Fusae Ohta

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Fusae Saitō
齊藤 房江
Husae Ota-20060725.jpg
Governor of Osaka Prefecture
In office
5 February 2000 – 4 February 2008
Preceded byKnock Yokoyama
Succeeded byTōru Hashimoto
Personal details
Born (1951-06-02) June 2, 1951 (age 67)
Kure, Hiroshima, Japan
Nationality Japanese

Fusae Ōta (太田 房江, Ōta Fusae, born June 2, 1951) is a Japanese politician, a former governor of Osaka prefecture, and the country's first female prefectural governor. Her real name is Fusae Saitō (齊藤 房江, Saitō Fusae).


Born in Kure, Hiroshima, she later moved to Toyohashi, Aichi.

After graduating from the University of Tokyo with an economics degree in 1976, Ohta entered the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. She served in MITI until 1997, when she became vice-governor of Okayama prefecture. She returned to the ministry in 1999.

Ohta became governor of Osaka prefecture after the resignation of Knock Yokoyama in 2000. She was re-elected in 2004, and after eight years in office was succeeded by lawyer and TV personality Tōru Hashimoto.

Osaka hosts the March sumo tournament, one of Japan's six major tournaments, and the governor of each prefecture presents the "Governor's Prize" to the champion of each tournament. Given the Sumo Association's view that there is a traditional ban on women entering the dohyō (ring), and the ring would be "violated" by an "unclean"[1] woman entering it,[2] she was required to do so on the walkway beside the ring or send a male representative in her place. She repeatedly challenged the Sumo Association's policy by requesting to be allowed to fulfill her traditional role as governor. Her requests were repeatedly rejected until she stepped down from office.

Ohta's family name has been officially registered as Saitō (齊藤) since her marriage, but she uses her maiden name above for most public purposes.

Ohta's family name is romanized as Ohta by the URL of her website (ohtafusae.jp), the state government of Hawaii,[3] the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific,[4] Kansai Window,[5] and Dawn Center.[6] The name is romanized as Ota by WebJapan,[7] the Japan Times[8] and the BBC.[9]


  1. ^ Hindell, Juliet Sumo excludes woman governor BBC News Online March 1, 2000 Retrieved on October 2, 2012
  2. ^ Green, Shane Sumo wrestles with its weightiest problem The Sydney Morning Herald, March 15, 2003 Retrieved on October 2, 2012
  3. ^ http://www.hawaii.gov/gov/news/photo_archive/photo2003/Photo_Album.2003-08-08.0631/ohta/view
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-06-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ KIPPO NEWS Wednesday, March 24, 2004 Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Introduction in English (Publications and Programs) :: DawnCenter
  7. ^ Osaka's New Leader | Education and Society | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
  8. ^ Osaka punishes 163 over slush-fund scams | The Japan Times Online
  9. ^ BBC News | ASIA-PACIFIC | Sumo excludes woman governor

Preceded by
Knock Yokoyama
Governor of Osaka Prefecture
February 2000 – February 2008
Succeeded by
Tōru Hashimoto