Published: Fri, April 06, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

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

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

On Wednesday when Ryozo Tatami, the 67-year-old mayor of Maizuru in northern Kyoto, collapsed during a speech, two women who were apparently had medical experience hurried into the ring to perform CPR.

Nobuyoshi Hokutoumi, the chairman of the Japan Sumo Association (JSA) and a former grand champion, later apologised for the incident and expressed his appreciation for the women's help. In 1989, Moriyama became the first woman to become chief Cabinet secretary, and in 1990 she asked the association to allow her to enter a ring to present the prime minister's trophy.

The ring is regarded as sacred and women, traditionally seen as "impure", are forbidden from entering.

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In the video, which has gone viral in Japan, the announcer at the sumo stadium features an announcer telling the women repeatedly over the loudspeaker to leave the ring.

The two women rushed into action, leaping to the aid of the collapsed man lying on the ground and pumping at his chest, both evidently medically trained. While the woman was doing her job, a judge from Japan Sumo Association was saying over and over on the public-address system, "Please could the women leave the ring". "I deeply apologize", Hakkaku said in a statement.

Tatami was hospitalized with a brain hemorrhage and underwent surgery but is in stable condition, according to The Japan Times.

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"Things are changing for women in Japan, but it feels like one hand gives and the other takes away".

"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 a statement. Eventually male firefighters arrived with a defibrillator and entered the ring.

This is not the first time that sumo's ban on women has caused controversy.

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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 vehicle accident in central Japan.

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