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Naha residents, tourists see first bullfights in 38 years

Date Posted: 2003-10-18

It has been 28 years since Okinawan traditional bullfights have been seen in Naha City, but one of the highlights of the Naha Festival over the past weekend was a series of ten bouts on Saturday. Okinawan bullfights pit two animals against each other and the winner is decided when one of the fighters decides that it has gotten enough and turns tail.

The bullfight was organized on Makishi Public Square in the heart of the prefectural capital. The idea of organizing the event came from a prefectural official who thought it might be a good way to attract tourists. Judging from the packed audience, the idea bore fruit as most of the spectators were young couples and families. “This is the first time I have ever seen bullfighting, and I think it is pretty impressive. Also tourists seem to like it, so I hope they do it again,” a female spectator commented.

Bullfighting continues to be popular in rural areas of middle and northern parts of Okinawa with several tournaments organized in specially made bullfighting rings throughout the year.

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