Japanese "Snow Battles" Spread to U.S.

Anna Semanko

Growing up in Wisconsin, I’ve found myself in many snowball-slinging situations. Little did I know that in Alaska (and across the globe), many grown adults are engaging in the same activity – only they’re calling it “yukigassen.” Originating at Mount Showa-Shinzan Resort almost 20 years ago, Yukigassen is the Japanese term for Snow-Battle. One may ask “What is a snow-battle?” Well think football meets wrestling meets kids on the playground all covered in snow. The goal: knock out the other team by hitting them with snowballs. Each team is armed with 90 snowballs and there is only three, three-minute periods to take out your opponents, two out of three wins (as in all the great classic childhood games). You can win the period by having the most players left on the field when time runs out, or do it capture-the-flag style by rushing the opponents’ side and stealing their flag. Yukigassen USA is growing with its very own 13-page list of rules and regulations and a few scheduled events coming up in Alaska and Michigan. As the sport makes it’s way through the snow ridden states of the United States, it’s only a matter of time before it hits Wisconsin. How hard it hits will be up to our throwing arms.