Sumo Reopens, The Japan Sumo Association confirmed that Sumo began a new tournament in front
of a live audience Sunday, despite a steady rise in coronavirus infections,
with fans voicing both joy and caution about watching the Japanese spectacle during the pandemic.
The tournament runs through Aug. 2 at Ryogoku Kokugikan, the primary sumo arena at the heart of the Japanese capital.
Sumo Reopens, The tournament comes a week after Japanese baseball and football opened stadiums to spectators,
and as the government seeks to keep the economy open despite worrying signs of the virus’s resurgence, particularly in Tokyo.
“Well, it’s scary, isn’t it,” said fan Katsuhiko Ochiai, 59, who traveled from neighboring Chiba region to attend the first day.
“But I love sumo, so I want to watch this,” he said.
Only 2,500 fans were allowed inside the 11,098-seat stadium, unlike in normal times when bouts are performed
in front of sold-out crowds.
They were asked to refrain from cheering and stick to applause to express their passion.
“It will be different,” said Kazuo Aoki, 49, also a frequent visitor to the arena. “I will cheer in my spirit.”
Anyone with a temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius (99.5 F) or higher was denied entry.