Technology

Women Trying to Save Man's Life Ordered Out of Sumo Ring

Women Trying to Save Man's Life Ordered Out of Sumo Ring

The move called for widespread criticism and after the backlash the Japan Sumo Association released an apology.

The incident happened in Kyoto after Maizuru City Mayor Ryozo Tatami collapsed while delivering a speech.

On Wednesday, women who rushed to save a man who collapsed were ordered to leave the ring because of the sport's tradition that women are "impure" and can not enter it, reports the Japan Times.

"The referee was upset and made the announcement, but it was an inappropriate response because the situation could have been life-threatening", Hakkaku said in the statement. "Without the women's effort, the life of one person might have been lost".

Meanwhile, sumo officials threw large quantities of salt into the ring after the women had left, in an apparent bid to "re-purify" the sacred space, according to witnesses cited in local media. "We offer a honest apology", said Hokutoumi, who is also known as Hakkaku, the name of the sumo stable he heads.

"Of course it is important to protect tradition, but the way it excludes women perhaps is out of step with the times, and that's how I feel as a woman", said Yurika Mita, a newscaster on a Fuji Television Network talk show.

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He also said the association "deeply thanks the women for giving first-aid treatment". Osaka Governor Fusae Ota requested in 2000 to be allowed to enter the ring to hand out a prize at a tournament, but the association denied her permission, forcing her to hand out the award on a walkaway next to the ring.

The incident occurred at a gym in the Kyoto Preferecture hosting a Japan Sumo Association event on Wednesday.

Shinto ceremony blessing the ring. She too found herself banned from the ring.

Mayumi Moriyama, then the head of the labor ministry's bureau dealing with the welfare of children and women, lodged a protest alleging discrimination.

Not all have criticized the tradition as discrimination.

"It goes without saying I'm against gender discrimination", she wrote in a 2006 book, adding that if older cultural traditions are maintained, "it is only natural that they won't fit today's way of thinking and lifestyle".


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