Sumo stokes controversy as 'ritually unclean' female medics banished from 'sacred' ring

06 April, 2018, 01:56 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Women Told to Get Out of Sumo Ring As They Tried to Save a Man's Life

The incident rekindled public criticism about the ban as discriminatory against women, prompting the Japan Sumo Association Chairman Hakkaku to issue an apology. The two women were attempting to perform a CPR, but multiple announcements were made over loudspeakers asking them to leave the ring, as told to AFP.

According to sumo tradition, women can not enter the ring, believed to be sacred, because their presence is considered "unclean"-due the belief menstrual blood is "impure"-and would pollute it". The two trying to save his life were forced to leave the ring because of a sumo tradition that bars "impure" women from polluting the sanctity of the arena.

Women are traditionally barred from entering or touching the sumo ring, known as the dohy?

According to sources, including the tour's local executive committee, at a little past 2 p.m., while giving an address, Mayor Ryozo Tatami, 67, suddenly collapsed onto his back. "I deeply apologize", Hakkaku said in a statement quoted in Reuters, adding he was deeply grateful to the women who provided first-aid response.

"Ladies, please get off the ring", a sumo referee said, determinedly.

In a statement, the sumo association's chief, who goes by the name Hakkaku, described the announcements as "inappropriate" under the circumstances. "It was an inappropriate response in the life-threatening situation".

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In this screenshot, first responders remove Maizuru mayor Ryozo Tatami, 67, from a sumo ring on a stretcher after he collapsed while making a speech on April. 4, 2018.

The mayor, who suffered an acute cerebral hemorrhage, survived and was in a stable condition on Thursday after undergoing emergency surgery, city officials said.

Eventually some male firefighters arrived with a defibrillator machine and took control of the situation.

Sumo wrestling is one of Japan's most popular sports and it's deeply embedded in Shinto religious principles.

"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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