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Is it true that sumo, a traditional Japanese martial art, is for men only?

According to AFP, sumo – known as traditional Japanese martial arts, which is only for men but today more and more Japanese women want and are determined to compete in this martial art.

Japanese sumo

Even women in Japan are not allowed to step on the ring for any reason. In 2003, Ms. Fusae Ohta, the mayor of Osaka City, once asked to go to the sumo ring to give the prize to the champion of a tournament. However, this wish of Ms. Ohta was denied outright.

However, under the struggle of many people, sumo in Japan is gradually developing in the female community, especially in schools. Sayaka Matsuo, a 19-year-old female sumo fighter, said she inherited her passion for sumo fighting from her father, a true sumo fighter.

AFP news agency quoted Matsuo: “I came to sumo as a hobby from a young age. I have been under a lot of pressure from my father and I look forward to one day winning the World Sumo Championship for Women. ” Weighing only 60kg, Matsuo must practice daily with people who weigh 2.5 times her (about 150kg).

Part of the reason why sumo is not allowed for Japanese women is because of the huge amount of food that every sumo fighter has to load, which is considered excessive for women. In addition, eating so much creates financial problems. Japanese women are not supported in sumo competitions, so they do not receive much financial support from their families and society.

Anna Fujita, a 21-year-old female sumo wrestler, said that her students did not have much money so they had to follow a poor quality diet than male sumo fighters.

But since the weight of less than 65kg has been set for women, quite a few women participate in sumo training and competitions. Hideto Tsushima of Nihon University (Japan) believes that in their teenage years, female sumo fighters are even stronger than their male counterparts. During a match at the University of Tokyo, a female sumo fighter knocked a male boxer twice his weight out of the ring.

Currently, sumo for women has not been officially recognized in Japan when the women’s tournament is only in the amateur framework. However, with the increasing number of female sumo clubs, the number of female sumo wrestlers in Japan will increase significantly in the future. Mr. Toshiaki Hirahara, coach of sumo club of the University of Tokyo, said that sumo needs to be open for women to be able to become an Olympic sport in the future.



Japanese female fighters fight against bad prejudice about sumo wrestling (Part 2)

The referee’s actions in the match sparked controversy about sexism in sumo and created a wave of criticism aimed at sports officials who “attach importance to regulation over human life”.

Sumo is considered a martial art symbolizing the sacred traditions of Japan. A martial art that the boys show off their health and a muscular body but big and powerful. Sumo martial arts in Japan completely prohibits the participation of women with the notion that women are not … clean.

The rule also prohibits female politicians from entering the stage of an awards competition.

If you are a Japanese woman, then you will be able to see ‘sumo’ pictures

The Japanese Sumo Association still doesn’t allow women to compete in professional sumo up to now.

Kon rarely loses a sumo match, whether the opponent is male or female. But she said most other female boxers quit training when they finished elementary school.

Going to university, Kon became the third female student to join the sumo club.

If you are a Japanese girl, then you will be invited to the sumo show.

Hiyori Kon, the protagonist of the new Netflix documentary, Little Miss Sumo, strives to fight for women’s equality in sumo.

Little Miss Sumo was broadcast worldwide by Netflix on 4/11, contributing to the voices that demand gender equality in Japan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he wanted to step up policies to empower women in a society that values ​​traditional values ​​like Japan. Japanese women are also questioning the range of constraints they face both at work and at home.

Kon is one of two Japanese people on the list of the 100 most inspiring and influential women in the world in 2019, according to the BBC’s vote.

The other is Yumi Ishikawa, an actor and writer who initiated a movement to protest against women being forced to wear high heels at work #KuToo. KuToo means “shoes” and “pain” in Japanese.



Learn about sumo – the traditional Japanese wrestling for fat people (Part 3)

At the end of the training, they became sumo fighters and in turn were classified into different ranks in the world, depending on their competency, achievement and competition experience. Specifically, there are 6 levels: Yokozuna, Ozeki, Sekiwate, Komusubi, Maegashira and Jyuryo.

Each rank has a different outfit and style. From the Jonidan level and below, fighters wore traditional Yukata costumes and Geta sandals. On a higher level (Makushita and Sandanme) they can wear a traditional short coat over Yukata and Zori sandals. Boxers who have been recognized as Sekitori wear silk robes and also wear more elaborate buns called Oicho.

The competition rules of this sport are quite simple. The ring is just a clay circle with a diameter of 4.55 m. The winner is the person who is knocked back or knocked away from the ring by the opponent. Strings include wrestling, patting, pulling, poking, locking, and punching-in-the-beat, with no punches, kicks or bites allowed.

During the entrance ceremony there are many quite special points. This ceremony is divided into several stages. First of all, the stampede and warm-up ceremony. Next is the Shinto disinfection ceremony, also known as the salt-throwing ceremony. The two gladiators headed to the corner, picked up a handful of salt and threw it into the ring, then looked down at each other.

The unique style and power of each boxer is clearly shown at this first sight. After the Shinto ceremony ended, the two boxers used all their strength to rush into each other with the first shot called Tachi-Ai. A sumo match is fast but fierce, usually no longer than 1 minute.

The venue for the sumo matches is usually held at the Ryogoku Kokugikan national sumo stadium. Above the arena is a Tsuriyane hanging roof designed to simulate the architecture of Shinto shrines. This shows the powerful influence of Shinto religion in sumo martial arts.

Every year, in January and May, when the grand sumo tournament takes place, Ryogoku Kokugikan will attract many people who love this sport. There are spectators who can sit for 10 hours straight to watch the matches.

Currently, despite experiencing many changes of modern life and the introduction of Western culture. Currently, there are many sumo fighters from other countries such as Mongolia, Bulgaria but sumo is still a traditional culture, a religious ritual in Japanese culture.




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