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Sumo wrestlers banned from growing ‘indecent’ beards, getting tattoo



Japan has placed a ban on growing ‘indecent’ beards, having long nails and getting tattoos for Sumo wrestlers.

The ancient sport is a ritualistic one said to date back more than 1,500 years, and some of the wrestlers say beards can bring them good luck.

But officials have told them beards – along with long nails and tattoos – are no longer allowed.

“The sumo ring is sacred and it’s important spectators don’t see anything unsightly,” Japan Sumo Association (JSA) elder Oguruma said.

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The BBC noted that Oguruma revealed this to the media after a meeting of the JSA in Osaka, where the wrestlers’ association was informed of the new regulations.

“The dohyo ring is sacred. I want the people to feel good when they watch the sport,” he added.

Media in Japan say Sumo officials have called beards “indecent” and want them gone as part of a wider move to clean up the sport’s image, following a series of scandals in recent years.

“It’s an important point so we must absolutely adhere to it,” said grand champion Kakuryu.


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