Female judoka in Japan are finally on an equally footing with their male counterparts, able to don the same black belt, the All Japan Judo Federation ruled on March 13.
The federation’s executive board agreed to abolish black belts with white stripes that have differentiated female competitors from males in its competitions held inside Japan.
Both women and men will be donning black belts without the stripes from now on in domestic tournaments.
The practice of issuing judo uniforms differentiating gender has long been criticized as sexist. Striped belts have not been used in international competition since 1999, when the International Judo Federation abolished the practice.