Japanese city holds 'Spider Fights' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Japanese city holds 'Spider Fights'

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Spider fights are a 400 year tradition in Aira, Japan (PHOTOS/VIDEO: NTV-NNN-JAPAN) Spider fights are a 400 year tradition in Aira, Japan (PHOTOS/VIDEO: NTV-NNN-JAPAN)
SPOKANE, Wash. - Let me make this clear. I am against animal fighting. Or at least I thought I was. Cock fighting? No. Dog fighting? Absolutely not. Spider fighting? Well, wait minute now. 

I wouldn't say that I'm afraid of spiders. If my wife tells me there is a spider on the wall, most times I'm okay with delicately removing it with a piece of paper or stick and throwing it outside. The freeloaders. If you want to stay in my house, you better be contributing and not just hanging out on the wall every Monday night watching The Bachelorette, I mean, WWE Monday Night Raw, I mean, baseball. Yeah, baseball. Or at least make some cool web in the corner that spells out some catchphrase like, "That's some Cory!" (And you better get the italics right and not put an 'e' in my name!) 

As unafraid of spiders as I claim to be, things drastically change when I see a hobo spider. I immediately suit up for battle as if I were Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator. I cover myself in mud so the vicious beast can't see me, and then silently wait until the time is right to strike. And there's no putting a hobo spider outside. He'll just hop on the next freight train with his red bandana suitcase on a stick to invade the next home. No, no. When it comes to those little buggers, there is no trial. Only execution. 

And like I said, I understand there are uses for spiders. I understand that the majority of them are actually great for the fragile ecosystem that is my backyard, and I know without spiders I'd see a lot of other annoying bugs inside and outside of my house. And perhaps the people of Japan have come up with another great use for them: Fighting. 

Yes, spider fights are actually a thing in Japan, and unlike making helpless dogs or roosters fight each other, this just doesn't seem so bad. It actually seems like a great idea. 

The spider fights are an annual tradition in Aira City. 400-years ago, that's where Japanese samurai left for battle in Korea. The legend says that a local lord held a spider fight to "fortify" their courage. In reality, it just looks cool. And unlike the cruelty of dog fighting, it appears this fight is not to the death, but rather whichever spider gets knocked off a pole first. Like sumo wrestling, or more relatable, at least to myself, jousting in American Gladiators. (After a morning of researching spider fighting, there are leagues where the fight is to the death. I cannot condone those fights. Unless they're between Hobo spiders. In that case, let them fight and hopefully they kill each other with simultaneous roundhouse kicks to the spider temples).

The spiders used in these fights are Argiope spiders, which look dangerous, but are actually harmless. Sort of like me. 

Being a professional wrestling connoisseur, I'm proposing to the people of Japan, who also love pro-wrestling, to combine the two entertainment platforms. Give these spiders characters! Give them plot lines! Have "The Heartbreak Arachnid 'Spider Michaels'" steal "The Octotaker's" girlfriend and then get double-crossed by his longtime best friend "Araneae Anderson" during his search for vengeance. I can smell the pay-per-view buys right now! Make it happen!

Surprisingly, more than 100 people entered their spiders into the contest. I'm not sure how they train the spiders, but the fact that 100 people have fighters spiders living in their homes is astonishing. At this time it is unknown who was the ultimate victor, or what they win, but when spiders fight, doesn't everybody win? 



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