Naha Tug of War
Every year the main event of the Naha Festival is a giant tug-of-war competition (This year was 10/14). This is not a normal tug-of-war, but one where everyone joins in and pulls on the biggest rope in the world. Officially recognized by Guinness World Records, the rope supposedly gets bigger every year.
The rope goes from where you see it to the traffic light… and that is only one half of the rope.
The other half, also meaning the other team, is equally as long.
The leaders for our team discussing strategy before the competition.
As the time draws near the road is cleared and the leaders mount and prepare the rope.
Then the processions start. Many teams carrying giant flags make their way to the center of the intersection. Usually, the entire heavy flag is left to one man to carry at a time with others only there to prevent it from falling.
Once all the teams and flags are in the center, designated by a giant gold ball, the ceremony starts. First with some speeches and then the flag teams compete with each other.
Once the official ceremonies are over, absolutely everyone and anyone rushes in and grabs the rope. Then, at the leaders’ whistle, everyone pulls and the two parts of the rope are dragged together.
One the two halves meet, the leaders, with lots of helpers pushing with pointy sticks, join the rope together.
This was taken afterwards, but to show you how the ropes were joined…