Japanese women ordered from sumo ring during first aid

Alyssa Bailey
April 6, 2018

Sumo chief Nobuyoshi Hakkaku said the call for the women to be removed from the ring was inappropriate and apologized late on Wednesday, while thanking the women for their actions.

The 66-year-old mayor of Maizuru city, Ryozo Tatami, collapsed on the dohyo sumo ring in Kyoto on Wednesday.

Several women, medics among them, immediately rushed into the ring to carry out emergency CPR, prompting the referee to repeatedly shout over his PA that they had to leave the ring.

The sumo world has long maintained that the ring is a sacred place and that women can not enter, in a tradition often criticized as discrimination. In a statement he said, "The judge was upset and made the announcement, but it was an inappropriate response because the situation could have been life-threatening". This isn't the first time this tradition has posed an issue in modern society: Japan's first female governor, Fusae Ota, had a recurring issue with the Japan Sumo Association.

Shocking As the women attempt to help the mayor and give him CPR multiple announcements were made over loudspeakers asking them to leave the ring
Shocking As the women attempt to help the mayor and give him CPR multiple announcements were made over loudspeakers asking them to leave the ring

In February, a sumo wrestler was arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, and last month, Egyptian sumo wrestler Osunaarashi was arrested for allegedly driving without a licence when he got into a auto accident in central Japan. "I deeply apologize", Hakkaku said in a statement.

Sumo's male-only tradition has caused controversy in the past, with even top female politicians being prohibited from honoring sumo wrestlers. One of the traditional responsibilities of the governor of Osaka is to crown the champion of an annual sumo tournament, so she would always need to request permission to enter the ring in order to fulfill that duty.

Shinto ceremony blessing the ring. However, they were asked to leave the sumo ring. But the association rejected her entry to the ring in the final round at the Kuramae Kokugikan, sumo's former home arena in Taito Ward, Tokyo.

The men-only tradition is considered "a core part" of Japan's national sport, and the sumo world itself should make any decisions on the matter, Uchidate wrote.

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