So-called スー女 (sūjo, women who are sumo devotees) are on the rise, joining the ranks of 格闘技女子 (kakutōgijoshi, women who go in for martial arts) who have gone mainstream.
Though 相撲 (sumō, sumo) and the culture surrounding it is still off-limits to women, a huge chunk of them are embracing it as never before. And it’s not just the おばちゃん (obachan, middle aged and older women), who had traditionally formed the core of female sumo fans; these days, AKB48 members send out complementary tickets to their favorite 力士 (rikishi, sumo wrestlers), and most of the 幕内 (maku’uchi, top division) wrestlers are rumored to have at least one girl-group member among their ライン友達 (Rain tomodachi, friends on Line). 時代は変わった (Jidai wa kawatta, “Times have changed”).
Keep reading at The Japan Times.