Naha Tug-of-War Festival

This past weekend was the Giant Tug of War Festival in Naha, the capitol of Okinawa. 
This festival is the largest traditional cultural event in Okinawa, as it passess down the tradition of Naha’s four towns from the days of the Ryukyu Kingdom. This tug-of-war represents the city as the rope, symbolizing the trade and commerce by the tugging of the rope. It has been regularly held as a celebratory event since the Menji period, but was ceased from 1935-1971. In 1995 it was recognized as the “world’s largest straw rope” by the Guinness Book of World Records and now the Naha Tug of war is recognized as the leading Tug of war in the world. It is the pride of the residents of Naha City and the Okinawa Prefecture. (source)
The rope weighed 90,000 pounds all together, 45,000 each side.
Us and part of the rope (excuse the low quality photo).
traditional ceremony before the start of the tug-of-war. 
let the games begin!
We got the change to help pull our half of the rope to the middle of the intersection where it was later joined with the other half of the rope. It got so hectic when it was time to pull, so i stayed behind, but husband helped. The whole tug-of-war lasted 30 minutes and the west side (our side) won! 😀
People started standing on the rope and taking pictures, so i did the same 🙂 oh and i decided to practice the japanese picture trade mark, aka the peace sign. It was so fun to finally be a part of a traditional okinawan festival. We also got bits of the rope, its supposed to bring good luck for a year. 
We later drove up to American Village and enjoyed shaved ice and drinks with our new friends. 
All in all it was an awesome day full of fun! 
Until next time,

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Hi! I'm Laura, the girl behind Little Island Takara. I am a military wife and American expat living in Okinawa, Japan! Most days you will find me reading books, wondering what cafe to go to next or daydreaming of my next adventure.

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  • Haha, yeah it was super legit!! 😛 and yeah big or small it's feels really cool to feel part of the community 😀

  • Wow yours looks so legit! Our tug of war festival was on a small street at night with a lot of people, but definitely not THAT many! Still totally fun though 🙂