I promised more Japanese dog dressing and you don’t get outfits more elaborate than those worn by Tosa Inu.  The breed, which originated in the Tosa district on the Island of Shikoku, was created in the second half of the 19th century, when medium-sized Japanese hunting dogs were mixed with mastiffs, Great Danes and bull terriers, among other Western breeds. The result: A big, muscular fighter.

Or should I say wrestler. Tosa Inu fights, which still take place in Japan, are a far cry from pit bull battles. For one thing, they’re legal. For another, no blood, teeth, or even growling are involved; the fight ends as soon as any aggressiveness is displayed. Just like the sumo wrestlers to whom they’re often compared, the dogs work to overbalance each other and pin each other to the ground. For more detail, see the Bulldog Information link on Dog Breeders of the World, which is also the source of the picture.

The dogs wrestle naked (similar to sumos) but the winners wear really swell ceremonial clothes.

The winner!
The winner!

Here’s a Tosa Inu just relaxing in a sporty outfit, ready to play in the snow.

Tosa Taro from Matsu Kennel
Tosa Taro from Matsu Kennel

7 thoughts on “Dog Dressing and Sumo Wrestling”

  1. I have read that these dogs are lead into the ring by TWO handlers, & seen a few pics that suggest it’s true: A second handler might just be the ultimate fashion accessory.

    1. Wow, now that’s impressive. I don’t think even the human sumos get dual escorts. And the dog outfits are much more elaborate.

  2. You forgot to mention that Tosa inu fighting referees have admitted that lighter color Tosa inu are not allowed because the blood during the fights will show too easily. You forgot these dogs are commonly forced to fight until they are near heat stroke. You forgot they isolate these naturally social dogs, alone, locked inside a cage until they are desperate for some kind of attention, and are manipulated to rely on no one but their owner. You also forgot that most of these fights are directly connected with the Yakuza. The same mafia that has trafficked drugs, murdered people, terrorized others, and trafficked sex slaves. As they supply the dogs and earn a cut of the money from these fights. The reason why it is legal in some provinces of Japan is because they have threatened to kill people if they speak up. Animal welfare activists in Japan have received threats from the Yakuza that their whole family will be killed if they continued to call for it’s ban.

    So remember: every time you pay for, promote, and defend these dogfights; you support drugs, you support dog neglect, you support murder, you support terrorism, you support sex slavery. In fact you’re giving it a pat on the back when you give them your money and promotion. Never support these fights. They’re not just abusive, but connected to crime.

    1. Thanks very much for this comment. My post was from a long time ago, and I wasn’t aware of how violent these fights were or I never would have posted so cavalierly about them. I appreciate your bringing this to my — and my readers’ — attention.

      1. Oh! Well I didn’t realize that but I’m glad you were able to realize what this pastime is truly like. We all have had supported something without realizing it’s detrimental effects. You’re welcome and I thank you for your reply. Have a fantastic day and cheers!

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