Canadian University Takes Stand Against Sumo Costumes

April 2, 2010

The student government at Queen's University, in Canada, has announced that it will no longer use sumo costumes in fund raisers because the outfits are racist, The National Post reported. According to a statement from the student government, the costumes "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." The costumes were also faulted for failing "to capture the deeply embedded histories of violent and subversive oppression that a group has faced." The costumers are owned by the athletics division at Queens, which has used them at halftime events. Mike Grobe, athletics spokesman for Queen's Athletics, said he had never heard concerns before. ""They're just big puffy suits. They're pink... No one's complained."

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