Sumo Wrestler Becomes One of Japan’s Youngest COVID-19 Deaths at 28

Shobushi, or Kiyotaka Suetake, a 28-year-old sumo wrestler passed from multiple organ failure after contracting COVID-19.

A statement from Japan’s Sumo Association (JSA) confirmed the former fourth-tier “sandanme” division wrestler’s death this morning, according to the Japan Times.

Shobushi became the first person in the sumo wrestling sphere and the first person in their 20s to die from the virus in Japan.

CNN reported that he tried to get treatment but was refused by a few hospitals after he first developed a fever on April 4. After four days had gone, he was admitted into intensive care, where he remained for 11 more days until April 19. However, his condition gradually worsened until his body could no longer keep up.


“He fought tenaciously against the disease, enduring the pain and suffering for more than a month like a sumo wrestler,” a statement from the JSA said.

JSA’s Chairman Hakkaku echoed that sentiment saying, “I can only imagine how hard it must have been, battling illness for over a month, but like a wrestler he endured it bravely and fought the disease until the end.”

Feature Image Screenshot via Chris Sumo

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