Women, Aiding Collapsed Mayor, Told To Leave 'Sacred' Ring

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The response was inappropriate considering that someone’s life was in danger. I am deeply sorry,” JSA chief Nobuyoshi Hakkaku said in a statement.

Japanese Mayor suffered a stroke while giving a speech at a sumo event in Kyoto, Japan and female medics rushed to save his life. However, they were asked to leave the sumo ring.

According to reports, Maizuru city mayor Ryozo Tatami, 66, collapsed while he was addressing people. As soon as he collapsed, a number of women ran towards him in the ring to give him medical assistance. However, the sumo judge told them to step off the area.

Apparently, the Japanese tradition forbids women from entering the ring on the grounds that is sacred and their presence is considered “unclean.” They also believe women would pollute the ring which is purified with rituals by shinto priests before sumo bouts.

The mayor was rushed to a hospital where he remained in stable condition.

The move called for widespread criticism and after the backlash the Japan Sumo Association released an apology.

“The response was inappropriate considering that someone’s life was in danger. I am deeply sorry,” JSA chief Nobuyoshi Hakkaku said in a statement.

However, this is not the first time for such an incident to take place.

In 2003, the female governor of Osaka Fusae Ohta was barred from entering the ring and was forced to present governor’s prize on a walkway next to the ring.

Sumo wrestling journalist Taro Arai said, “I think it is all right for women to get on the ring when there is a reason to do so. There is no historical ground or reason at all why they cannot. In the past, there have been cases where little girls got on the ring and wrestled with sumo wrestlers in sumo fan events. So, in fact, women on the ring has been approved by the Sumo Association (previously).”

Banner / Thumbnail : Kyodo/via REUTERS

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