Dogfights in Japan Are a Family Outing

Taylor Wofford
September 1, 2016

“Hiroshi Sudo takes a pair of pliers, clamps them around a dog’s tooth and twists. The tooth comes free in a spray of bloody spittle. The dog snarls, but Sudo has tied a washcloth around his snout so he can’t bite. Sudo hands the tooth to the dog’s owner, who puts it under a hose, then wipes it off with a rag and pockets it. Later, he’ll drill a hole through it, string a leather cord through the hole and wear it around his neck, a grisly memento.

On weekdays, Sudo is a veterinarian at an animal hospital in Toride, about 25 miles northeast of Tokyo. On weekends, he moonlights at dogfights, stitching up cuts and pulling loose teeth.”

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Taylor Wofford is a 2016 US-Japan Journalism Fellow.