Mayor dies after 'unclean' woman doctor refused entry to sumo ring

Women Told to Get Out of Sumo Ring As They Tried to Save a Man's Life

The 66-year-old mayor of Maizuru city, Ryozo Tatami, collapsed on the dohyo sumo ring in Kyoto on Wednesday.

Japan's sumo association has apologised after women attempting to administer emergency medical treatment to a politician who collapsed in the ring were ordered out of the male-only space.

When two more women rose to the ring trying to join the first aid effort, announcements demanded the women get out of the ring.

Apparently, the Japanese tradition forbids women from entering the ring on the grounds that is sacred and their presence is considered "unclean".

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 ring is traditionally regarded as a sacred place in the ancient sport and purified with rituals by shinto priests before sumo bouts.

"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 the statement.




Footage posted on social media triggered outrage, with many criticizing sumo officials and saying they were choosing tradition over life.

The mayor was transferred to a hospital where he was diagnosed as having suffered a stroke and underwent surgery, but his condition is said to be not life-threatening, Maizuru city officials said Thursday. "I deeply apologize", Hakkaku said in a statement quoted in Reuters, adding he was deeply grateful to the women who provided first-aid response.

This is not the first time there has been a sumo battle of the sexes.

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

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.

The incident occurred at a gym in the Kyoto Preferecture hosting a Japan Sumo Association event on Wednesday.

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