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Ginowan to resurrect an old, old tradition

Date Posted: 2007-07-20

What do Naha City, Nishihara Town, Itoman City, Yonabaru Town and Oyama have that Ginowan City doesn't?

A tug-of-war, the symbol of summer in Okinawa, that's what.

And Ginowan City, after a decades-long departure from the Okinawa tradition, is prepared to rejoin the tug-of-war fray on July 29th. Ginowan City, a village until 1931, last held a tug-of-war before the start to World War II. Following the war, the city’s attention was focused on rebuilding a devastated farming community, and not on community events.

The city’s 300-year-old pine trees had been destroyed, streets, houses, offices, restaurants and flea markets wiped out, and even the agricultural system ruined. For 15 years, the city struggled for a new beginning.

Now prosperous, Ginowan City has decided to honor the spirits of the homeland and its ancestors, restoring an eagerness to the populace. A stage performance that reenacted a tug-of-war inspired the community to do it again.

Sunday, July 29th, the tug-of-war in Ginowan City will begin, a return to another festival practice of nighttime performances. Ginowan’s tug-of-war will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Okinawa Kokusai University Grounds.

Rice straw has already been ordered from Kin Town’s Igei Village, and citizens are both building the rope and beginning practices on how to pull the tug-of-war ropes. The city’s also issuing invitations to everyone on Okinawa to attend and participate.

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