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Local Farmers Donate 100 kg of Rice to Waseda University Ekiden Team

 

The JA Irumano farmers' collective has donated 100 kg of locally-grown rice to the Waseda University ekiden team in support of the team's preparations for the 100th Hakone Ekiden on Jan. 2-3 next year. The JA Irumano, which represents an area of 13 municipalities including Kawagoe and Tokorozawa, donates local rice every year to Hakone-bound schools that have campuses within the collective's domain as a way of wishing the athletes good luck.

On Nov. 29, JA Irumano regional director Toshio Ishii and managing director Yoji Shimizu went to Waseda's campus in Tokorozawa to present the team with 100 kg of Kinmemai, a commercial brand produced from Saitama prefecture's proprietary sainokizuna variety of rice and polished using original techniques.

"Our athletes are in heavy training right now and I told them that it's important to eat a lot of rice, so I'm really grateful for this," commented Waseda head coach Katsuhiko Hanada. "We want to deliver something that'll make Waseda fans everywhere happy." Team captain Atsushi Shobu agreed, saying, "We really appreciate it. We're grateful that they're showing their support by giving us this rice, and it means we have to try that much harder. Our goal is to make top 5, but we'll be trying as hard as we can to keep the Waseda W up front." Waseda University placed 6th at the last Hakone Ekiden.

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translated and edited by Brett Larner

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