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Pictures from Okinawa, Japan


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****Updated As Of 25 October 2003****


These pictures are from the Ryukyu Kingdom Festival held in Naha City here on the island of Okinawa Japan. The Ryukyu Kingom Festival is also the site of the World's Largest Tug-of-War which I was fortunate to be a part of.


These are pictures of the festival ball. Once this breaks open the festival begins.

This is a picture that a buddy of mine and I took outside of a BBQ shop in Okinawa, Japan.

This is without a doubt the largest bottle of beer that I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

This is a huge statue of a Shi-shi dog. The ones with their mouths open are the males, used to ward off evil spirits. The ones with their mouths closed are the females (totally backwards from America)… anyway, they’re used to keep all the good spirits inside the home to protect the family.

This is a picture that a bunch of buddies and I took with the Commandant of the Marine Corps – General Jones.
(Left to Right – back row - Me, General Jones, SgtMaj Estrada, Cpl. Cooper, Cpl. Fahvretto and Cooper’s Dad)
(Left to Right – front row – LCpl Bourquin, Cpl Bollinger, GySgt Beecher and Lance (he never liked rank))

Pictures with cops in Okinawa… they seem more scared than we are.

This is called Habu Saki “Habu” meaning snake, and “Saki” meaning alcohol.

This has got to be the most mistreated child in Okinawa. What kind of parent sends their little boy out in public in pastel pinks and blues???

These are pictures of one of the festival kings, before and during the fight of the festival. The two kings battle to see if there will be a profitable crop during the upcoming season.

Quick snapshot from my room in Okinawa.

My eye-level view of the crowd at the festival.

Retired ninjas stopping to take a picture with me… it was pretty cool hanging out with those guys.

Another picture of the parade proceedings.

Here we are up against the world’s largest tug-of-war rope. Soon hundreds of thousands of people will be grabbing onto this rope and tugging with everything they’ve got.

Two more shots of the rope… our half anyway. There’s another half of this rope that stretches further on down the road. Once they’re linked together the tug-of-war will begin.

Another snapshot of some shi-shi dogs.

This is one of the teams staffs. They carry these staffs through the streets along the parade route as signs of support for their warriors.

Another picture of some of the staffs resembling different teams.

As you can see, traffic is a bit different in Okinawa.

This is a team getting ready to raise their staff and begin their march in the parade.