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Town braces for tourist boom from TV drama about runner

16 1 5

Japan first took part in the Summer Olympics in 1912, when the event was held in Stockholm. Japanese marathon runner Shizo Kanakuri went missing during the race as unusually high heat forced half the competitors to drop out.

Local media reported about a Japanese runner who mysteriously “disappeared” in the middle of the marathon.

Kanakuri is the hero of this year’s “Taiga” historical TV drama series, which is titled “Idaten” (swift runner). Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) started airing the annual yearlong series on Jan. 6.

During his brilliant athletic career, Kanakuri competed in three Olympics and helped launch the Hakone Ekiden, the hugely popular university road relay races held annually on Jan. 2 and 3.

These achievements earned him the sobriquet “father of the Japanese marathon.”


© The Asahi Shimbun