Okinawa's Naha Tug of War to be held Oct. 9

Okinawa's Naha Tug of War to be held Oct. 9

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

One of Okinawa’s premiere cultural events is coming back after a long postponement, but with some restrictions.

The Naha Tug of War will return on Oct. 9, city officials announced. The Naha Tug of War is an inclusive, cultural event unique to the island and features a giant rope where participants pull while wishing for peace, prosperity, health and success. The competition dates to the Ryukyu Kingdom during the 15th century.

This year, Naha officials said entry will be limited to 3,200 participants pulling the ropes and will require pre-registration. The registration will open at 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 26 and close on Oct. 7. Registration will close before the end date if limits are met. No entry fee is required.

In addition, the rope used at the event will be shortened from 200 meters to 160 meters.

Though the city office said it will not restrict spectators, officials are hoping to avoid overcrowding since the ongoing pandemic is still affecting the island.

Please note that this event is still subject to cancellation for COVID-19 prevention measures.

Normally, the Naha Tug of War, which is one of the three big cultural events on the island, draws a crowd of 270,000 or more among which about 15,000 participate.

The scale-down of the Naha Tug of War may be a bummer, but it’s return to the island is a welcomed sign and fun one if you can participate.

Naha Tug of War

Date: October 9 (Sunday)

Time: Starts at 4 p.m.

Location: Kumoji intersection (N 26.215859, E 127.678504)

*Pre-register at this website (starting Sept. 26)

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