Sunday, March 10, 2013
Butting heads in Okinawa: Goat Fights
This weekend nestled in the mountains of northern Okinawa was an event that I simply couldn't miss. The star of the event, at least according to the signs, was the shikwasa. Chances are you're familiar with this green citrus because of the sweet and tangy lemonade-type drink available in the vending machines around the island.
Although I absolutely love shikwasa I was not there for the fruit, I was there for the goats.
Why drive all the way to Motobu for goats you ask? Besides the fact that they are freakin' adorable today was going to be goad fights. Goat fights are one of the many little pieces of Okinawa's culture which is kept alive today.
Much like the more popular bull fights, goat fights are goat vs goat. Both goats go noggin' to noggin' until a winner comes out on top. To be completely honest I am not entirely sure what the rules are. From what I could tell once a goat backs down or decides he doesn't want to participate the other goat is declared the winner. This is at least what I gathered from watching.
The goats don't have to participate either. If they don't feel like they are in the mood they are removed from the ring and the next participants are brought in.
When both goats decide to face off it's an amazing site. They not only go head to head but they leap up onto their hind legs and slam their horns together. The beauty and power of these goats is something you have to see to believe.
Overall the entire event was very enjoyable. There was great food, music and a community atmosphere that I have not been around in quite a while. Everyone had a smile on their faces and couldn't get enough of the goats which were all around the site. I can't wait until next year to go back!