Monday, November 4, 2013

12 Photos From the Awase Tsunahiki (Tug-O-War) in Okinawa



It Should Be Called the Event of the Decade


They only hold this Tug-O-War once every 10 years.

Looking for some (online) references, in English, I came up empty handed.

So, I went early, to mingle with the locals and see what I could learn.

Rituals at Shrine Torii Gate, men with sticks

It was a good thing.

The team members go to a shrine and, pray, the morning of the Tsunahiki.

young girls blow conch shells as horns

Before noon, these youngsters, started blowing conch shells, like they were horns.

ritual stick fight by costumed men

They're still on the temple grounds when a friendly (sort of ) stick fight breaks out.

The guys in blue are from the east end of town.

Red headbands are those from the west.

view of loop at half of tug rope

While the challengers from the east and west took a lunch break, I went here.

Looking towards the east, this is half of the monster-rope they'll be tugging.

large loop at West end of tug rope

And, I shot an image of the west end, too.

side view of Tug-O-War rope

Sitting on the ground, I composed this shot, before the street got too crowded.

smaller ropes for tugging

People are always asking me, how you get your hands to pull such a big rope.

Well, you don't, grab the big rope.

little hands on smaller rope, children participate

The ropes made for little hands, are attached to the big-monster rope.

So, even mothers and daughters can join the party.

elderly man contestant

Seniors are welcome, too !

Hula dancers performing in street

There was a Hula Dance Group that performed (even though it rained) before the tug.

rain but, hula dancing continues

They must have pleased the rain spirits.

men protect ears from firecrackers

The gang, from the west end of town, celebrated with firecrackers, before the tug began.

Stay tuned, for more.....

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