Saturday, October 12, 2013

Granddaddy of all tug-of-wars on Sunday in Naha | Japan Update

Naha Matsuri, Naha Tsunahiki, the Naha Giant Tug-of-War Festival.  All names for the biggest and best known of ages-old tug-of-war competitions taking place each year on Okinawa.

The festival, which draws more than 250,000 for the three-day event starting Saturday, has everything from beer to music to a festive atmosphere in downtown Naha City and its Onoyama Park. The keystone event, though is the great tug-of-war that takes place Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m., lasting a half-hour or until either the east or west teams manage to pull the 44-ton rope a distance of five meters.

On opening day Saturday, there is the parade of international folk performing art and local entertainment.  The parade starts at 2 p.m. at Saion bridge in front of Saion Square at Makishi on Kokusai Street. Parades include marching bands & baton twirling, Campaign ladies of Naha tourist association, and an appearance by the Naha City mayor. Also taking place will be Hatagashira performances, Kids eisa, Hawaiian Hula dance, and Samba teams walking at the parade.

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