Girls not allowed to take part in sumo event
NHK -- Apr 13
The Japan Sumo Association recently barred girls from taking part in a sumo event for children.

The event took place in Shizuoka City on Sunday. It is part of the sumo association's annual promotional tour. At the event, children enter the ring and receive training from professional wrestlers.

According to the organizing committee, girls began taking part in the event with boys about 3 years ago. Several girls were due to join in this year.

But the committee only allowed boys to enter the ring on Sunday, in accordance with the request made by the sumo association 4 days before the event.

A public relations official for the sumo association says the request was made because some girls were injured in previous events. The official says the association will also discourage girls from taking part in similar events during future promotional tours.

The association has traditionally prohibited women from entering the ring. The ban is now at the center of a debate in Japan, following an incident during a recent promotional tour.

The mayor of Maizuru City, located in Kyoto Prefecture, collapsed during a speech in the ring last week. A female nurse entered the ring to try to treat him. When 2 other women followed, and tried to assist, a referee told all the women through a microphone to leave the ring.

The mayor survived. The chairman of the sumo association apologized later that day and said the announcement was inappropriate, even if the referee was upset about the emergency.

News source: NHK
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