Women-only sumo event held in Hokkaido
NHK -- May 14
Women are banned from entering the ring in professional sumo, but the rule doesn't apply to a town in northern Japan that holds a women-only sumo event.

60 amateur wrestlers from all over the country took part in the annual tournament on Sunday in Fukushima Town in Hokkaido.

The town has produced 2 Yokozuna grand champions -- the highest rank in the sport -- and holds the event on Mother's Day.

23-year-old Mako Nishiyama from Tokyo won the tournament for the second year in a row.

Nishiyama said she went all-out from the start because gender plays no role in the commitment to sumo. She also said she is happy to defend her title.

All junior high school boys and girls in the town are taught sumo as part of their physical education classes.

The traditional ban on women is drawing attention after an incident that occurred last month during a promotional event in Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture.

The mayor of the city collapsed while giving a speech. Several women who entered the ring to give him life-saving treatment were told to leave.

News sources: NHK, Kyodo
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