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and was given first aid by a female nurse who entered the male-only ring has said the sport’s ancient ban on women is outdated.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Tatami said the ban is outdated, especially in life-threatening situations.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

Haphazard History: The origins of the Boitanio name in Williams Lake

In Williams Lake, the Boitanio name is quite well known.

Slideshow: Williams Lake marks 100 years since the Great War’s Armistice

Despite a chilly morning, hundreds of lakecity residents turned up for 2018 Remembrance Day Service.

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Remembrance Day ceremonies Sunday, Nov. 11

Ceremonies in Williams Lake will include a service, laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph, a flyover and comradeship at the legion

Hard work pays off for T-wolves at Penticton tourney

The Williams Lake Peewee Timberwolves claimed a silver medal during the weekend

Lack of public response threatens B.C. referendum credibility

Of the few who have voted, poll finds most rejected proportional representation

Grim search for more fire victims; 31 dead across California

More than 8,000 firefighters battled wildfires that scorched at least 1,040 square kilometres

Politicians need to do better on social media, Trudeau says

Prime minister suggests at conference in Paris some are trying to use technology to polarize voters

Wally Buono exits CFL, stinging from painful playoff loss

B.C. Lions lost the Eastern semifinal to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday, 48-8

Pot company hopes to replace jobs lost in mill closure in B.C. town

About 200 workers lost their jobs when the Tolko sawmill in Merritt shuttered in 2016

Funding announcement promises to drive business innovation in B.C.

Minister is scheduled to make the announcement at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College

Conifex announces a temporary curtailment in operations at Fort St. James mill

Between 180 and 200 people will be affected by the curtailment for at least four weeks

Ticats destroy Lions 48-8 in CFL East Division semifinal

Wally Buono’s last game as B.C. coach ends in disappointment

Most Read