Whatever hopes fans had for a peaceful end to the year were dashed when Japan Sumo Association officials instructed Takagenji to take part in his regularly scheduled bout on Dec. 11 despite the wrestler being diagnosed with influenza earlier in the day.

Ten years after an influenza A outbreak killed 40 people in Japan, the decision was yet another stunning lack of judgment by JSA executives.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.