Skip to main content

'The Father of Japanese Marathoning' Shizo Kanaguri Honored With Board Game

http://kyushu.yomiuri.co.jp/local/kumamoto/20090607-OYS1T00355.htm

translated by Brett Larner

Click photo for larger image.

A three-time world record setter known as 'The Father of Japanese Marathoning,' Shizo Kanaguri (1891-1983) has been honored with a board game depicting his life. The game is available for sale at the Kokoropia Historical Museum in his hometown of Tamana, Kumamoto.

Kanaguri was born in Nagomi, Kumamoto. While a student at the Tokyo High School Teachers College (now Tsukuba Univ.) in 1911, he set a world record of 2:32:45 while running a domestic qualification race for the Olympic games and became Japan's first Olympic marathoner. He continued competing professionally until age 33 and after his retirement continued his leadership, helping to spread the marathon throughout the country, serving on the Hakone Ekiden organizing committee, taking part in the Kyushu Isshu Ekiden, and running the 1200 km between Shimonoseki and Tokyo. In later years he lived in Tamana, encouraging the town's children to take up running. In 1962 the town honored Kanaguri as its most distinguished citizen.

The board game measures 52 cm by 73 cm and is designed to teach children about Kanaguri's life and accomplishments. From start to finish there are 91 squares. From "Third Marathon World Record (age 23)" to "Running From Sakhalin to Tokyo in 20 Days (age 31)" and beyond, children can enjoy themselves as they follow in the great man's footsteps and learn from his example. Along the way they will learn his secrets, including eating the crusts of his morning bread while getting ready to set a new record in the Olympics or in an overseas marathon, and training on hard stone surfaces because there was no asphalt in Japan.

The museum features 680 items from Kanaguri's estate which were donated by surviving members of his family. A museum administrator commented, "We hope that hearing about a great person from their town will inspire the local children to follow their own dreams." The board game is available for 200 yen. For more information contact the museum at 0968-74-3989.

Translator's note: Stories like this make doing this blog worth it.

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Men's Marathon Rout - JAAF Executives Announce Resignation

http://www.nikkansports.com/olympic/rio2016/athletics/news/1698472.html

translated by Brett Larner

In the Rio de Janeiro Olympics men's marathon on Aug. 21, Satoru Sasaki (30) was the top Japanese man at 16th in 2:13:57.  Suehiro Ishikawa (36) was 36th, with Hisanori Kitajima (31) placing 94th.

At the end of athletics competition Japan's total was two medals and two top eight finishes, a total exceeding the JAAF's target one medal but falling short of its goal of five top eight finishes.  JAAF strengthening committee chairman Kazunori Asaba (55) announced that he intends to resign his position following the Rio Olympics.  Strengthening committee vice-chairman Katsumi Sakai (56) and director of men's marathoning Takeshi Soh (63) are also expected to join the exodus of resignations.  Japanese athletics will be forced to make a fresh start before the Tokyo Olympics.

Kawauchi Wins BMW Oslo Marathon in Fastest Time Since 1986

Running his first race of any distance since finishing 9th at last month's London World Championships, Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) won Saturday's BMW Oslo Marathon in the fastest time in Oslo since before he was born.

Pre-race Kawauchi's goal was to take a shot at the 2:12:58 Norwegian all-comers record, the fastest time ever run on Norwegian soil. With a new two-loop course featuring a pair of tough hills interspersed by a flat seaside section on each loop his game plan was to try to run 3:10/km until midway through the second lap, then try to push it on the climb and descent of the last hill to make up whatever seconds he needed.

15 km into the first lap he was 10 seconds ahead of schedule in 47:20 and 90 seconds clear of 2nd place, but the steep hill starting a kilometer later took its toll and by 20 km he was 24 seconds behind.  Over the second lap the strong sunlight and warmer than usual temperatures and the two weeks he took off after London also began …