The annual Naha tug of war takes place this year on 7th October.

Held on route 58 in downtown Naha, it’s a battle between the East and West teams. The event begins with men standing on the rope in traditional dress to symbolize the battle in ancient times between the leaders of the East and West. Various performances take place along the rope length until just before the start a wooden platform is carried on shoulders along the length of the rope carrying a man dress as a Rykyuan King. Before the event starts there is a ceremonial sword fight between the two kings.

The event itself is featured in the Guinness book of records and the rope is a massive 40 metric tons and 1.5 meters in diameter. There are several smaller ropes hanging from the side for people to pull on. The tug itself lasts 30 minutes and the challenge is to pull the other side 5 meters.

After the event finishes it’s customary to cut off a piece of the rope to take home with you so this is one event you’re allowed to go equipped with a knife!