Ready, set… throw your pillows!
If you think you’ve already seen and heard the most bizarre stuff Japan has to offer, then wait until you witness this full-on battle on tatami mats – the great pillow fight.
It’s nothing new, actually. Most of us might’ve even played it with our family when we were kids. You run across the room, grab the nearest pillow on the couch, and throw it as hard as you can towards the nearest person who seemed intent on hitting you first with an equally non-hazardous pillow blast. Outrageous and childlike, but fun.
And when it comes to having fun, we’re not privy to the fact that Japan’s among the top countries that bring entertainment to a whole new level by adding special twists to it. Thus, born the Pillow Fight Tournament spearheaded by the All Japan Pillow Fighting Association.
Main weapon: Pillow Officially Recognized by All Japan Pillow Fighting Association
Price of the pillow: 3,150 yen (around $32) – as of its price during its first sale last February 28, 2014
Pillow built: packed with “perfectly weighted crushed latex” with covers that don’t have any plasters or any kind of sharp items
Entrance fee: 2,000 yen (about $20) per team
Prize: 100,000 yen (around $1,000)
Anyone who knows dodgeball can breeze through the pillow fight mechanics. The difference? You throw specially designed, fluffy pillows to an opposing team rather than the typical solid balls.
So get your best men on board, assemble a team, and arm yourself up with pillows and mattresses for the big battle!
As if it’s not crazy enough to turn pillow fighting to an official tournament, the referee of the game shouts “The teacher is coming!” – an indication that one member of your team has to lie down in the pretense of being asleep while a member of the opposing team steals pillows from your side.
Crazier thing is, you can’t do anything to stop them! It’s like being under a binding spell, knowing what’s happening, but left helpless to do anything.
But of course, the game resumes right after. So better grip the pillow you’re holding, ready up your ultimate mattress shield, and prepare for your next epic throw!
You think pillow fighting isn’t brutal? Not literally. But one direct hit from an incoming pillow smash ensures your spot outside the court, where you can no longer participate in your team’s epic battle to victory in the land of pillow warriors.
Throwing pillows like crazy may be a good strategy, but make sure it doesn’t make you an open target for the opposing team’s sniper players.
This activity seemed like another one of the variations of the popular international pillow fight held every February, but it’s certainly only in Japan where you get to play it with the above-mentioned twist within an organized group of 5.
The first game using the ‘Officially Recognized’ pillow happened last 2014 at Ito City and there might be one event you can join in this season. But if not, you can always invite your friends and organize your own! Let the pillow fight begin!
Ito City Pillow Fight Tournament Information *Japanese only