then we have no choice but to continue in our current state,” he said. Inter-stable practices are still prohibited, and whether the full contact butsukari-geiko is used is upContinue reading “End to Japan’s State of Emergency? JSA Errs on the Side of Caution Either Way”

Learning Japanese Spirit from a Hawaiian, a Novice Reporter Meets Akebono

With the current state of emergency in Japan, the sports world continues to observe self restraint. While games are on hold, Nikkan Sports is giving sports reporters a chance to look back on some significant memories they’ve made through the years. Today in Nikkan’s “My Memories as a Sports Reporter,” Imamura Kento recalls his firstContinue reading “Learning Japanese Spirit from a Hawaiian, a Novice Reporter Meets Akebono”

Friends of Shobushi Pay Tribute

After the first coronavirus death in sumo on Wednesday, friends and colleagues of the young wrestler gave their condolences, and several looked back on his life and career. Shobushi was known for his part in “shokkiri,” slapstick performances demonstrating illegal moves and essentially everything that should not go down during a sumo match. Waki Katsuyoshi,Continue reading “Friends of Shobushi Pay Tribute”

Doctor Comments on Death of Young Wrestler

Humanitarian, author, and honorary director at Suwa Chuo Hospital in Nagano, Dr. Kamata Minoru commented on the recent death of lower division wrestler Shobushi. Suetake Kiyotaka (Shobushi’s real name) was the first known case of coronavirus within professional sumo, followed by his stablemaster Takadagawa, senior stablemate Hakuyozan, and four other lower division wrestlers from hisContinue reading “Doctor Comments on Death of Young Wrestler”

Hakuho Donates Masks to Japan and Mongolia

On the 11th, the Japan Sumo Association announced that Yokozuna Hakuho has donated a total of 25,000 masks to Japanese and Mongolian healthcare organizations. He purchased the masks with the prize money he won at Haru Basho in March. Hakuho’s comments were relayed through the JSA: “At the spectator-less March tournament, I was really prayingContinue reading “Hakuho Donates Masks to Japan and Mongolia”

Comic Artist Calls for Lifting of Sumo’s Social Media Ban

Famous manga artist and longtime sumo fan Yaku Mitsuru gave his candid opinion on the current state of sumo. A return to training and a lifting of the social media ban were among his wishes for the sport. The following are his words: “There’s nothing we can do about the cancelation. This situation is moreContinue reading “Comic Artist Calls for Lifting of Sumo’s Social Media Ban”

Asanoyama’s Current Attitude, Stablemaster Takasago Checks In

It has been nine years since the 2011 “yaocho” match-fixing scandal tore up the reputation of professional sumo. Spring of that year was the last time a honbasho was canceled. This past Monday, Japan’s state of emergency was extended to the end of the month, and in turn sumo was put on hold. On theContinue reading “Asanoyama’s Current Attitude, Stablemaster Takasago Checks In”

COVID Cases in Sumo Not the Reason for Cancellation says Shibatayama

April 4th was a big day in sumo news media, with 18 articles in the Grand Sumo section of Nikkan Sports alone. Public relations director Shibatayama offered a bit of insight into the Japan Sumo Association’s decisions to cancel Natsu Basho and to move the July tournament from Nagoya to Tokyo, and popular rikishi gaveContinue reading “COVID Cases in Sumo Not the Reason for Cancellation says Shibatayama”

Stablemaster and Wrestlers Recover from Corona!

On the 30th, spokesman Shibatayama told reporters that stablemaster Takadagawa (pictured), Juryo wrestler Hakuyozan, and the four anonymous lower division rikishi that had been hospitalized at the same time had all undergone treatment and retesting for COVID, and would be cleared to go home soon. When exactly they will be discharged has not been communicatedContinue reading “Stablemaster and Wrestlers Recover from Corona!”

Asashoryu’s Dogs Create a Family

Former Mongolian Yokozuna Asashoryu, who’s real name is Dolgorsurengiin Dagvadorj, posted on twitter (@Asashoryu) with the caption, “Sakura-chan finally became a mama.” About 20 minutes later, he posted photos of the puppies and a proud father, saying, “Masao became a papa.” Having been the 68th Yokozuna, Asashoryu has become an ambassador of sorts between MongoliaContinue reading “Asashoryu’s Dogs Create a Family”

A Former Gyoji’s Calligraphy Contribution

Former top ranking gyoji Kimura Shonosuke (real name Yamazaki Toshihiro) offered reminders and encouragement in the fight against COVID-19 in the form of calligraphy. At the request of Nikkan Sports, nine phrases were written and made available for use by the general public. They are reminders such as, “Let’s stay home,” and words of encouragementContinue reading “A Former Gyoji’s Calligraphy Contribution”

Hakuho’s Renewed Motivation, Terunofuji’s Return, Kotoshogiku’s Records, and more on the Natsu Banzuke

AKA “Everything you could ever want to know about the upcoming tournament,” that is, minus whether or not it will actually be held or cancelled. Even though PR director Shibatayama has said outright that the JSA’s intention was to hold the tournament despite the virus’ recent infiltration into Takadagawa-beya and possibly beyond, the decision hasContinue reading “Hakuho’s Renewed Motivation, Terunofuji’s Return, Kotoshogiku’s Records, and more on the Natsu Banzuke”

Six New Cases of COVID-19 in Sumo

The sumo association revealed Saturday that both stablemaster Takadagawa (former Sekiwake Akinoshima) and his own Juryo wrestler, Hakuyozan are among six new confirmed cases of coronavirus within the sumo world. The four other new cases, as well as the first one announced on April 10th, are lower division rikishi whose identities and stable affiliations willContinue reading “Six New Cases of COVID-19 in Sumo”

Infected Wrestler’s Status Unknown, Charging Practice to Resume

April 24th marks 2 weeks since the first case of coronavirus within the sumo association, an anonymous lower division wrestler, was confirmed. Reportedly, having not received word yet from the wrestler’s stablemaster on the progress of his treatment, public relations director Shibatayama told reporters, “I don’t know the current situation at that stable, and IContinue reading “Infected Wrestler’s Status Unknown, Charging Practice to Resume”

Toyonoshima Retires from Wrestling, Takes on Izutsu Name

With a total of 13 tournaments in the Sanyaku ranks, 10 special prizes, 4 kinboshi, and top division runner-up 5 times, Toyonoshima of Tokitsukaze-beya has decided to retire from wrestling but will stay in sumo as a coach. He will take on the name Izutsu, formerly held by Yokozuna Kakuryu’s late stablemaster. Kajiwara Daiki (hisContinue reading “Toyonoshima Retires from Wrestling, Takes on Izutsu Name”

Worries Grow Over Confirmed Corona Case

A lower division wrestler tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday after experiencing a fever, fatigue, shortness of breath, and bloody phlegm. His symptoms began on April 4th, and he was promptly isolated from his stablemates. He has been in the hospital since the 8th and is undergoing treatment. According to spokesman Shibatayama, his physical conditionContinue reading “Worries Grow Over Confirmed Corona Case”

Mystery Wrestler First Confirmed Case of Corona in Pro Sumo

The sumo association has confirmed based on PCR testing at a Tokyo Metropolitan hospital that the lower division wrestler in question has indeed been infected with COVID-19. This is the first confirmed case of coronavirus within the professional sumo world. Little is known about the severity of his condition at this time, but he wasContinue reading “Mystery Wrestler First Confirmed Case of Corona in Pro Sumo”

Undisclosed Wrestler Testing for Virus, Further Postponements, Cancellations Likely

Sumo Association spokesman Shibatayama told press over the phone on Thursday that there is one suspected case of coronavirus within the wrestler ranks. The lower division rikishi, whose identity and stable-affiliation has not been made public, has displayed a high temperature, productive cough, and has complained of fatigue and labored breathing since Saturday. His temperatureContinue reading “Undisclosed Wrestler Testing for Virus, Further Postponements, Cancellations Likely”

Beloved Dog of Deceased Comedian Ken Shimura Living Well with Sumo Wrestlers

Featured image: Famous comedian/actor Ken Shimura, Japan’s first known celebrity to become infected with coronavirus, died last month at the age of 70, with several ambitions left unfulfilled. His death came as a shock to many generations of Japanese, the Tokyo local having made an imprint on TV screens that spanned 6 decades. (Photo:Continue reading “Beloved Dog of Deceased Comedian Ken Shimura Living Well with Sumo Wrestlers”

Sokokurai Takes Over Arashio Stable [Video]

Holder of the “Arashio” elder stock, Sokokurai, has officially retired from wrestling and will take over Arashio-beya under said name. (Now) Arashio-oyakata, who is originally from Peoples Republic of China, Inner Mongolia, acquired Japanese citizenship last September, as it is a prerequisite for attaining elder status in the Japan Sumo Association. He will be replacingContinue reading “Sokokurai Takes Over Arashio Stable [Video]”

Pre-Basho Events Cancelled/Closed to the Public

The Japan Sumo Association has announced new countermeasures against the Corona virus. The decisions are as follows: The ring entering and dedication ceremony at Sumiyoshi Shrine on February 29th is cancelled. The Spring Basho Eve festival on March 3rd is cancelled. There will be no general admission, only staff and sanyaku rikishi allowed at theContinue reading “Pre-Basho Events Cancelled/Closed to the Public”

Sumo Wrestlers and Babies, Event Cancelled due to Corona Virus Risk

The Japan Sumo Association announced that they have decided to cancel a photography session where parents have a chance to photograph their babies in the arms of some of their favorite rikishi. The event, frightening for some, adorable for most, was scheduled for February 25th. With the recent fast-moving Corona virus, the event coordinators feltContinue reading “Sumo Wrestlers and Babies, Event Cancelled due to Corona Virus Risk”

West Yokozuna, Ozeki to be Held by One Wrestler Simultaneously

On the 29th, the Japan Sumo Association confirmed that there will be a joint Yokozuna-Ozeki listing on the rankings chart for the upcoming Haru Basho in March. With Goeido’s recent decision to retire, Takakeisho is the only current Ozeki. As Takakeisho will naturally fill the East Ozeki slot (East being a higher position than West),Continue reading “West Yokozuna, Ozeki to be Held by One Wrestler Simultaneously”

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