The Tokyo district of Marunouchi today hosted the finals of the ‘Otemachi, Marunouchi, Yurakucho Nakadori Tsunahiki Tournament’, an inter-company tug-of-war battle aimed at getting office workers out from behind their desks and onto the streets in a bid to promote wellbeing and community in Japan’s business districts.

Marunouchi’s manicured streets might seem an unlikely venue for the rough and tumble of a tug of war, but this is exactly the point.  Such events are typically the staple of country fairs and rural festivities as local government and business team up to build a sense of community among residents.  Organizers of the ‘Otemachi, Marunouchi, Yurakucho Nakadori Tsunahiki Tournament’ hope to do the same for those who work in these areas with the event being just one part of an ongoing project to this effect.  

The tournament came into 2017 on the back of its resounding popularity as a single event in last summer’s Marunouchi Sports Fest with today’s finals the culmination of a series of qualifiers held over the past week involving 240 office workers in some 24 teams tugging it out in their suits for the chance to appear in the final round of competition. The victors would go on to pit their strength against a special-guest team of professional wrestlers from Japan’s Pro-Wrestling NOAH organization, boasting among their ranks current GHC Heavyweight Champion Katsuhiko Nakajima.  


(Pro-Wrestling NOAH's champion wrestler Katsuhiko Nakajima)


(Pro-Wrestling NOAH tug of war team)


Of the six teams that contested today’s final round of tugging, it was those from Mitsubishi Jisho Property Management / Mitsubishi Estate, and Mitsubishi Corporation that emerged suited and slightly sweaty as the two teams that would face off in the final pull.  The former, with a team comprising some very sizeable American footballers, rugby players, and Judo athletes, lived up to their billing as clear favorites, ultimately making light work of the final to take the tournament crown.  


(Event champions Team Mitsubishi Jisho Property Management / Mitsubishi Estate - 三菱プロパティマネジメント ・三菱地所)


(Runners up from Mitsubishi Corporation - 三菱商事)


Though there may have been doubts among spectators about how a team of office workers would fare against professional wrestlers, team Mitsubishi Jisho Property Management / Mitsubishi Estate showed no signs of weakness as they discarded two of their members to make numbers even at six and six.  In one final pull before heading back to their desks it was the office workers who were the ones left standing.  Literally.




(Event champions Team Mitsubishi Jisho Property Management / Mitsubishi Estate -三菱プロパティマネジメント ・三菱地所 )


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