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and was given first aid by a female nurse who entered the male-only ring has said the sport’s ancient ban on women is outdated.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Tatami said the ban is outdated, especially in life-threatening situations.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

Oh What a Night! celebrates iconic American legends

Frankie Valli and Andy Williams honoured during Red Deer show

WATCH: Hundreds come out to annual Red Deer Lights the Night

Celebration featured lighting of City Hall Park and Red Deer’s Christmas Tree

Santa Claus comes to Bower Place

Dozens line up Saturday to have photo taken with Jolly Old Saint Nick

Bruce Buruma enters the UCP nomination race for Red Deer South

Vote for candidate takes place early in the New Year

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Trudeau says he won’t negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA

Legislators urged Trump not to sign the agreement unless the language was removed.

Grande Prairie RCMP charge 19 men, ranging in age from 23 to 69, in prostitution sting

Three-day operation targets sex activities in the downtown area

Most Read