Japan's national sport of sumo conjures up visions of very large loincloth-clad men crashing into one another. But lately, a new breed of sumo wrestler is stepping into the ring. At just over 50 pounds, Mei Kigawa may not look like a sumo wrestler, but the shy fifth-grader is no pushover.
‘Sumo is for everyone’
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Change is not something that occurs quickly or unexpectedly in the ancient and highly conservative sport of sumo. However, that seems to be exactly what happened earlier today Apr. This shocking announcement was made at a roughly minute-long press event in Tokyo organized by the Japan Sumo Association. Sumo wrestlers in the ring wearing the now defunct mawashi. Following the earth-shattering press event, news commentators across Japan took to the airwaves. While a small minority seemed accepting of the new policy, the vast majority called it nothing more than a shameful attempt to distract the public from a recent series of scandals involving senior wrestlers physically abusing their juniors. Yamane, however, told Nippon Rai News that these scandals had nothing to do with the decision to outlaw the mawashi :. Nudity is not something we Japanese are embarrassed of.
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Women ordered off stage at sumo contest after trying to help stricken mayor
Combining her considerable height and heft with flashes of speed, her practice bouts end with a succession of opponents thrown to the ground or shoved unceremoniously out of the ring. On a humid, wet afternoon in central Japan , Okumura draws on her reserves of strength for a final, punishing series of drills with a male opponent. By the end, it is hard to tell who is more exhausted. Training is centered on two dohyo — a dirt-covered 4. As amateurs, the women athletes at Asahi and other universities are not bound by the ancient traditions governing professional sumo - in which only men can compete. But that might not be the case for much longer. Many hope the ban on women joining the professional sumo ranks will one day be overturned, proving that deep-seated misogyny has no place in a sport striving to be accepted as an Olympic event. The row was triggered by after several women, including at least one nurse, rushed on to the ring to administer first aid to the local mayor, who had collapsed after suffering a stroke. Using the public address system, the referee repeatedly ordered them to leave the ring , but the women refused.
Steeped in tradition, sumo has long been the ultimate old-boys club — a sport dominated by larger-than-life men, a realm where women are not welcome. In fact, in the professional ranks, they are forbidden from even stepping into a ring, let alone wrestling. But the sumo world may soon be in for a giant shock. Women have arrived on the scene, and in recent years, the sport has taken off on the amateur level. All over Japan, girls and women are strapping on traditional mawashis traditional sumo thongs over their leotards and raising more than a few eyebrows in the process. When you envision the prototypical sumo wrestler, year-old Yoko Yamata almost certainly does not come to mind. Young, slim and attractive, she looks more like a figure skater or a ballerina than a sumo wrestler. A kickboxer, maybe, but not a sumo wrestler. Yamata, who has taken judo and karate, began her amateur sumo career several months ago. She once dreamed of being the next Jackie Chan, but she's set those plans aside for the time being to compete in her latest pursuit.