Jul 12, 2010

The Akita Iwate Grand Sports Day for the Adults Held to Unite the Residents from Both Prefectures

Grand Sports Day was held last weekend. The event turned out to be a great success!

Kata Bunko was a star of the day!

The small gym was packed with people of various generations!

It was an event called Dai-Undokai, or “Grand Sports Day” (大運動会). An undokai is a common event held at schools, in which pupils and students play recreational activities and compete in teams. However, this one was dubbed as “Otona-No”, as in “for adults”, taking traditional, conventional games but was re-designed with additional rules to make it more fun for the adults.

Although it was announced and spread by word of mouth through a few local newspaper articles and social networking services. The event ended up gathering more than 150 participants from both Akita and Iwate prefectures!

Here are some photos of the exciting event you've just missed!

Opening Ceremony

The teams were divided by colors: Iwate Team in Red and Akita Team in White.

Warming-Up exercises instructed by local pre-school teachers. We danced to the song of Kin'niku-man.

The opening ceremony with  quick and humorous speeches by mayors from both teams was followed by a warm-up excersise instructed by a local pre-school teacher. We danced to the famous cartoon song of an old animeKinniku Man (筋肉マン).

We were already having a great time being a child again! 

The first game is Borrowing Game in which a participant picks a card with a description, find a person from the opposing team that fits the description, and take this person and together run  for the goal.

"A man with a ponny tail!?"

"You come with me!! Hurry!!"

Look how neatly they line up. These students behave very well..

Pan-kui Kyoso (パン食い競争)

More difficult than it seems!

Next up is Balloon Game, in which a pair carries a ballon to the goal in the manner as is written in the instruction.

Carry the ballon in between the heads!

Like this MC from Iwate team, people showed up in various costumes!

The next game is Dialect Guessing Game. It was the most rumored about before the event. Each team came up with a paragraph in their own dialect and challenge the opponents. Although Akita and Iwate are adjacent to each other, our dialect and intonation vary greatly! In a nutshell, each team competed in the unintelligiblity of the dialects!

We challenged the Iwate residents in our most complicated Akita dialect:
"When I was grafting a tree in the garden, a worm fell on my back. It startled me greatly!"

Our Akita Team led by our very own Mayor took up the Iwate team's challenge!
Our guess was "When I was about to feed a cow early in the morning, I was poked with his horn."

The Iwate Team

The young Akita team takes up the challenge of Iwate Team. It was hard!

The blowing game in which they blow a pool of flour to find a candy!

The winners!

Tug of War with the ropes crossed!

Pulling while balancing is not easy!! Iwates beat us completely..

Lunch time was a show time! Each team showed off their entertaining skills. Iwate Team had performed hula dance, framenco, and a local folkdance. From Akita side, a local group in Kata Area performed Obonai Bushi, a traditional folkdance from Tazawako Area. Look at their costumes!

Fukuwarai, or "Lucky Laugh"

A blind-folded Akita man trying to place the face parts.

The games were all well-organized so that every person participated at least 2 or 3 games. By the end of the day, we were all happily exhausted!

The event was concluded with an awarding ceremony. Although Iwate Team won over Akita by the score, both teams cheered and rooted for each other so that the scores didn't matter!

An organizer summarized at the closing ceremony, Kata Bunko played a significant role in this event. After all, this place was what brought us together - from two different prefectures - to meet, connect, and remember how historically important it is!

This old lady received a Special Recognition Award, because she was the oldest partcipant -- 88 years old!

We all hope this event served just as the beginning of everlasting friendship between Akita and Iwate prefectures. We are already looking forward to having it next year!

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