@JAM EXPO Sports Festival: A One-Day Throwback to Japanese School Days

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@JAM EXPO Sports Festival: A One-Day Throwback to Japanese School Days

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It took a while for us to go through all the hours of footage but, at long last, we can bring you highlights of the sports festival (undou-kai) from @JAM EXPO at Yokohama Arena on August 31, 2014!

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You can watch the full video here!

One of the signs that summer is over in Japan is the school sports festival and the second Monday in October is a national holiday known as Health and Sports Day (taiiku no hi) in commemoration of the opening of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. In a typical Japanese sports festival there are events like tug-of-war (tsuna hiki) and a relay but also things like a “marshmallow-finding-contest” (mashumaro sagashi kyousou) which is like bobbing for apples but with marshmallows hidden in boxes of flour, and “ball toss” (tamaire). It is an experience that resonates in the hearts of those who grew up in Japan and reminds them of their younger days.

Idols have a history of participating in sports festivals, with one of the better-known examples being when Hello! Project would hold annual events from 2001 until 2006 in places like Saitama Super Arena, Tokyo Dome, and Osaka Dome. More recently, members of AKB48 and their sister groups had a sports festival competition on the variety show Mecha Mecha Iketeru in 2013. Because idols typically represent idealized images of youth, having them participate in a sports festival, another symbol of youth is a perfect match.

For the @JAM Expo sports festival, the competing idols were divided into “high school/graduates” and “elementary/middle school” divisions. Some of the groups who participated in the sports event include: PASSPO☆, Negicco, AeLL, CAMOUFLAGE, Moso Calibration, JK21, Tokyo Performance Doll, Dorothy Little Happy, ANNA☆S, GALETTe, You Kikkawa, amorecarina, Akamaru Dash☆, UPUPGIRLS(KARI), Otome Shinto, Prizmmy , Prism Mates, Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen, Idol Renaissance, nanoCUNE, and Tokyo Cheer② Party.

Both events started with an athlete’s oath (senshu sensei) delivered by Minami Sengoku from UPUP GIRLS(KARI) and Airi of Prism Mates, and radio exercises. It was an exciting opportunity to cheer on one’s favorite idols and see them in a situation that they would not normally find themselves in. If you aren’t a “DD” (a person who likes a lot of different idols), why not make plans to come to next year’s @JAM EXPO and cheer on your favorite idols?

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@JAM EXPO Official Website :

Written by Okkun

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Related Artists : GALETTe Moso Calibration CAMOUFLAGE Akamaru Dash☆ Tokyo Performance Doll
Kai Okudara

Writer, researcher, photographer, foodie, KSDD

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