Culture · Culture Shock · Education · Elementary School Education · Information · Japanese Pop Culture · Living in Japan · Television

Extreme 31 Legged Racing

So, I am sitting here in my apartment flipping through channels when I came across a TV special about this event in Japan that is for elementary school students. What happens is an entire class (30 students) tie their legs together to make 31 legs and they race against other schools in a nation wide tournament. Students are timed as they run 50 meters, and those times are compared with other schools to decide the winner. The team that hold the record is from Kumamoto Prefecture for a 8.97 seconds.

The name of the event is 小学生クラス対抗30人31脚 (syougakusei kurasu taikou 30 nin 31 kyaku) which translates roughly to “”National Elementary School Students’ 50m 31-legged Race by 30-children,” I have never heard of this event until now, and I am surprised (although I really shouldn’t be) that Japan seems to take this event very seriously. The event began in 1997 and since then teams from all over the world including China, Korea, Cuba, Kenya, and Australia have competed in the competition.

Nothing explains this better than some video:

The event seems to perfectly embody the Japanese ideal of striving together to achieve a goal as a team, as well as the melodrama that Japanese TV audiences seem to love: TV Asahi was sure to include emotional scenes of the teams training for the competition, complete with tearful speeches and dramatic music.

I personally love when they crash into the padding at the end.

For some more fun videos, be sure to check out this commercial for the event: CLICK HERE!!!


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