Sunday, March 20, 2016

Okinawa Bull Fighting

A few months back there was a big ol hooplah on facebook about Anthony Bourdain doing an episode purely on Okinawa. So, of coarse Alvie and I jumped on the bandwagon and checked out the episode. It showed a lot of things that we thought were kinda silly ( like a family mart obsession) and then of coarse it showed the traditional Okinawan Bull Fighting. Now, I didn't realize this was a tradition purely Okinawan, NOT Japanese... which if you know anything about Okinawa, it was once it's own country until Japan took over. So, most of the people still identify with being Okinawan, not Japanese.

MORAL of that one is that once I saw that I put a bull fight on my Oki Bucket list before we go. Surprisingly most of the people I know who live here have never been! Blasphemy.

I am pretty sure today was the last fight of the season (I could be wrong), so I grabbed all the kids, solo, and decided to head out. Thankfully my sweet friend and her hubs showed up to help me keep the kiddos out of the ring.

Before the fights started there was awesome music (traditional) and a bull/dog looking thing. It was two guys in the costume and really it was pretty intense!

The fighting started and I realized these bulls are not crazy fighting ravenous beasts. They had to be provoked (most of them) by their trainers through stomping and yelling to get them to fight.

I am all about being humane etc. So, this was definitely not a good way to model that for the kids. Plus side is that these bull fights are just until the other bull pulls away or retreats. There is no fight to the death etc. Only once did we see one bull who just seemed out for blood, and that is when we packed it up and left.


Overall I think it is definitely an experience you should check out if you're on Okinawa! So traditional and honestly pretty crazy. They just walked these bulls right through the parking lot, like RIGHT next to my kids! I made Stella jump back in the car because it made me so nervous! They also let you walk through the stalls and pet the bulls. We kept our hands back but we did check them out. Buff stuff.

Something you will never ever see or get to experience in the states. So, go out and do it, get out of your comfort zone and experience a true Okinawan tradition.

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