25 September 2007

The Latest News from Nippon

Heavyweights panic as woman dives for sumo ring

Thu Sep 20, 12:05 PM

TOKYO (Reuters) - A woman invaded a sumo ring -- a sacred arena from which females are banned -- in Tokyo during a major tournament, domestic media said on Thursday, then was pulled down by a referee and one of the sport's huge wrestlers.

The middle-aged woman dashed from the side of the Kokugikan sumo stadium on Wednesday and shoved away a female security guard before rolling onto the ring just as a bout was set to begin, the Yomiuri newspaper said.

The Japan Sumo Association insisted that though the woman did enter the raised platform around the batting ring, she did not set foot on the ring, or dohyo, itself.

"It's bad for the heart," said Takamisakari, a popular wrestler who helped catch the woman, told the Sports Nippon daily. "What was the person trying to do while we were wrestling seriously?"

It was not clear why she had attempted to reach the ring during one of the sport's heavily televised six big tournaments, but she was carrying a bundle of flyers saying "help, bad spirits," Nikkan Sports daily reported.

Such an intrusion would be a severe faux pas for the ancient sport, which is so serious about keeping females out that a female governor of Osaka had to delegate prize-giving duties to a male subordinate at a 2001 tournament.

Japan's giant wrestlers battle it out in a ring with a diameter of 4.6 meters (15 feet) set in the centre of a sand stage raised around 50 centimeters (19 inches) from the ground.

Tradition forbids women from entering the ring on the grounds that it is sacred and their presence, considered unclean, would pollute it.

"It's just the way it's been from the past," an official from the sumo association said.

Women were also banned in the past from climbing mountains or entering mines in Japan.

Yahoo News


Tokyo Tintin said...

In other Japan news, I read a magazine interview with hated Japanese politician Shintarō Ishihara. Although he was full of himself and his usual rhetoric of the increase in "crimes by Chinese people who have entered [Japan] illegally" and the need for revisionist textbooks to instill patriotism in Japanese youths, he also said that he would not run for another term as governor of Tokyo nor would he return to national politics. Thank god! Then hopefully he can rot in silence with his prejudices and never bother me again!

Jennifer said...

Jesus! I had no idea that I was unclean. Next time I'm in Japan, I'm going I'm going to pollute every sacred place I can find. Assholes.

Tokyo Tintin said...

Now now Jennifer. It sounds to me like you are being culturally insensitive...

Miss Ash said...

Ha, I'm with Jennifer on this one :)

Tokyo Tintin said...

Well, to be honest this article smacks of cultural relativism. "Look at those Japanese — they're so backwards and unprogressive."

From what I understand there are actually female sumo wrestlers who compete in an amature league. It's obviously on a much smaller scale than the professional men's league - but then isn't that true of almost any woman's sport? I have no idea if male wrestlers are forbidden from the female dohyō though.

I just thought it was funny that this crazy lady freaked out these hulking 200kg land whales.

Jennifer said...

Oooh! Really? I could be a sumo wrestler if I wanted? I'm going to stop competing in the BL right now and start eating KFC for dinner every night! Such fun! What do they wear? Ashley, do you want to get some matching sumo outfits and a gross of salt and start putting our American bulk to productive use?

Tokyo Tintin said...


Unfortunately, from what I remember, thier outfits were hugely unflattering. The mawashi-belt thing plus a baggy type of tucked-in muumuu as a top.

Buuut, if it means you can eat fried chicken every day, I'm all for it too. Hell, I love fried chicken so much maybe I should consider becoming a sumo wrestler too!

Jennifer said...

No matter how unflattering it is, I bet I'd look better than the rest of them. I love to hang around with fatties, it makes me look thin, that's why I'm friends with Ashley.

Jay said...
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Jay said...
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