A Contemporary History of a Traditional Sport

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This paper focuses on the modernization of “Ushiorase” (Okinawan-style bullfighting) and delineates the contemporary landscape of traditional sports in Japan. Throughout its history, Ushiorase has not simply experienced modernization and sportification, with certain modern aspects selectively while still preserving its own indigeneity at the core. This paper seeks a perspective that does not view traditional sports in terms of a dichotomy between sport (modernization) and culture (traditionalization) and considers the autonomy and sustainability of traditional sports in the modern age, using Okinawan bullfighting as a case study.