Tug-of-War in Asia

Cooperative projects for safeguarding common living heritage


Discovering Shared Values in the Tug-of-War of Asia

Field Survey Project and International Symposiums on Tug-of-War

Every culture seems to have its own form of tug-of-war. While the different tug-of-war manifestations have common features in keeping with climate and environment, they also have the unique characteristics based on the cultural environment in which they develop. In East and Southeast Asia, the tug-of-war has been historically and intricately linked to rice cultivation culture and is therefore largely found in agricultural societies, where the tug-of-war has been performed as a ritual to pray for rain or to predict the upcoming harvest.

동아시아 줄다리기

Dangjin City in the Republic of Korea has made significant efforts to safeguard tug-of-war (gijisi juldarigi), which has evolved with the city throughout its five-hundred-year history to become the city’s valuable heritage. Efforts for safeguarding the tug-of-war include organizing annual festivals and hosting international symposiums. Special measures are taken to establish a foundation to help transmit the heritage, amass traditional information, research, and performing other duties. Furthermore, Dangjin City collaborates with other Asian countries to further research of traditional tug-of-war.

동아시아 줄다리기

As part of such efforts, in 2013, Dangjin City and ICHCAP proposed conducting a field survey project on the traditional tug-of-war in Southeast Asia. Subsequently, the two organizations held international symposiums in 2013 and 2015 that formed the basis for the interchange of culture and information, established international collaborative research between institutes and researchers, and formed the framework for comparative research of various tug-of-war cultures.

We hope to catalyze a renaissance of tug-of-war through collaborative efforts and to reaffirm the need for safeguarding and researching tug-of-war culture.