BORN TO RUN
First Tokyo Marathon Attracts 30,000 Runners (March 23, 2007)
On February 18, 2007, the inaugural Tokyo Marathon was held, with the course taking runners past such famous landmarks as the Imperial Palace, Ginza, and Asakusa. This was a major event that attracted nearly 30,000 participants.
Goalie Becomes First Japanese Player in NHL (February 28, 2007)
The National Hockey League now has its first-ever Japanese player. Goalie Fukufuji Yutaka, 24, who was promoted to the flagship team by the Los Angeles Kings organization, made his debut during a game against the St. Louis Blues.
(February 2, 2007)
A number of Japanese baseball players have used the posting system this off-season to go to the Major Leagues. This coming baseball season in the United States will allow fans to see some dream match-ups among Japanese stars.
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
(December 22, 2006)
It is the golden age of Japanese women's figure skating. Asada Mao of Chukyo High School won the ladies' division of the NHK Trophy, held from November 30 to December 3, 2006, in Nagano.
CLOTHES THAT KEEP YOU FIT
(December 7, 2006)
Consumers are giving a big thumbs-up to new types of clothing that can tighten muscles and change the shape of a person's body just by wearing them, all while that person goes about his or her daily routine.
(October 25, 2006)
Tokyo has won the race to become Japan's candidate to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Tokyo will now be vying with other candidate cities around the world in the hope of hosting the Olympics for the second time, following the highly successful 1964 Summer Games.
600 MILLION YEN BABY
(August 21, 2006)
The Select Sale 2006 auction of major top-breed racehorses was held on July 11 in Tomakomai city, Hokkaido, where To The Victory 2006, a foal born this spring, was sold for a record fee of ¥600 million ($5.2 million at ¥115 to the dollar).
GRAPPLING FOR THE TOP SPOT
(July 13, 2006)
At the sumo tournament scheduled for July in Nagoya, ozeki (the second-highest rank) Hakuho is looking to do well enough to earn a promotion to yokozuna (highest rank).
KEEPING MOUNTAINS CLEAN
(June 21, 2006)
A climbing team led by alpinist Noguchi Ken recently completed a one-month cleaning expedition on Nepal's Mt. Manaslu (elevation 8,163 meters).
DREAMING OF GERMANY
(May 12, 2006)
The 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany begins on June 9, and Japan's 23-man squad for the event will be announced on May 15. A rising star by the same of Sato Hisato (Sanfrecce Hiroshima) has shot into contention with a prolific run of goal scoring.
THE ARAKAWA EFFECT
(April 21, 2006)
The image of Arakawa Shizuka winning the gold medal in the women's figure skating at the Torino Winter Olympics is still fresh in the memory.
TRAINER TO THE CHAMPS
(March 22, 2006)
There is a Japanese female trainer employed by an American pro football team in the NFL. Her name is Iso Ariko. It is rare enough to have a female trainer looking after the physical condition of the athletes who compete at America's most popular sport, but being Japanese makes Iso doubly unique.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
(February 6, 2006)
The twentieth Winter Olympics get underway on February 10 in Torino, Italy. As the world's eyes and ears turn to this grand stage, hopes are high for Japan's athletes. This is particularly true in women's figure skating.
SUMO'S ANSWER TO BECKHAM
(January 11, 2006)
A new star was born at the 2005 Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament. Bulgarian wrestler Kotooshu was promoted to the rank of ozeki after compiling an 11-4 record in the tournament and a combined 36-9 record in his last three tournaments.
SKATING INTO THE RECORD BOOKS
(December 26, 2005)
Twenty-year-old Kato Joji is a focus of Japanese hopes for the upcoming Winter Olympics, which will take place in the Italian city of Torino in February 2006.
(December 19, 2005)
This season, American manager Bobby Valentine led the Chiba Lotte Marines to their first Japan Series baseball title in 31 years. Valentine's management style and skillful use of players was dubbed "Bobby Magic."
MARINES CLAIM ASIAN BASEBALL CROWN
(December 6, 2005)
The Chiba Lotte Marines have won the Konami Cup Asia Series to clinch the first regional professional baseball championship in Asia.
(November 30, 2005)
Exercise that focuses on the movement of the pelvis has been quietly taking hold in Japan. Correcting and relieving tension in the muscles of the pelvic area can result in enhanced posture, a more shapely figure, and improved general well-being.
WALKING TO FITNESS
(October 18, 2005)
Walking is enjoying newfound popularity, particularly among people in their forties and over, as a way of staying fit or losing weight that costs nothing and is easy to do.
SAYING YES TO YOGA
(August 29, 2005)
Yoga, which eases fatigue and is useful for maintaining physical and mental health, is enjoying renewed popularity in Japan, particularly among young women. Yoga studios are cropping up all over the country, and manufacturers specializing in yoga attire have emerged. According to the Dai-ichi Life Research Institute Inc., the number of yoga enthusiasts in Japan is now over 200,000.
GERMANY, HERE WE COME!
(July 20, 2005)
Japan has become the first team in the world to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which will be held next June and July in Germany. Many Japanese were glued to their TVs on June 8 for the decisive qualifying game, and there was widespread joy at the team's achievement.
BIG IN CHINA
(June 24, 2005)
On June 5, 2005, Japanese table tennis prodigy Fukuhara Ai, 16, made her debut in China's Super League, where the sport's elite players compete.
THREE CHEERS FOR THE CHAMPIONS!
(May 30, 2005)
In April a Japanese cheer and dance team won the Chick-fil-A Cheer & Dance Collegiate Championship in the United States.
PLAYING HOST AGAIN
(May 12, 2005)
Japan is in the running to host the seventh Rugby World Cup in 2011. Having formed a bid committee in October 2004, the Japan Rugby Football Union submitted a notification of official candidacy to the International Rugby Board in January 2005.
TAKING BASEBALL TO AFRICA
(March 10, 2005)
Several Japanese pioneers are fostering international exchange with African countries through the medium of baseball.
QUEENS OF GOLF
(March 8, 2005)
The first Women's World Cup golf tournament, an international team event, was won by the Japanese duo of Miyazato Ai, 19, and Kitada Rui, 23.
DREAMING OF J. LEAGUE GLORY
(February 4, 2005)
The J. League, Japan's professional soccer league, will expand to 30 clubs for
its 2005 season, a three-fold increase from the 10 clubs that began the inaugural
LEAGUE WITHOUT BORDERS
(December 28, 2004)
Good news for ice hockey fans in Asia: A full-fledged Asian ice hockey league
has been inaugurated for the current hockey season. Eight participating teams
from four Far Eastern countries - Japan, China, South Korea, and Russia - will
battle against one another atop the ice.
GETTING A KICK FROM FUTSAL
(December 24, 2004)
The popularity of futsal, a five-a-side version of soccer, continues to grow.
While the number of futsal pitches and devotees in Japan is exploding, the national
futsal team, comprised of Japan's elite players, competed in the 5th FIFA Futsal
World Championship in Taipei at the end of November 2004.
LITTLE MAN ON A BIG STAGE
(November 24, 2004)
Standing just 173 centimeters (5 feet, 8 inches) tall, Tabuse Yuta, 24, became
the first-ever Japanese player in the National Basketball Association when he earned a spot
on the Phoenix Suns' final roster of 12 players as the NBA season started.
(October 28, 2004)
The Athens Paralympics, the twelfth quadrennial competition for disabled
athletes, was held September 17-28. Japanese athletes captured a whopping total
of 52 medals: 17 gold, 15 silver, and 20 bronze, setting records for both total
medals and gold medals.
HITTING NEW HEIGHTS
(October 13, 2004)
Suzuki Ichiro, the 30-year-old right fielder for the Seattle
Mariners, made history on October 1 at Safeco Field in Seattle by breaking an
84-year-old record for the most hits in a single season.
THE SECRET OF JAPAN'S OLYMPIC SUCCESS
(October 6, 2004)
Japan won 37 medals at the Athens Olympics this summer, its
highest total ever. There has been considerable discussion about just what it
was that enabled Japanese athletes to achieve their record-breaking medal
tally in Athens.
FAST BREAKING TO ATHENS
(March 16, 2004)
The Japanese women's basketball team was the runner-up at the
January FIBA ASIA Championship for Women - Sendai, Japan 2004, which doubled as
the qualifier for the upcoming summer Olympics in Athens. The performance earned
the team its first trip to the Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games.
THE JAPANESE DREAM
(February 16, 2004)
New forms of professional mixed martial arts (MMA) that have
originated in Japan, such as K-1 and Pride, are enjoying unprecedented success.
On New Year's Eve 2003, three commercial television networks broadcast MMA events
in a ratings free-for-all. Foreign fighters have figured prominently in the popularity
of MMA in Japan.
(February 13, 2004)
For most people, yoga conjures up an image of sitting quietly
and meditating, but a new fitness movement known as "power yoga," in
which participants move through a series of poses, has become popular among Japanese
SKATING TO SUCCESS
(February 9, 2004)
Japanese female figure skaters are enjoying unprecedented success.
At the December 2003 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final, Suguri Fumie (of
the Shin-Yokohama Prince Club) became the first-ever Japanese champion.
SUMO GOES INTERNATIONAL
(February 4, 2004)
A new force of sumo exponents from Mongolia has come
to the fore recently, the most prominent of which is yokozuna
Asashoryu. As sumo gains greater international recognition, wrestlers from countries
like Russia and Georgia are also making their presence felt.
ATHENS, HERE WE COME!
(December 11, 2003)
Baseball's Asian Championship, which doubled as the Olympic
qualifying event, was held at Sapporo Dome in Hokkaido from October 31 to November
7, 2003. Japan, South Korea, China, and Taiwan competed in the final round from
November 5 to 7. In sweeping its games, Japan earned a trip to the August 2004
(December 10, 2003)
Twenty-three-year-old Tabuse Yuta is aiming to become the first
Japanese player to make it to the National Basketball Association. Tabuse took part in the training camp of the Denver Nuggets in September
and became the first Japanese player ever to appear in an NBA exhibition game.
PINNING A NATION'S HOPES
(October 30, 2003)
At the 2003 World Championships of Freestyle Wrestling held
in New York in September, Japan's women turned in a spectacular performance, capturing
the gold medal in five of the seven weight classes.
SPRINTING TO GLORY
(October 8, 2003)
At the 9th World Championships in Athletics, held in Paris
from August 23 to 31, Japan won four medals (one silver, three bronze), its highest
total ever in the competition.
STROKING TO VICTORY
(August 27, 2003)
At the July 2003 FINA World Swimming Championships in Barcelona, Spain, Kitajima
Kosuke set two new world records in winning both the 100-meters and 200-meters
men' s breaststroke events. In doing so, Kitajima, 20, became the first Japanese
swimmer to win two individual gold medals in a single Olympic or world championship
VICTORY AT THE DOUBLE
(August 26, 2003)
Notch up another victory for Sugiyama Ai, the ace of Japanese
women's tennis. In July 2003, Sugiyama and Kim Clijsters of Belgium won the women's
doubles crown at Wimbledon, which was Sugiyama's first Wimbledon title.
KENDO GOES GLOBAL
(August 15, 2003)
At a special exhibition titled "Expo Edo: Science and Technology of the Edo
Era," among the
most intriguing items on display are those that were made using wind-up springs,
including mechanical dolls, the performances of which are winning particular acclaim.
FOSTERING BASEBALL TALENT
(July 28, 2003)
Major League pitcher Nomo Hideo has founded an amateur baseball team in Japan called
Nomo Baseball Club in what could be described as a gesture of putting something
back into the world of baseball.
(June 12, 2003)
On May 22 Yuichiro Miura, 70, became the oldest person
ever to climb Mount Everest. Miura's courageous achievement impressed many people around
A BIG HIT
(May 21, 2003)
Hideki Matsui has long been the face of Japanese
baseball. When he headed to the United States to join
the storied New York Yankees, all of Japan waited in anticipation to see how he
(April 3, 2003)
Several rising young stars are taking Japanese women's
figure skating by storm. At the World Junior Figure Skating Championships
held at the beginning of March.