Kick ass – Goat-fighting at the Katsuyama Flower Festival

Kick ass – Goat-fighting at the Katsuyama Flower Festival

March 16, 2011, Ryukyu Shimpo

On March 12, many people came to enjoy a goat-fighting, or Hijaorase (Okinawan dialect) event, held annually at the Katsuyama Community Center, Nago City, in the northern part in Okinawa. Two goats butted each other violently in a ring approximately six meters in diameter. The goats lifted their front legs up and swung their horns down on to each other repeatedly with a loud whack. The spectators sitting on the other side of a fence around the ring were enthralled by the contest.

Yokozuna (Grand Champion) Shikuwasa, aged six years old, met the challenge of his three year-old son Sandaguwa in the main bout. Despite the youngster’s physical superiority, Shikuwasa maintained his dignity, defeating his son using his well-refined fighting technique.

During the opening ceremony, people offered a silent prayer for those who perished in the earthquake and tsunami that occurred in the northeast of Japan on March 11. Spectators also gave donations for the disaster victims.

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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