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Hakone Ekiden Movie on the Way

by Brett Larner

A film version of Shion Miura's popular 2006 novel The Wind is Blowing Hard will hit Japanese theaters Oct. 31. The book and film tell the story of ten students at the fictional Kansei University who band together to try to make it into the Hakone Ekiden, the east Japan regional university men's ekiden championships and the most prestigious and popular race in the country with millions of television and courseside spectators.

Although fiction, the plot closely mirrors the real-life story of the runners at Jobu University, a small school which qualified for Hakone for the first time this year. In its preview of the 2009 Hakone Ekiden JRN wrote about Jobu,

The team is straight out of every underdog-makes-good American sports movie ever made, and hopefully one will be made about them some day.

The film's producers evidently felt the same way and have chosen to reflect this parallel, designing a uniform and tasuki for Kansei University almost identical to those worn by Jobu's runners this year. Watch the trailer for the movie online here.

(c) 2009 Brett Larner
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