Not A Cockfight But A Spider-Fight: Kajiki
Jun. 19,2002. M.Sekine
Having finished a day's work, I hurried to Osaka airport to take a flight
for Kagoshima to watch the spider-fight. On Sunday Jun. 16, 2002, the Kumo
Gassen was held in Kajiki town, central Kagoshima Pref., Kyusyu Island
The Kumo Gassen, an annual traditional event in Kajiki town,
is a spider-wrestling match. This event has long and an unbroken tradition
of four hundred and nine years. Both children and adults in and around Kajiki,
have searched for stronger spiders, and have made preparations for many
days for the spider-fight. Spiders are raised carefully. The owner feeds
a spider. Feed is an insect, such as a grasshopper or a beetle. And sometimes
the owner sprays Shochu or distilled liquor on his spider to stimulate
it, and encourages it as well; or he injects a vitamin pill solution into
the beetle that falls prey to the spider.
About four hundred spiders and three thousand audience were collected
there. And, the event went on and on for seven long hours. Two spiders are
placed on a stick, where they try to push each other off in a battle for
the territory. Also, a Spider-Beauty-Contest is held at the same time. All
the spiders entered in the event are female Black and Yellow Argiopes.
Many people gather there, from spider-maniacs like myself to the local
people who have just come to watch. The excitement in Kajiki town mounted
to fever pitch all day long. And, this event brings the same amount of excitement
to all the people gathered there, as in the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan.
And, let's face it; the tradition of this Kumo Gassen is a lot longer
than FIFA's. That's for sure!
More info and pictures (1)
See also: Wikipedia