Watch Japanese bo-taoshi players defend their poles


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I tried to research the origins, but all I could get is nobody knows for sure, but it was played as training in the military as early as 1945.


I think I remember seeing this on That’s Incredible.


Needs more tentacles, if you ask me.


The pole aspect makes it unusual, but a lot of cultures have a variation; this is like a more three-dimensional rugby scrum minus the ball, or a more goal-oriented slamdance pit.


“This isn’t chaotic enough so we should have two matches going on at the same time.”


They look like packs of pandas trying to topple much larger and stronger prey.


This really appeals to my love of watching guys do stupid, vaguely dangerous things … on YouTube. (Not sarcasm.)


There must be some sort of honor system where those further from the fulcrum watch out for those being pinched by the fulcrum.


Looks about right.


My college , Victoria in Toronto, had a worse event. Frosh had to try to take a beanie from the top of a tall pole that was defended by sophomores. The pole was greased to make it more interesting. Both sides went to the city abattoir and brought animal entrails to throw at their opponents. Frosh often used lineman’s spikes to scale the pole, greatly increasing the already substantial chance of serious injury. For some reason, the college banned the event a few years ago.


Some folks just hate fun.


That is definitely one of the best sports I have ever witnessed. Take that, boring sports like American Football.


Well, sure, after Iwo Jima, knocking down poles took on new urgency for the Imperial Army.

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