Oki Mōmō Dome, Bull Sumo Demonstration
Traditional culture said to be the oldest bullfighting tradition in Japan.
Oki Ushi-zuki Bull Sumo is a traditional culture said to be the oldest bullfighting tradition in Japan. Even the sightseeing demonstrations are intensely powerful!
Bullfighting traditions exist in various places around the world. In Japan they are known under various names, such as "bull sumo" or "bull horn thrusting." In the Oki Islands, the tradition is said to have begun as a way to entertain the retired Emperor Go-Toba, who was exiled to these islands after the Jōkyū Disturbance in 1221. It has since been passed down as a traditional culture that shows the hospitality of the island people.
Honbasho tournaments, in which bulls are allowed to win or lose, are held every year in August, September, and October. Outside of these tournaments, sightseeing demonstrations are also held, which tourists are welcome to watch. The venue is Oki Mōmō Dome, located near Saigō Port, the entrance to Okinoshima Town. Outside Oki Kokubunji Temple, this all-weather wooden dome can host bull sumo matches at any time of year.
As you enter the dome, you will see banners lined up with the names of each of the bulls written on them, just like in a venue for professional sumo. In a sightseeing demonstration, the match must end in a draw. At their largest the bulls can be over 1000 kg, making for a powerful sight that will overwhelm you with the bulls' bulging muscles and bravery. Before and after the match, the bulls obediently follow the directions of their handlers, showing a solemnity as if they too are filled with pride in this tradition, passed down through generations as they live together with humans. After the matches end, you can take a commemorative photo together with the bulls.
Watch an 800-year-old tradition unfold before your eyes, and experience the flow of time characteristic of the Oki Islands.
- The demonstration is held irregularly, please inquire if you would like to participate.
- Around 15 min
- Okinoshima Town Tourism Association
- Meeting place
- Oki Mōmō Dome
- Meeting Place Address
- Furomae-19 Ikeda, Okinoshima, Oki District
- Meeting Place Map
- Same as the meeting place