Inflatable Sumo Suit Competition Deemed Culturally Insensitive and Canceled



A food bank fundraiser at Queen's College in Canada was canceled when the hosting organization, the Alma Mater Society, received a complaint:
They "appropriate an aspect of Japanese culture," turn a racial identity into a "costume," and "devalue an ancient and respected Japanese sport, which is rich in history and cultural tradition." They also "fail to capture the deeply embedded histories of violent and subversive oppression that a group has faced."

The Alma Mater Society on Monday published a two-page apology letter, and cancelled a foodbank fundraiser scheduled for Tuesday, which was to feature two sumo suits. The letter scolds the student government's own executive for "marginalizing members of the Queen's community" and failing to "critically consider the racist meaning behind [the fundraiser.]"

Link -- Thanks, Jeremy Barker! | Photo: (unrelated) flickr user jasonippolito, used under Creative Commons license | Previously on Neatorama: Sumo Suit Athletics World Championships

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In all likelihood, the person who complained hasn't even practised sumo wrestling themselves, but felt the need to 'stand up' for the poor sumo wrestlers, who of course, can't stand up for themselves, ya know, cause they're so small and weak. Right. I have a feeling that actual sumo wrestlers will do one of the following:

1. Not give a damn, because they know what their culture is and are proud of it, regardless of what some Canadian University does to hold a fund-raiser for a foodbank. (what an anti-Japan gathering that is... whew... amazing people didn't get arrested)

2. Never know, because they won't ever see this article, nor would they have reason to.

3. Be happy that Canadians are fund-raising for a worth cause and ignore the suits that probably have "Made in Japan" on the tag.
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I like the way the usual posters like Felix and Von bring in complete non-issues whenever topics like these come up. And I also like the way this article was posted to give an incomplete representation of the story, as it misleads those who do not completely read the links to the article.

The student government and Alma Mater society were the ones that were involved with this incident, NOT the nation of Japan.

In fact, this is the first time I've ever heard of anyone claiming these suits were 'racist,' and they've been around for YEARS. Why is it we never heard of such complaints before?
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