• Kyodo


As she aims for the pinnacle of women’s sumo, 14-year-old Mayu Yanagihara is driven by a burning desire to compete on the men-only stage of the ancient sport’s spiritual home.

The junior high school student from Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, who trains against boys in a sport dominated by men, has from the start dreamed of wrestling at the venerated Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, even if the Japan Sumo Association (JSA) refuses to allow women to enter the ring.

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