Naha’s Giant Tug of War in 2015

banners from each district in Naha lining up in the intersection

Naha’s Giant Tug of War (那覇大綱挽) is scheduled to be held this weekend in Okinawa’s prefectural capital. So, here’s the pictures from the last year’s event.

People gathering around the giant rope spreading along the road

Tug of war is deeply rooted in Okinawan culture and is practiced across the southern islands. The history of Naha’s tug of war goes way back to the Ryukyu Kingdom era. However, the annual event was interrupted in 1935.

In 1971, a year before Okinawa was returned to Japan from the U.S. military occupation, the city’s tug of war was revived by the citizens. It used to be held around June, but since the revival, the date was moved to October 10th. It was the day, the city was heavily bombarded and was turned to ashes by the U.S. air raid in 1944. To commemorate the day and to wish for world peace, now Naha’s tug of war is held in the second weekend of October, which is the 3-day weekend.

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Other than the actual tug of war at the Kumoji intersection, the main festival is held at Onoyama Park from Saturday through Monday. Each day is finished up with fireworks.

a couple watching fireworks

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