Basics on Sporting in Japan by Andrew Ishikawa 1


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I’m not a writer but I did want to share with you guys a brief history on the sport in Japan. I had the opportunity to visit Japan frequently while I was stationed in South Korea and for that I am very grateful.

For those of you that are unaware, Japan is the ONLY first-world country where the sport is legal still to this very day. If some of you are familiar with the TV show “Whale Wars, it is clearly apparent that the Japanese honestly could care less about American tree hugging animal ball washers like PETA and other organizations. They fight dogs and kill Shamu and they don’t hide it, and don’t care what anyone thinks about it. Some animal rights groups are convinced Japan will follow suit and outlaw the sport, hopefully this will help you all understand why it will never be outlawed. Long ago, well before the founding of the 13 original colonies of our country dog fighting was already an alive and well established sport in Japan. It went back as far as the first samurai.

The sport was used to keep the samurai with a warrior mindset in times of peace. Shoguns often kept dogs to compete as well. Of course our breed was not in use in those days but that is where it started. It was passed down from generation to generation. In which to not get too much into Japanese culture, traditions are formed and expectations are put in place for not just one individual but through and entire family’s lineage. Myself, my daddy, my daddy’s daddy all infantry soldiers. All first born sons. There’s a pattern in Japanese families. When you have deep cultural roots in certain things, you don’t change them just to appease a small group of people in a different country.
As far as the sport today in Japan. It’s a way of life for some as I’m sure some of you can relate. The shows will draw anywhere from 10 to a couple thousand spectators, some shows are televised depending on the relevance of the cards. Everything you would expect if it were legal here. The Tosa is still used as a fighting dog today but they also use the APBT, they generally keep them breed specific matches though. As far as Japanese bloodlines go, they got their APBTs from the US obviously so you will find their bloodlines are our bloodlines however, in some cases they took a different path from their US counterparts.


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