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Yukigassen is a Japanese physical game that consists of a competitive snowball fight. It is played with two teams of seven players each. The objective of the game is to gain points by capturing the opponents' flag, which earns 10 points. Teams may also collect points by eliminating players from the opposite team by hitting them with a snowball. Eliminating everyone on the opposing team earns 10 points. If no team successfully captures the flag or eliminates all opposing players, one point is awarded for every team member that is still alive. Yukigassen is split into three periods and each team can pre-make up to 90 snowballs before the start of each period. The first team to win two periods wins the game. Players wear special yukigassen helmets, equipped with a face shield to reduce head injuries.

Is this activity known by any other names?


What are the origins of the activity abroad and in Canada?

Yukigassen, which translates to "snow battle" in English, was established in 1987 in Hokkaido, Japan. Since that time, Yukigassen has gained popularity globally and tournaments have been held in various countries, such as Finland, Australia, Russia, Canada, Sweden, and more. In 2016, Canada had their first national team attend the tournament in Japan. In Toronto, people often travel to Orillia to participate in a Yukigassen tournament.

Who takes part?

Males and female of diverse ages and ethnocultural backgrounds.

When does it occur / How often do you take part?

Games and tournaments occur in the winter months.

Are there any organized clubs, groups, organizations or leagues?

Orillia Winter Carnival; Yukigassen National Canadian Team

Cultural Significance


Is there anything else we should know?



Physical Game
  • Brewery Bay
    117 Mississaga St East
    Orillia, ON L3V 1V6

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