Culture | Japan Pulse

Beetle mania

by Felicity Hughes

Contributing Writer

The real live stag beetles, with their powerful front mandibles, are particularly suited to exciting insect fights and a large one might even set you back as much as ¥7,500 from an online dealer. There are many Web sites devoted to insect fights, such as Japanese Bug Fights in English and World’s Strongest Insect King Playoffs in Japanese.

Those worried about animal cruelty should note that the end of a stag beetle fight is usually signaled when a beetle is flipped on his back or pushed out of the fighting arena. Only male beetles fight and can be encouraged to do so by a specially built machine that emits the mating call of a female beetle.

While the plastic miniaturized version may not be able to be a contender in a tournament, its owner will have the satisfaction in knowing that it’ll be around a little longer than its live counterpart which, once hatched into an adult, rarely survives beyond the summer months.