Naha City, the prefectural capital of Okinawa, Japan, annually holds the world's largest tug-of-war event, which attracts about 300,000 people in and around the island's capital. Out of this large number of spectators, only lucky 20,000 people get to pull those ropes.
Every year, on Oct. 10th, the event organizer prepares two giant ropes with rice straws. Each rope is about 100m in length (about 330ft), 1m56cm in width (about 61.5in), and each rope weighs more than 20t (about 44090lb).
Once the two ropes are connected with a large log ---the total length now reaches more than 200m---the great power game starts. Imagine a team of 10,000 men and women pulls the rope against another team of the same number.
Tug-of-wars have been played in many parts of the island prefecture, though they are in much smaller scale. Many villages and towns in Okinawa have long held festivities of fall harvest, in which tug-of-wars include, as a token of appreciation for good harvest this year and as prayers for the good harvest next year.
After the game is over, the ropes are cut into smaller pieces and given to visitors for free. It's believed that anyone who takes a piece of the rice straw ropes will be happy and live a healthy life for the whole next year.
YouTube video of Tug-of-War here
About The Author
Welcome to OKINAWA LOCAL TOUR GUIDE'S BLOG.
This blog is created by a local tour guide born and raised in the northern region of Okinawa island. This lush mountainous area is locally known as Yanbaru, and the name means to the locals as a place to enjoy and appreciate nature.
I write, in a rather freewheeling manner, things I see and hear mainly in the nature-rich region of Okinawa . Okinawa is the southernmost prefecture in Japan. Come and experience this unique resort island in the heart of subtropical climate and blue ocean.
For those who wish to contact Shu Uechi, the author, please send an e-mail to: