Photography／Yufuin Tourism Asociation
In October when the autumn flowers dance to the breeze, at the spacious meadow ranch, young and old, men and women, everyone in the family have a barbeque feast and shout their soul out into the great nature of Yufuin. Yufuin’s (City of Yufu) renowned Eat Beef and Scream Competition. Although a noise meter is used to evaluate the loudness, screaming is not considered noise here. The loudness is one aspect, but what you say is also very important. The uniqueness of what you say out loud is also evaluated along with the volume.
Since the first competition in 1976, there have been a series of interesting announcements. From “Protect the Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution (peacekeeping article),” to about the consumption tax, pensions, and just about any topics of the everyday world. When a kid shouts “I will study hard!” an older lady will go “I love you Bae Yong-joon! (a famous Korean actor).” There have also been love confessions. There was a scene where a man proposed, “Marry me, XXX!” followed by a whispered “Yes!” from his blushing girlfriend back from the corner of the venue.
At each competition, there’s empathy and laughter spreading around, but the idea of the competition originated from a local promotional project of Yufuin. In the 1970s, the local development group of the basin stood up when the meadow was about to be sold due to financial difficulties that the livestock farmers were facing. The “One Cow Ranch Movement,” to ask for an investment to be the owner of a cow at the ranch, started nationwide.
Inviting the owners to a barbeque party at the highlands became the beginning of the Eat Meat and Scream competition. Now, the “One Cow Ranch” campaign is no longer looking for investors, but anyone can participate in the competition by paying the fee.
The competition is not just the One Cow Ranch campaign. From hosting a “Film Festival” where there is no movie theater, or cultural events like “Music festival, the group truly represented ‘Tasukigake no Yufuin'” (book title of Kentarou Nakaya, about struggle and contribution of the local group during the development of Yufuin) it has actively expanded into various movements. Today’s Yufuin as a tourist destination is built with activities just as unique as what the participants scream at the Eat Meat and Scream competition. This has become the opportunity to spread the “Town Development and Village Activation” movements together with Oyama (Hita) and other towns.