Makoto Miura is an unusual okamisan, or stablemaster's wife, in the sumo world - in addition to caring for the Minato stable, she also works as a physician and is raising two children.
"It would be a lie to say I don't get tired. But I'm happy, so I can worry about other people," Miura said.
One of her charges at the stable is Mongolian wrestler Ichinojo, who appeared in the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament as a new sekiwake. During the autumn tournament in September, Miura woke up at 4:30 a.m. and drove Ichinojo from the stable in Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture, to Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. She also drove him back to the stable, all the while working at a hospital.
After she comes home, Miura gives the wrestlers massages. "I can tell when their backs hurt by watching their movements," she said.
When Ichinojo developed herpes zoster in mid-October, Miura discovered it during a massage. She immediately arranged his hospitalization, and wrote his medical certificate herself.
Miura also teaches the wrestlers etiquette and manners, and she adds the pronunciation of kanji characters in her e-mails to them, so that wrestlers can learn to read them.
"I'm happy to have this okamisan," Ichinojo said in gratitude for such attentiveness.
Miura is a native of Fukushima Prefecture. She met stablemaster Minato when she was a student at Saitama Medical University's graduate school, and he was an active makuuchi wrestler named Minatofuji who had visited the university hospital to see another wrestler there for treatment. They were married in 2001.
There's one more thing Miura repeatedly tells Ichinojo - to let her know if he has a girlfriend.