Monday, August 5, 2013

Ryukyu Shimpo – Okinawa Bullfighting Federation to publish book commemorating 50th anniversary

The Okinawa Bullfighting Federation held discussions at the Chubu Branch Office of the Ryukyu Shimpo on July 13 about publishing a book to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its establishment. Those present looked back on the famous fighting bulls and their best bouts, including the first Yukari-go, which recorded 41 consecutive wins. They discussed how to promote bullfighting for tourism, and how to maintain its traditions. The federation will release the book on November 10, the day that the 100th All Okinawa Togyu (Bullfighting) Autumn Tournament will be held at the Ishikawa Multipurpose Dome.

Seven people took part in the meeting including Masakazu Kochi, president of the federation, Morisaki Iju, chief editor of the book, Masahide Uehara, former bullfighting commentator, and representatives from the regional bullfighting unions.

They talked about famous bulls such as Ishikawa Chinushirua, which was known for being a hugely skilled fighter, and Uken Toramuku, the first champion at 1st All Okinawa Togyu Tournament held in 1962. Morisaki Iju spoke highly of Yukari-go and said that it was like a sumo wrestler Taiho. They suggested that bullfighting should become a vibrant aspect of tourism in Okinawa to attract visitors from other prefectures. At the same time, they face the challenge of increasing number of bulls and bull owners. The book will include articles from the Ryukyu Shimpo, which has co-sponsored All Okinawa Togyu Tournament since its inception. It will also feature an article on the recent discussion and the history of Okinawan bullfighting.

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