Women helping to save collapsed mayor's life ordered to leave "sacred" sumo ring in Japan

During a sumo tournament yesterday, Mayor Ryozo Tatami of Maizuro in the Kyoto prefecture was making a speech in the sumo ring when he suddenly collapsed from a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Women and men from the spectator seats rushed to help, and in the video below it looks like it was a woman who was giving him CPR.

But then an announcement over the loudspeaker by a referee said, "Ladies, please leave the dohyo." Apparently, the ladies were in the sumo ring, of which they are barred from entering. Even saving a man's life wasn't a good enough reason to let the inferior sex into the sacred space.

According to The Asahi Shimbun:

At least two women climbed into the dohyo and administered cardiac massage to Tatami.

During the emergency, the women were ordered to leave at least three times in announcements made over the public address system.

The gyoji also said, "Gentlemen, please climb up (to the dohyo)," according to municipal government sources and others.

The Japan Sumo Association chairman later apologized for the referee's idiocy, but only after public criticism. "We would like to offer a profound apology. This instruction was inappropriate under such life-and-death circumstances. The gyoji did it because he was upset."

The mayor was taken to the hospital, where he'll undergo surgery, and was "conscious and talking," thanks at least in part to the women who rush to help him.