Category Archives: Sports

Kite Surfing Hateno Beach

One of the great attractions of Kume Island is the amazing white sand beaches, especially the chain of offshore sandbars known collectively as Hateno-hama. Just before Typhoon 1408 hit I had another chance to visit the beach with this year’s Nakasato Exchange. While the students were swimming and playing on the Nakano sandbar, I spotted a few kite surfers enjoying the mild winds and surf on Meenu Beach. Though I’ve never kite surfed, it was an amazing chance to get

2014 Kume Island Sugar Ride

Every year Kume Island hosts a large group of cycling enthusiasts from around Japan and the world. The Sugar Ride cycling event is a non-competitive ride around scenic Kume Island. It is a great way for cyclists to meet others and enjoy a ride together. All the courses have various stops for rest and refreshment. This year there were three options for participants, including 45, 90, and 130km. The longest “Challenge Course” included three rings around the island and gives

2014 Rakuten Eagles Spring Camp Begins

This year’s national baseball champions in Japan were the  Tohoku Rakuten Eagles. As Champions you might expect a bit of extra attention from the media and a lot of interest in their spring training. Normally based out of Miyagi prefecture, every year the Rakuten Eagles come to Kume Island in February to train for the upcoming season. On February 1, the Eagles kicked off their camp with a ceremony at the Kume Island Stadium, with tons of fans from around

2013 Kume Island Marathon

Every year the Kume Island Marathon draws participants from around the world. This year a typhoon almost managed to cancel the event (ferries were canceled), but still several hundred people managed to make their way onto the ferry. As with last year, I was asked to do photography for the event. I started out at Miifugaa, but then worked my way around to a few other locations. I ended up with over a thousand photos total from the day. I’ve edited

Two Summer Endings – The Last Sports Festivals

On Kume Island, the first semester of school is over and students are on summer vacation.  For two of those schools it is the very last summer they will be open.  Due to rural depopulation both schools will close, with a ‘new’ school opening next April.  The unfortunate thing about the schools’ closing is the chance that local traditions and culture will be lost.  On this ancient island, each area has its own traditions that have become entwined with school

Big Leagues in Small Towns

Baseball is huge in Japan.  As I write this, the teacher’s room TV is set to the World Baseball Classic where Japan is up against Puerto Rico.  Will they win?  I have no idea, but there will definitely be plenty of fans watching to find out (turns out they lost the WBC for the first time ever).  Unlike in the states where baseball goes for a single season, and is quickly replaced, sports in Japan tend to be played all

2012 Kumejima Marathon Photos

平成24年 久米島マラソン写真 ミーフガーの方 Below are photos from the 2012 Kumejima Marathon which took place on October 28, 2012.  I was asked to take pictures by the local town government, so these aren’t edited for content.  Instead, there are pictures for just about everyone in the full race.  Since there are so many, I’ve shrunken them down.  If you would like a full size copy of a picture you can email me with a request. Please include the photo file number.  Only individuals

2012 Kume Island Hari

This past weekend saw the celebration of Dragon Boat festivals throughout the south pacific.  The Dragon Boats, like many Olympic Sports, has its roots in war training and preparation.  In the far past, small canoe-like boats were used as transportation between islands in the Pacific.   Before the use of sail and other types of propulsion, the long canoe boats were propelled by thin, long oars.  They are often brightly painted with water dragons which is where they got their

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