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New Stone Monument Commemorating 100th Anniversary of the Ekiden Unveiled in Kyoto

On June 3 the Kyoto Athletics Association held a ceremony at Kyoto's Nishi Kyogoku Field to unveil a new stone monument commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ekiden. Led by Association chair Setsuko Tanaka, roughly 30 dignitaries took part.

In April this year another monument was erected at Shinjo Ohashi, the starting point of Japan's first-ever ekiden in 1917. To help "spread the good word about the first century of the ekiden to as many people as possible," the Association chose to place a second monument at Nishi Kyogoku Field, the start and finish points for the National High School Ekiden Championships.

The new monument is of the same design, material and size as the one at Sanjo Ohashi, made of granite and measuring 1.8 m tall by 1.2 m wide. While the Sanjo Ohashi monument is engraved with "starting point," the new monument reads "Nishi Kyogoku Field, Kyoto," letting fans get different selfies at each. Tanaka commented "We will be very pleased if runners from across the country come to take commemorative pictures."

Visiting the track that day, Katsura High School track and field team managers Tomoko Komai, 18, and Yukino Shiga, 16, looked at the monument and excitedly took pictures of it, saying, "We didn't know it has been a hundred years since the start of the ekiden. This is the first time we've ever heard the ekiden began in Kyoto."

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translated by Brett Larner
photo c/o reader Pat Single


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