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SURPRISINGLY, THE NO. 1 SPECTATOR SPORT IN JAPAN IS MOTORBOAT RACING
Norman Sklarewitz
June 24, 1985
Japan—land of flower-arranging, sumo wrestlers, geisha girls, the tea ceremony, motorboat racing....
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June 24, 1985

Surprisingly, The No. 1 Spectator Sport In Japan Is Motorboat Racing

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There is no upper age limit for competitors. Tadahiko Katsumoto, 67, is a grandfather twice over and a B-class racer. He joined the federation 31 years ago, when the sport was just two years old, and has been at it ever since. Katsumoto still gets in his share of wins, but he admits that he isn't quite as sharp on the turns as he once was and that perhaps some of the fight is gone. "In our sport, you must be strong and tough all the time," he says.

So far, only a handful of gaijin have become motorboat racers, but the federation has an open mind on the subject. As for tourists, a day at the races may teach them more about modern Japanese society than a night at a Kabuki performance. But the best reason not to miss out on motorboat racing is that it's an exciting, entertaining sport. Just don't let your travel bureau try to tell you there's no such thing.

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