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Archipelago - Okinawa
Rope building ceremony on the Islands of Japan.
At the time I didn’t know what was happening. Not at all. The community was assembling, a lot of talk happening in a language I didn’t know, groups huddled here and there before it finally got going. Men and women talking energetically and with purpose. Me sitting off to one side. Tradies with head bands on, old men with big hats to block the sun and the women in gloves. Then soon enough a rope was being built in front of my eyes. Not just any rope, but the sort of rope that’d take 50 men to carry. A rope that stretches for over 100 metres and weighs in at well over a tonne I’m told. The Okinawan rope building is in preparation for a sort of tug-of-war ceremony, something that’s gone on for hundreds of years and continues today.
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