The Great Tug of War in Itoman
Okinawan tug of war passed down from generations
Tug-of-war events held throughout Okinawa are popular traditions in which people pray for bumper crops, good catch, family well-being, and sound health. Some tug-of-war events in Okinawa are held on holidays to attract tourists, but the Great Tug of War in Itoman follows tradition and is held each year on August 15th of the lunar calendar.
The Great Tug of War in Itoman is one of the three great tug of wars in Okinawa (the Great Tug of War in Naha, the Great Tug of War in Yonabaru, and the Great Tug of War in Itoman). It will be held on September 27th this year, which falls on a Sunday, and is expected to draw many participants from in- and outside Itoman City.
More than 30,000 attendees in 2014
The Great Tug of War in Itoman begins with restricting traffic from the Itoman roundabout to Hakugindo early in the morning to get the rope ready.
Once the rope is ready, a parade known as michizune takes place around 2 pm. With leaders of yugafu and kariyushi at the front of the michizune, over 1,000 local residents participate in the 2-kilometer parade with dances, songs, and children performing eisa.
The michizune is followed by connecting the northern and sounthern ropes, respectively the yujina and mijina, using large, rounded sticks called kanuchibo. When connected, the rope becomes roughly 180 meters in length with a weight of about 10 tons.
After young people from both teams dressed as a legendary charater known as shitaku end their standoff, the tug of war is ready to take place. The pulling begins at the sound of yelling “Ha-iya!”
The rule is whichever team pulls 10 meters within 30 minutes wins, and if neither team pulls 10 meters in time, whichever team pulls at least 2 meters wins, but if neither team manages to pull at least 2 meters, it is a tie.
The Great Tug of War in Itoman is known as yuninjina, manninjina, and you do not have to be a resident of Itoman City to be able to pull the rope.
|Event||The Great Tug of War in Itoman|
|Date|| 8:30～13:00 Making the tug-of-war rope（From Itoman Rotary to Hakugindou ）
14:00～16:30 Michi-zunee parade（
From Itoman Elementary School) to Hakugindou）
17:15～17:45 Tug-of-War contest （From Itoman Rotary to Hakugindou ）
|Price||Admission is free.|
|Place||From Itoman Rotary(Itoman Elementary School) to Hakugindou ～ Hakugindou|
|Address||1005 Itoman-shi, Okinawa 901-0361|
Naha asahibashi bus terminal (the 89th / time required: 45 - 60 minutes / ¥580) → Itoman bus terminal.
[By monorail & bus]
1. From Naha airport station (time required: 3 minutes / ¥230) → transfer to bus from Akamine station.
2. Akamine station mae bus stop (the 89th / time required: 30 - 40 minutes / ¥500) → Itoman bus terminal
From Naha airport to Itoman rotary: ¥2,500 - ¥3,000
|Other features||Traffic regulation
14:00～17:00 Route 77 、From Itoman Elementary School to Itoman rotary
8:30～20:30 Route 331、From Hakugindou to Itoman rotary
|Inquiry||Itoman Great Tug-of-War Event Committee (Itoman City Hall Commerce and Tourism Division)|