Tsunahiki (Tog of War) 綱挽き is one of the greatest traditional culture events in an Okinawan festival and is one of the most well-known Okinawan festivals throughout the world.
These festivals are held once every year around middle to end of Summer. A possible origin of the festival occurred about one hundred years ago when a plague of locusts descended on the rice fields and put the years harvest in danger. The farmers waved banners, hit drums, and rang bells all through the night and the insects miraculously departed the next day. This incident is reenacted in the festival ever year. The centerpiece of the festival is the tug of war where two ropes are carried into the center of the village and are joined together dividing the East and the West. The Villagers are cheered on by the onlookers as they heave at the rope. The winning side is supposed to receive good luck from the gods, but the tug of war often ends in a tie in the hope that good luck will then be granted to both sides. This is a ceremonial festival that prays to the gods for a good, plentiful year and for plenty of rain.
**After the tug-of-war is over, don’t forget to take home the pieces of the rope that is believed to bring good luck for the rest of the year.
This festival is celebrated throughout Okinawa, but the most famous celebration takes place in;
Naha Giant Tog of War 那覇大綱挽き
The last event was held on October 11th, 2015
This festival is held once every year in the city of Naha ( Naha city is capital of Okinawa ). The ceremonial festival in Naha is to pray for the prosperity of Okinawa, and to not only give a good-luck charm to, but wish for the good health of all people.
Parade at on Kokusai Street, Tug-of-war at National Highway 58.
Standards of Rope : Length of Female=100m0 Length of Male=100m Weight=43t,
Rope for pull=Length-7m / Total number of the rope =280,
Number of audience : 280,000 people (15000 people can pull)
Visit More information by Naha Giant Tog of War (in English ; http://www.naha-otsunahiki.org/en/index.html)
Itoman Great Tug of War 糸満大綱引
The last event was held on September 27th, 2015
This festival is held in the town of Shiozaki, Itoman city ( Shiozaki town is know as the fishermen town ). Itoman Great Tug of War Inquiry : Itoman City Office (in Japanese; http://www.city.itoman.lg.jp/kankou-navi/docs-kankou/2013072500031/), (in English; http://www.city.itoman.lg.jp.e.id.hp.transer.com/kankou-navi/docs-kankou/2013072500031/)
Yonabaru Tug of War 与那原大綱曳
The last event was held on August 16th, 2015
This festival is held in the town of Yonabaru. “Yonabaru Tug-of-War” continuing on for nearly 400 years. Yonabaru Tug of war Inquiry : Yonabaru Official Site (http://www.town.yonabaru.okinawa.jp/maturi/2008/top.html)