Kumoji section
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Okinawan tug-of-war
Okinawa hosts an annual giant tug-of-war to commemorate its history of the island being governed by two rulers: one from the East, the other from the West. Thousands of people gather on 58 near Kumoji to see residents from each side tug a giant rice straw rope approximately 600 feet in length, a diameter of about 4.5 feet, and over 43 tons in weight in order to declare a victor. This 30 minute spirited battle is accompanied by a parade and celebration. In this photo, the giant rope is still in tact, just minutes before the storm of people duking it out for more than bragging rights. It is rumored that if the East wins, good health and happiness result. Should the West prevail, good harvest and prosperity are their spoils. When all is said and done, participants and spectators rush the rope to snag a commemorative piece.
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