Japanese councillor sues city for the right to attend meetings dressed as his masked wrestling alter-ego Skull Reaper
Written by tokyoclub on July 6, 2021
A councilman is suing the city of Oita in Japan after the council refused to allow him to wear his professional wrestling facemask in official meetings.
The councilman, known by his professional wrestling moniker ‘Skull Reaper A-ji’, was first elected to a seat on the city council in 2013 with a campaign demanding educational reform and improved social welfare facilities.
But city councillors immediately protested against his decision to wear his professional wrestling attire and the council promptly banned him from doing so.
Skull Reaper officially filed a lawsuit last week against the ‘website discrimination’ of Oita City, demanding that it show his masked face on the website and cough up 5 million yen in damages.
Skull Reaper’s plight began eight years ago, when after winning a seat on the Oita City council, he was swiftly banned by his fellow councillors who disapproved of his luche-libre style attire.
‘If I take my mask off, I’m an entirely different person,’ he told the Nikkan Sports newspaper.
‘I will not take it off.’
Despite the ban on attending council meetings with his mask, the councillor has been re-elected to his seat twice by his constituents and is currently serving his third term on the council.
His lawsuit relating to website discrimination is his latest action after a series of hearings held between April and June in district court ultimately ended with the council’s refusal to meet Skull Reaper’s requests.