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Oki Bull Sumo 隠岐の牛突き

Bull Sumo Bull Sumo
Bull Sumo Bull Sumo

Bullfighting where the only harm comes to the losing bull's pride

Two snorting black bulls, heads down and horns interlocked, push and shove each other until one gives up and retreats.

Bull sumo, known as ushi-tsuki or togyu, takes place at several places in Japan, most famously Okinawa. However, some believe it originated here in the Oki Islands in the early 13th century as a form of entertainment for the Emperor Go-Toba, who was exiled here.

How to Get There

Located just outside the main town of Saigo, Momo Dome is four kilometers from the ferry port.

Local buses pass nearby. Your hotel or the tourist information office can advise on timetables, taxis, etc.

A trial of brute strength and will

No longer practiced on the other islands, bull sumo is still very popular on Dogo, the largest of the Oki Islands. Competition is organized into six tournaments a year held at four bullrings around the island; three of the rings are open-air, and one is under a dome.

The bulls compete in different weight categories so the matches are fairly even, and big crowds cheer on their favorites. Each bull has a handler holding a rope attached to its nose.

This is more a trial of strength than a violent sport, and the champion bulls are honored throughout the island.

Momo Dome Bullring

Momo Dome, near the main port town of Saigo, puts on demonstration bouts every week for visitors. There you can also see a small display of paraphernalia and photos of past champions.

* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.

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