100th All Okinawa Bullfighting Tournament

100th All Okinawa Bullfighting Tournament

Masahide Sakugawa, the owner of Furugen Motors☆Wakariki, which won the tournament. Wakariki is the bull on the left. At the Ishikawa Multipurpose Dome on November 10.

November 11, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Okinawa Prefectural Bullfighting Federation and the Ryukyu Shimpo held the 100th All Okinawa Togyu (Bullfighting) Autumn Tournament at the Ishikawa Multipurpose Dome on November 10. Twenty-six bulls competed in 13 bouts in the largest bullfighting event in Okinawa. The defending champions defeated the challengers in every weight class.

This event marked the 100th occasion that autumn and spring tournaments have been held since its establishment in 1962. About 5,000 fans and tourists attended the event, excitedly cheering on the bulls as they smacked head first into one another.

In the open-class championship, Furugen Motors☆Wakariki defeated debutant Oyawakadaisho in a bout that lasted 3 minutes and 54 seconds, thereby keeping the champion’s flag in his first title defense.

In the under 970-kilogram middle-weight class, current champion Toshohayate defended his title for the fourth time, defeating Hachinantogairaimu. Ryujinjanaoyakata got though his first title defense in the under 850-kilogram light-weight class.

By successfully defending his title, Furugen Motors☆Wakariki is recognized as the strongest bull in Okinawa. His owner, Masahide Sakugawa, said, “I am happy to say the least. It is marvelous to be able to win the 100th tournament. We worked very hard to achieve this.”

Sakugawa said, “Wakariki fought just as I hoped he would. I thought that he would win if he could fight on his terms.”

Sakugawa started working in bullfighting 20 years ago and won the 75th tournament in 2000. Because they are similar in facial appearance and physique, he gave Wakariki the same name as a bull that used to win tournaments.

In preparation for the competition, Sakugawa trained his bull as he always does. He said, “It is important to fix the weak points in your bull’s fighting style. I want him to be able to continue defending his title.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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