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and was given first aid by a female nurse who entered the male-only ring has said the sport’s ancient ban on women is outdated.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Tatami said the ban is outdated, especially in life-threatening situations.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.

Just Posted

Appreciation dinner for Keremeos firefighters in the works

Dinner and fundraiser for the Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department to be held Nov. 17 at Victory Hall

Luxury Airbnb in Kaleden has notice issued on title by RDOS

The property owner is accused of performing renovations, renting the chalet without proper permits

Drunk driver gets hammered by judge

Hedley man under virtual house arrest for three months

Sherry Philpott-Adhikary, acclaimed for Village of Keremeos council

Retired teacher has lived in Keremeos for 23 years

Jeremy Evans, acclaimed Village of Keremeos candidate

Council candidate has lived in Keremeos since 1971

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

Lions earn stunning 35-32 OT win over Ticats

Epic comeback lifts B.C. past Hamilton in CFL thriller

Czarnik nets 3 as Flames dump Canucks 5-2

Calgary picks up exhibition win over Vancouver

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

B.C. deaf community wants different sign languages on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

Most Read