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The Bo-Taoshi that can be told is not the true Bo-Taoshi
July 18, 2011 10:12 AM   Subscribe

Capture the flag, as played in Japan. via loq

AKA Bo-Taoshi
posted by Horselover Phattie (47 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
The flying leap at 1:24 is incredible.
posted by desjardins at 10:17 AM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


This appears pretty weird to me, possibly because I have little context in which to place it, or possibly because it really is pretty weird. Either way, though, if I were from Japan I would probably get pretty fucking sick of the Western obsession with LOLWACKYJAPANESESTUFF!
posted by dersins at 10:21 AM on July 18, 2011


I believe this is the natural evolutionary end state of Calvinball.
posted by loquacious at 10:21 AM on July 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


> sick of the Western obsession with LOLWACKYJAPANESESTUFF

That's nice. This is a bunch of guys mobbing a guy on a pole. It's awesome.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:22 AM on July 18, 2011


Wow, that looks really really really really safe.
posted by DU at 10:30 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


LOLWACKYJAPANESESTUFF

For me it's not "LOLWACKYJAPANESESTUFF", it's more "HOLYSHITIWANNAPLAYTHATRIGHTNOW".
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:30 AM on July 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


"HOLYSHITIWANNAPLAYTHATRIGHTNOW"

No doubt! Here's a clip of Blue Team actually getting that damn pole down.

Epic.
posted by entropos at 10:32 AM on July 18, 2011


Damnit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_8iztLC_Vw&feature=related
posted by entropos at 10:33 AM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


For me it's not "LOLWACKYJAPANESESTUFF", it's more "HOLYSHITIWANNAPLAYTHATRIGHTNOW".

I wasn't reacting to this post so much as I was to the copy in the NBC sports link. Did you read it? It's pretty much 100% LOLWACKYJAPANESE.
posted by dersins at 10:39 AM on July 18, 2011


The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs creates these little viral videos to remind other countries not to fuck with Japan, "Screw kawaisa. This is how we "play" capture the flag - fuck you think we would do to you in a major conflict?"
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:43 AM on July 18, 2011


Conclusion: we need to put together a Metafilter-sponsored team to travel to Japan and compete.

I'm in.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 10:48 AM on July 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


Wow that is awesome, and while I would not want to play it, I am sure when my husband sees this he's going to want to find out if we can do this in America as well.
posted by Malice at 10:59 AM on July 18, 2011


I must be the only one that noticed the pointy pole, lack of helmets and vigorous punching.
posted by DU at 11:02 AM on July 18, 2011


Not too far off from the climbing of the Herndon Monument every spring at the U.S. Naval Academy - the ceremonial end to the freshman class's "plebe year." Here's a clip from 2008.
posted by mark7570 at 11:04 AM on July 18, 2011


VIGOROUS PUNCHING YES YES AND ALSO KICKING.
posted by loquacious at 11:04 AM on July 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


if you think there is a lack of helmets, you really do need your eyes checked.

(The diff between this and the USNA, is the USNA totem is not actively defended, just greased..)
posted by k5.user at 11:08 AM on July 18, 2011


They're not wearing helmets. They look more like the ear protectors that wrestlers wear. I would bet helmets would be about as injurious to other players as they would be protective to the wearer.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 11:11 AM on July 18, 2011


concerning the title of this post, the Tao de Ching is Chinese, not Japanese.
posted by sineater at 11:14 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking some padding over one's kidneys would be a good idea, too.

Watching this makes me think: Wanna play! and also Ow! Will this be covered by my health insurance?
posted by rtha at 11:17 AM on July 18, 2011


LOVE!

... shocking, but can't help but laugh loudly at such testosterone-fueled craziness ...
posted by Surfurrus at 11:17 AM on July 18, 2011


> concerning the title of this post, the Tao de Ching is Chinese, not Japanese.

It's even pronounced "dao", but whatever.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 11:18 AM on July 18, 2011


Dr. Enormous: Ooh, ooh, ooh! I wonder what color the MetaFilter team could possibly be?
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 11:19 AM on July 18, 2011


::watches video::

::turns to class::

...And that, students, is how your immune system fights off an infection. Any questions? No? Good, moving on...
posted by quin at 11:24 AM on July 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Must...Organize...League....
posted by Jibuzaemon at 11:41 AM on July 18, 2011


Also "At this time, seniors and juniors do not hedge. Seniors abandon de poke"
posted by Jibuzaemon at 11:45 AM on July 18, 2011


My friends and I would have totally done this back in high school.
posted by deadmessenger at 11:51 AM on July 18, 2011


This calls for youtube doubler, so we can watch both halves of the match.

(Sadly, youtube doubler's time offset isn't working properly - I think the first team's video starts about 10 seconds before the other one.)
posted by zamboni at 11:52 AM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would rather watch this than Braveheart.
posted by penduluum at 11:59 AM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I like that there are dudes wandering around in orange who appear to be officials, enforcing exactly zero rules. What would it take for them to actually engage with the players? Use of blades?

Please. Can we please play this, everybody? Please? I am so in.
posted by penduluum at 12:02 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I like that there are dudes wandering around in orange who appear to be officials, enforcing exactly zero rules. What would it take for them to actually engage with the players? Use of blades?

If you look carefully each of the referees is carrying a small automatic pistol loaded with subsonic hollowpoint rounds. The second they see someone not being ridiculously awesome they pull the offender out of the melee to the sidelines and shoot them in the head right there on the field.

Oh, and mainly they're watching the pole to call the game when/if it tips past 30 degrees.
posted by loquacious at 12:30 PM on July 18, 2011


All this time I thought this was a fictitious game.
posted by cazoo at 12:32 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


AHA, the sport pile doesn't stop from getting taller.
posted by cyrusdogstar at 12:47 PM on July 18, 2011


I knew my years of mosh pit training would come in handy some day.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:47 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think I could get a league organized around me if it didn't require so many damn people for one team.

I wonder how many people you could cut out where it would still feel like an insane mob game. Maybe down to 100 people per team?
posted by zephyr_words at 1:17 PM on July 18, 2011


Kind of like the Chariot Race during Godiva Week. The teams are less clear to the casual observer, but rest assured the players know who's who.

The great thing about the Chariot Race is, even with all that physical exertion, it is usually the bribes that determine the winner. Also, F!rosh can't win. Rules.
posted by Chuckles at 1:27 PM on July 18, 2011


Japanese sports days are fucking brutal. It's the one time in the school year where the thugs and bullies get to take full control.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:48 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I fully expected there to be dead bodies on the field after the play stopped.
posted by orme at 1:53 PM on July 18, 2011


That's why this appeals to me so much. It's similar to aspects of my own ancestry.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:01 PM on July 18, 2011


Koku-Ryu, it depends on the school, and the games they play. At the school's I've been at, there's a lot more team-work than bullying.

On the other hand, I've never attended a sports day that didn't end with at least one broken bone. This year, the most bizarre event seemed to be the relay that started off with a three-legged race, then a sprint, then running under nets, then a sack race, then searching for a jelly bean in a pan of flour with students using only their mouths (everyone using the same pan, the same flour), then a sprint to the finish.

Fun was had by all. Flour-coated jelly beans by some.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:25 PM on July 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


At first I thought, "Oh my god, the flags are made of people!"

The word "epic" is thrown around so much these days. But that is an appropriate way to describe this.

I can see "flags" on the players, such as those used in flag football. Although it appears even ripping off a players shirt does not mark them as captured. It looks like you need to put someone in a vicious judo hold to take them out of the match.
posted by chemoboy at 6:03 PM on July 18, 2011


So it kind of looks like, so far, I'm the only one who's watched that and gone here.
posted by Mike D at 6:35 PM on July 18, 2011


Reminds me of In The Hills, The Cities
posted by empath at 7:30 PM on July 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Koku-Ryu, it depends on the school, and the games they play. At the school's I've been at, there's a lot more team-work than bullying.

I taught at three schools, and the kids in charge of the different teams where generally the bullies - but these were junior high schools in Tsuruga, a rough town based on construction, where it's not uncommon to get married at 19 and have kids at 20.

What made sports day soul-destroying for me was the fact students have to practice in the week leading up to it, in the hot late-May sun on a dry and dusty playing field. Students are not allowed hats or sunglasses, and neither are the teachers.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:33 PM on July 18, 2011


The practice thing really rankles us at our school, since it's basically a free pass to get out of after school help sessions (for the students who need it most) and it goes on for days (though not so much in the hot sun. This school has a freakishly large, wooded campus, even compared to schools in America).

We don't, however, do the pole charge/bo-taoshi. I've actually never been at a school that did, but whenever I go to sports day, it's always fun to think of how many parents would be screaming about safety if these events were suggested back home.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:38 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


it's always fun to think of how many parents would be screaming about safety if these events were suggested back home.

Oh, no doubt. Just hiking around Japan I think that. On the Jimmuji trail near Oppama in Kanagawa I suddenly, by complete surprise, found myself on a rock ledge that stuck out from the cliff like a diving board. No safety rails, chains, warning signs, or even a smooth slip-free surface. Just me, overhanging certain maiming if I fell.

Also, I climbed Mt. Fuji on Friday night. Rife with "impossible in the States" safety situations, including being able to do it overnight with a head lamp in the first place.

But I guess that's to be expected from a country that feels so safe, young school children (I swear some are as young as 6 or 7) ride the trains around by themselves.

I like it this way.
posted by ctmf at 2:00 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't get me wrong, I think some of it is pretty awesome. On the other hand, you have parents yelling abu-nai (it's dangerous!) at their kids all the time, rather than telling them what they should be doing. Essentially they say "that guy on the bicycle is dangerous" or "that car is dangerous" instead of "you should really look where the hell you're going, kiddo. You could get fucked up." There are so many announcements of danger and safety warnings, yet there are things like the cliff you mention, or ridiculous sports day events.

Something that still sticks out at me here is the sheer number of people with bandages over one eye* due to a random poking or somesuch. All the freaking time (especially at the junior high level), and I can't remember a single kid having a bandage over their eye in my entire school life. I guess Japan just has sharper pointy objects.

*And sadly, the pirate thing? It just doesn't translate well. I have yet to get any of my eye-patched students give me a proper Arrr!, much less a 'scurvy dog!'
posted by Ghidorah at 3:13 AM on July 19, 2011


I played this once in high school (1993?) while on an overseas trip to Ishigaki Island in southern Okinawa. I got the feeling it was only played on special occasions. I was not able to tell if this was an indigenous game or whatnot but others throughout the country who I asked did not know of it.

The way we played it, most (all?) of the boys in the school all got on the field and were placed in one of two teams. Each team stood on their end of the field and half of the team would take a defensive position around their pole while the other half would line up and get ready to charge the other teams pole. When the match started, we would run across the field, fight the opposing team when we crossed paths, and then continue to the other team's pole and try to pull it down. All this was occurring with our pole at the other end of the field at the same time. First team to pull down the oppositions pole won. Did I mention we were barefoot? The video shown here is only of one pole, so I'd assume out of the shot was the other team's pole and twice the action.

Thanks for posting this, I'd been looking for details on the game just out of curiosity for years.
posted by pwb503 at 4:52 PM on July 19, 2011


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