MAIZURU, Kyoto -- Several women who were trying to provide first aid to a mayor who collapsed in a sumo ring here on April 4 were told to step down from the mound by the Japan Sumo Association (JSA). Women are traditionally banned from entering sumo rings.
According to people at the scene, the mayor of the city of Maizuru in Kyoto Prefecture, 67-year-old Ryozo Tatami, suddenly collapsed in a sumo ring in the city while giving a speech during a Grand Sumo tour.
A number of people rushed into the ring to help Tatami, including several women. However, in response, a JSA representative repeatedly stated, "Please could the women leave the ring," through the public address system, the witnesses said.
The head of the JSA, Nobuyoshi Hakkaku, later apologized, saying, "The response was inappropriate considering that someone's life was in danger. I am deeply sorry."
A YouTube video showing the scene can be viewed at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCeEgSNcN64