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Fast Food


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Is that some kind of Japanese national sport or what??

Reported by smh.com.au, July 4, 2002:

Fast food

New York: There are few "sure things" in international sport, but Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi - current holder of the coveted Mustard Yellow International Belt - is about as close as they come.

On July 4 last year, the 24-year-old Japanese stunned the rarefied world of competitive eating by downing 50 hot dogs in just 12 minutes - doubling the existing world record in one stroke and leaving rivals choking in his wake. And now he's back to defend his title.

Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Competition, held in New York on the July 4 holiday, is the blue riband event of the competitive eating calendar. This year's contest features a total of 20 eaters from Japan, Germany, England, Thailand, Canada and the United States, all of whom have had to gorge their way through regional qualifiers to get here.

Watching Kobayashi at the official "weigh-in" today, the obvious and overriding question is where he manages to put it all. Compared to many of his fellow "gurgitators", Kobayashi is not just thin, he is downright skeletal, weighing in at a mere 51.3kg.

The only men considered possible rivals are Eric "Badlands" Booker (182kg) and Charles "Hungry" Hardy 163kg) -- both of whom carry the unenviable task of trying to wrest the mustard belt back for the host country. Their chances are a lot slimmer than their girths.

So dominant is Kobayashi that the offshore internet bookmaker BetWWTS.com has set the maximum bet on the Japanese at $US200 ($A356.82). The odds of 2/1-on seem quite attractive, until a quick check on the small print shows that Kobayashi has been saddled with a 20-dog handicap.

"If we didn't have the handicap, we'd pretty much have to close the book," admitted BetWWTS spokesman Kyle Fratini. Side wagers are available on how much weight the Japanese will gain during the event. Last year, he put on almost .45 kg per minute.

Crucial to the mind-boggling victory in 2001 was his adoption of what has since been dubbed the "Solomon technique" - breaking the hot dogs in half before consuming them. "I like to eat," is Kobayashi's modest explanation for his success.

He only began competitive eating two years ago, after exhausting the Japanese eateries that offer free meals if diners can consume certain vast quantities of food. "In daily life, I don't really eat that much," he confessed. "I mean, I like hot dogs but one is usually enough."

Badlands Booker, meanwhile, was clearly feeling the pressure as the main US hope to regain the mustard belt. "Everything is on my shoulders, but I'm in the best shape of my eating career," said Booker, who has been training by drinking 4-1/2 litres of water in three minutes, twice a day, for two weeks.

"It helps elasticate the stomach." Hungry Hardy acknowledged Kobayashi as a "phenomenal athlete" but insisted that he was beatable. "Hell, I've been to Japan and beaten them at sushi," Hardy said, adding that the humid conditions expected tomorrow could cause an upset. "If it's muggy, you eat less. That's a fact," he said.

The July 4 event, which has been held annually since 1916, is organised by the New York-based International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE) which supervises and regulates eating contests in their various forms throughout the world.

The IFOCE is very prickly about suggestions that competitive eating is not a real "sport" and proudly traces its roots back to prehistoric times. "If you have 30 hungry Neanderthals in a cave and a rabbit walks in, that is a competitive eating situation," insists the federation's official website.

"Of course, in the last two centuries competitive eating has been practised with somewhat more formality." There is one golden rule; what goes down must not come back up. "Regurgitation is violation," intoned "Crazy Legs" Conti, the current world oyster eating champion.

Copyright © smh.com.au

And there are casualties:

14-year-old `fast eater' dies

=> The Asahi Shimbun

:confused: :confused:
Actually such events have a long tradition in Japan and date back to the Edo era. They are now known as [oogui] which translates as "gluttony" (click here for more explanations).

These events were held in many villages, very often in the course of local festivals or holidays. It's difficult to explain, but there are two Japanese principles (not only concerning food): [hare] and [ke], referring to special things or events (hare) and ordinary things or everyday life (ke). During [hare] events people had to eat as much opulent food as possible. So these fast eating competitions seem to have a long tradition.

The web site below is dedicated to [oogui]:

http://www.ohgui.com (only in Japanese)

Bon appetit!
I believe to watch one of these competions would prove to be too much for my own stomach to handle, hehe:p :p

however I'm sure it all takes place with fun and enjoyment in mind👍
I've seen quit a few of these Oogui contests on TV, just amazing.

hmmm, I wonder if Japanese having longer intestines helps in this situation?

What happens when you live in Japan a long time? Will my intestines become longer?

Interesting enough is that I'm now affected by coldness and my intestines get real grumpy. hmmmm
From what I know Americans hold food eating competitions also...In form of hot dogs or some other food...Those type of competitions are very unhealthy for your immune system...Still, what can one say? It's tradition.
Actually stocky people have more blubber compressing against their abdomens which limits the enlargement of the abdomen accordingly granting fewer nutrient to be stashed away there for digestion. That's why you see skinny Japanese victoriousing those eating competitions.

It dazed the western nationalists when the World Hotdog Eating competition recurrently started to come down to 45 kg East Asian women and afterwards, thin East Asian men. The large folks don't stand a chance against these people.😊
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