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Kyubon Bullfight Tournament in Ishikawa Dome

Date Posted: 2012-08-31

The annual Kyubon Togyu Tournament (Lunar Bon Bullfight Tournament) is set for Sunday at the Ishikawa Dome in Uruma City, the most significant bullfighting tournament on the island this year.

The Sunday afternoon festival features not only exciting bull fighting, but also a belly dance show, an eisa performance and raffle prizes for the audience. Doors open late morning, and the action gets under way at 1 p.m. Tickets are cost ¥3,000. A heads-up note though; every seat is first come, first served basis.

What is the Togyu? Togyu means bull fighting, and there are very big differences from Spanish bullfights that pit a bull against a human. The togyu in Okinawa means bull against bull in the circle ring.

Each bull is lead by one man called the “seko” on the field, and the seko gets the bull pumped up with shouts. Each tournament usually plays about 10 matches, and the later matches of the day are the more powerful contests among high-ranking bulls. The final contest of the tournament is the main match of the day. The fight could be finished in just a r.couple of seconds, or sometimes it can take as long as 30 minutes. That's why the tournament schedule could be from two hours to sometimes over four hours long.

The match is finished when one of the bulls turns tail and runs away, and the venue will explode in applause for the winner.

Almost 40 tournaments are held each year in ten bullfighting rings in various parts of Okinawa throughout the year, most of them on Sundays starting at 1 p.m. although a few are held on Saturdays.

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