Regional Cultural Asset Portal

Itoman City , Okinawa Related category:
Generations connected by ropes - Maezato Otsunahiki (big tug-of-war) -    

Digest: 3 minutes
Entire story: 41 minutes
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Otsunahiki of Aza Maezato, Itoman City is said to have taken its traditional form from the tugs-of-war handed down to various sites in Okinawa Prefecture. This is the biggest event of Aza Maezato and is so vigorous and exciting that even those who living inside and outside the prefecture return home to participate when the tugs-of-war are held. The tugs-of-war are carried out on August 16 of the lunar calendar by dividing the communities into Agari (the east) and Iri (the west) in accordance with Munchu (agnate relatives groups). At the community plaza, the event begins with Utchai (ochiai - meeting), tugs-of-war, Gahe (competing to be self-willed), Michijinu (street performance) and bojutsu (the art of using a stick as a weapon), etc., which are all performed in grand style. Upon completion of the tugs-of-war, dances are performed as Ashibi (plays), and the streets are alive with people late into the night. There are many difficulties in continually holding the tugs-of-war, including succession issues and others, but each individual becomes aware of being a leader of traditional events and participates in the same.

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