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Naha Giant Tug-of-War results in draw second time

Date Posted: 2002-10-18

Naha Giant Tug-of-War may have grown too big for its own good, or at least the giant rope that is used in the contest, as neither side was able to move the huge rope one way or another. This marks the second time there has been no winner in the contest.

The rope that the East and West sides try to pull is the largest in the world as certified by the Guinness Book of Records. The rope consists of two separate 100 long parts that are joined together in the middle. It is 1.56 meters in diameter and weighs over 40 tons.

The Giant Tug-of-War is the highlight of the annual Naha Festival, the largest event of its kind that this year attracted over 100,000 people on the Highway 58 in Kumoji to pull and watch others pull the rope. After the event many chopped pieces of the giant rope off to take home, as it is believed to bring good luck.

It is also the only festival that a stretch of Hwy 58 is completely closed from car traffic. The festival also attracts many foreigners, including a group of 30 from Korea that visited Naha specifically for this event. There are also several groups from Mainland Japan who visit Okinawa only for the tug-of-war. The event also marks the end of the summer season in Okinawa.

The tug-of-war is said to depict the rivalry between ancient enemies, Gosamaru and Awamari, who vied for the Shuri King’s favor almost 600 years ago.

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