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jeudi, mai 23, 2024

Strength and camaraderie! Thousand take part in annual world’s biggest tug-of-war event in Okinawa

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« Almost 300,000 people took part in this year’s Naha Tug-of-War Festival in Okinawa on Sunday. The 500-year-old local tradition returned in full force in 2023 after three years of hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The footage shows two teams, called ‘Team East’ and ‘Team West’, preparing for the competition and procession of spectators cheering for them. Following the tradition, ahead of the event the participants work together to manually nudge their main ropes to the right position and tie with a wooden log.
As usual, Okinawa’s national highway, where the event takes place, was closed to traffic. This year, a 200-metre, 40-tonne tug-of-war rope, recognised by Guinness World Records as the longest in the world, was used.
Around 20,000 people were directly involved in the competition, including citizens and tourists. For 30 minutes they pulled with all their might, and just before the time was up, the ‘Team East’ managed to gain ground to win the race.
Considered the largest tug-of-war contest in the world, the festival mimics the Japanese warrior tradition, but is now intended as a game of peace. Interrupted during the Second World War, the ‘Naha Tug of war’ was held again in 1971 to remember the occasion of the destruction of the city of Naha in US air raids and as a symbol of hope for peace. »

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