Maizuru Mayor Ryozo Tatami speaks at a press conference in Maizuru, western Japan Thursday, June 28, 2018. (Kyodo News via AP)

Japan mayor saved by nurse says female sumo ban irrelevant

Maizuru Mayor Ryozo Tatami suffered a stroke at a sumo wrestling event and was given first aid by a female nurse who entered the male-only ring.

A Japanese mayor who suffered a stroke at a sumo event and was given first aid by a female nurse who entered the male-only ring has said the sport’s ancient ban on women is outdated.

Ryozo Tatami, the mayor of Maizuru city in northern Kyoto, resumed work Thursday after recovering from the stroke he suffered in April while making a speech in the ring, or “dohyo.” Sumo officials repeatedly demanded that the nurse leave the ring, triggering public criticism of the female ban.

Tatami said the ban is outdated, especially in life-threatening situations.

“Even though sumo has a long history and traditions, its female ban policy is irrelevant today,” Tatami told a news conference on his first day back at work. He was earlier presented with a bouquet as city employees welcomed his return.

“At least in situations requiring first aid, male or female should not matter. Anyone should be allowed to help out,” he said.

When Tatami, 67, collapsed on the dohyo, two women in the audience, including one later identified as nurse, rushed in and started performing first aid as sumo officials looked on helplessly. When two more women entered the dohyo trying to join the effort, a sumo official repeatedly made an announcement demanding that the women get out of the ring.

In male-only sumo, women are considered ritually unclean and are banned from the dohyo, which is considered sacred. Tatami’s case has prompted sumo officials review the policy. Some female mayors also demanded that the sumo association treat them the same as their male counterparts at sumo events.

The head of the sumo association has acknowledged that the announcement at the Kyoto event was inappropriate, but said women can only enter the dohyo in an “emergency.”

Related: Canada asks Japan to clarify adoption stand

Related: Strong earthquake in Japan kills 3

___

Mari Yamaguchi, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

High water and flooding hits Clearwater

Potential for roadblock on Clearwater Valley Road due to potential washouts

Tk’emlups, Simpcw First Nations chiefs call on Tiny House Warriors to leave Blue River protest camp

“The Tiny House Warriors are not from Simpcw, nor are they our guests in our territory.”

District of Barriere Utilities Manager reports to council on Barriere wells

District of Barriere Utilities Manager Ian Crosson presented a verbal report during… Continue reading

Thunder rolls and the North Thompson River is still rising

With a wet start to summer in the North Thompson area, Environment… Continue reading

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Most Read