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Tue, Sep. 8, 2015 Bullfighting in Uwajima: Passion and Tradition
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Uwajima is a traditional castle town in Ehime Prefecture. The people there have a long tradition of bullfighting. Huge bulls weighing about a ton battle each other for supremacy in the ring. Close bonds develop between the people and their bulls. Kyle Card meets the local people and discovers their passion for bullfighting.

Uwajima City Bull Ring
Uwajima City Bull Ring
Every year, five regular bullfighting tournaments are held in Uwajima. The next tournament will take place on Sunday October 25, 2015.
Address: 496-2 Warei-cho, Uwajima City, Ehime Pref.
tel: +81 (0)895-22-3934
Yumin (fisherman's guesthouse)
Yumin (fisherman's guesthouse)
This guesthouse is run by a family that has produced cultured pearls for three generations. It also offers activities such as pearl jewelry making, fishing, and boat trips to view the terraced hillsides.
Address: 995-3 Hiraura, Uwajima City, Ehime Pref.
tel: +81 (0)895-28-0182
Yusu Mizugaura Dandan-batake (terraced hillsides)
Yusu Mizugaura Dandan-batake (terraced hillsides)
Over generations, the people of Uwajima carved out terraces in the steep hillside to create fields for farming. This site has been designated as an important cultural landscape of Japan.
Address: 2323-3 Yusu, Uwajima City, Ehime Pref.
Nonaka Kamaboko (deep-fried/steamed fish paste shop)
Nonaka Kamaboko (deep-fried/steamed fish paste shop)
This shop founded 110 years ago sells cakes of fish paste that are deep-fried or steamed. Every morning, visitors can buy freshly cooked jakoten, or deep-fried fish paste.
Address: 1-53 Horibata-cho, Uwajima City, Ehime Pref.
tel: +81 (0)895-25-7711
To reach Uwajima from Tokyo, flights from Haneda Airport to Matsuyama take about 85 minutes. From Matsuyama, it takes about 90 minutes to Uwajima by express train.
Travel Log

Traveler: Kyle Card > More Info


Occupation:actor / talent

Length of residence in Japan:7 years

Improving my Japanese and work as an actor

I was very pleased to be given the opportunity to explore Uwajima, a part of Shikoku I had never visited or heard much about in my previous travels. What I discovered was an area rich in traditional culture and history, with passionate and inspiring narratives.

The half-agriculture/half-fishing system — including the creation of dandan-batake (terraced fields) — illustrates the tenacity of the people of Uwajima. Traditionally a poor area due to geographical constraints, the people of Uwajima took what they were given by nature and made it work. They didn't give up, they didn't complain, they made it work.

This dedicated hard work and tenacity was rewarded in modern times with the boom of the pearl-cultivation industry, which brought the local people unprecedented prosperity.

Uwajima's traditional bullfighting culture holds similar narratives. The daily regimen for one fighting bull includes daily hikes up a mountainside, paired with other training methods to keep him in top condition, ready to fight on any given day and ready to win. These methods show the importance of the daily grind, a constant advance towards a specific goal — and that success is always cultivated through unrelenting hard work.

I left Uwajima refreshed and inspired by these realizations, which I have since tried to apply to my own life and communicate to others as well. I recommend anyone to visit Uwajima and experience this extraordinary area for themselves. I promise that one will leave filled with a new tenacity and passion for life they have never experienced before.

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