Sunday, October 26, 2008

NNCT Sports Meet 2008

It was the annual Sports Meet in my college several days ago.
The polystyrene scoreboard. Clean and simple.
One thing about the sports meet here in Japan is that although they do it in a very simple way, yet the lively atmosphere is still there. There are no contingents with a flag bearer marching into the field, no flag raising while singing to the school anthem, and super-long and boring speeches from the head of the school.
Instead, it just started with the president of the sports department announcing the opening of the sports meet, followed by a short speech by the school principal. Later, the captain of each of the five Engineering departments went up to deliver their short messages. Too bad that the microphone went off after the first guy gave his message, the four other guys had to do it manually, i.e. using only their voice.
The principal, telling the students to enjoy the day and practise fair-play.
The second guy from the right, captain for the Electric and Electronic Engineering Department had no choice but to shout out loudly.

While the rest waited for the event to unfold.
Before the first event started, everyone, including the lecturers, the staff and all the students spread around the field to do some morning stretching-ups. Apparently, the Japanese have been doing this since they were in kindergarten, and it is not surprising that they have memorised all the movements. And the best part of all, there is a song which is made specially for this session and it is the same in whole Japan.
In fact, we first heard this song when we had our sports meet in PPKTJ a couple of years back.
Morning exercise.
However, not everyone seems to be paying attention to the stretching-ups. Take two of my classmates for example.
運動会 - Copy
Clockwise from top left: tai chi; conserving energy for his next move; Dragon Ball; he felt paiseh when he noticed that I was capturing his moves.
As simple as it seems to be, they certainly didn't lack when it comes to efficiency. There was one time during one of the event, that they announced the result of the event less than thirty-seconds after the event ended. I suppose the result could be informed to the officials because they know how to utilise the technology by using walkie-talkie. It will take something special to match that, when we think of our sports meet in Malaysia. On the other hand, I don't think I have to start talking about the rubbish problem between here in Japan and back home, because after the sports meet here ended, there was not a single rubbish on the field and we didn't even need to clean it because everyone made sure their rubbish were thrown in the correct place.
However, the events during the sports meet are relatively different from what we usually get during our primary and secondary school. There are no track events, long jumps, high jumps or deep jumps. Instead, the events contested are more fun-oriented, like the first one, which is called 人送り (hito okuri) or human-delivering.
See how high they throw their teammate.
The game is simple, each team comprising of about twenty to thirty people line-up in a straight line, and they need to transfer a few person from one end to the other end. The person who will be delivered will run and hop onto the arms of the people lining up, and the rest will use the strength of their arms to push and move that guy until the end. Once that guy has arrived at the end of the line, he will jump down, run ten meters forward and return to the starting point for the next guy to continue the rally.
For teams who do it the wrong way, the poor guy will be left stuck there, and not moving at all. However, some teams who were able to execute it to perfection will see the guy flying high and manage to finish the event very much faster than the rest.
騎馬戦 (kibasen) or piggyback-fight was the next event. Three person carry the forth person with a ribbon tied on his/her forehead like a piggyback ride, where the main objective is to pull the ribbon of their opponents. This game also requires proper strategy, and teamwork because I see some teams just attacked their opponents blindly. In the end, they find themselves surrounded by opposing teams and that spell the end of their lives.
Some teams were smart that they team-up with other teams to provide more attacking options and having more people to protect them when they were attacked. As for some who were even smarter, they just stood there without moving and just watched the rest battled out. When the time was ending, they only started to attack the remaining teams.
A pair of long hands certainly provide an advantage in this game.
As this event was joined by the girls too, they usually will just find a corner and stay there until the whistle is blown because they were too afraid to join the fierce fight. Can you imagine seeing girls attempting to pull something from a guy? That would not be very nice, ain't it?
But I am not sure if the guy wouldn't be more than happy to allow the girl to do that.
"Kowai!!!" *insert kawaii voice*
Unlike last year, some of my friends and I watched the event from morning until evening this time around. It was certainly interesting to watch something different from what we used to see all this while. Looking at the Japanese battling out in those events, we managed to catch some glimpse of funny and embarrassing moments throughout the day.
In between, we camwhored, as always.
This was in the morning.
That guy in white is a fifth year senior of mine from Vietnam, and this genius is going to Tokyo University next year.
The third event was 玉入れ (tama ire) or ball-inserting. I know the literally translated version sounds wrong but anyway, this is by far the simplest event. Thirty people stand outside a circle, in which bean-filled packets are scattered inside the circle with a netball-like pole with a net in the centre circle. The objective is to throw all the packets into the net in the fastest time.
All set and ready, waiting for the cue.
And trying their best to get the best time.
I joined in this event as well and my job was to stand on the centre, while receiving all the packets from my teammates and insert them into the net. Well, I put my height into full use this time because I just had to jump a little bit and there is hardly any packets which fall off from my throw each time I jumped.
That cause enviousness from the other teams, but as much as I had hope that I would be able to help my team in this event, we only ended up forth out of five teams. It was quite disappointing to be honest.
Strip-off show in the middle of the field.
The next event is one of the event which always keep most of us anticipating for it. It is like the highlight of the sports meet and equivalent to the 100-meter event in Olympics. They call it 棒倒し (bou taoshi) or pole-tumble.
One team will be divided into two, that is the attackers and the defenders. The attackers will run half-round of the track and get into the defence area of the opposition team and try to knock down their opponent's pole and at the same time, grab the flag on top of the pole. As for the defenders, their job will be to protect their pole and the flag from the attackers of the opposing team.
One of the team trying to lift their spirit before the game started.
The attackers at the starting line.
Here comes the attackers.
Attacking the opposition's pole.
It is left for the players to use whatever method to win this game. Hand-fist, tackle, pushing, and shoving.
It was almost like a fighting scene.
Some turned into monkeys and chimpanzees by climbing on the others to grab that flag.
Almost there, as the pole was tumbling down.
This event can get really fierce and out-of-control as every year, there will be cases where people are left injured after the event. Last year, there was case in which someone had broken tooth. This year, one of them remained on the ground after the event because he dislocated his shoulder apparently.
Poor guy lying on the ground.
Another event would be the 綱引き (tsuna hiki) or tug-of-war. It is a tad different from the local version of ours because in Japan, one team can have as much as twenty people. And they do not carry up the rope until the referee blows the whistle. It was indeed harder compared to what we used to play because we will feel an instant force on our muscles once the whistle is blown.
Another thing would be the fact that there is only one round for every match, and not the best-of-three like always. Thing is made worse that if they see no team winning after a determined period of time, say two minutes, they will either decide the winner by looking at the team which was winning, or simply by using the paper-scissor-rock method. Damn kampung can.
My class during the early rounds. Too bad they didn't make it to the end.
The lecturers and staff had their own team as well. They was the finalist last year, but got knocked out in the early rounds this time.
The sports meet made a new change this time, as we the international students made up a team to join the tug-of-war event. Well, there are twenty-two of us in our college, including seventeen Malaysians. However, one was away for his part-time job while the other was still in his cast. Haha, you know who that is. So, we were left with only twenty people, without any substitutes.
Despite so, we got reinforcement from the members from the Chikyu Lab and Mr Haga Ryusuke himself joined in to be our anchor. A few other Japanese students joined in as well. Not only that, our team was among the teams that received more attention than the rest because everyone was anticipating how far we would progress.
All were feeling relaxed before the match.
Feeling confident, but not over-confident.
Win five matches and we will be crowned champions.
First match: It was just a warming-up session for us as we won in less than ten seconds.
Second match: Our opponent tried to give us some fight, but we prevailed in the end.
Third match: Everyone was so fired up because we were only two match away from getting into the final. Each of us pull in the same rhythm and we won it with ease.
Forth match: It was the semi-final and we were against the champion of last year. We knew it would take something special to beat them, but we still gave our best. Unfortunately, it was not enough and we crashed out.
Although we didn't win the first place, we still have a group shot, posing as if we were the champions.
We know that there is always another year.


Anonymous said...

yayyay , its deepavali soon , want some muruku ?lol , kesian nya,im so cruel la ,sorry :)

calvin said...

@ titian:
err, totally unrelated to this entry but if you are nice enough, then send me some muruku :)

by the way, can i know who is this?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

mmm...where is ming jing?

Anonymous said...

again, nice post ^^
very detailed and i can almost imagine being there in person too.. wished there was such a nice event back here s well.. so envy you wo..

Wee Kien said...

jz curious. x cold meh??

calvin said...

@ titian:
thanks from dropping by :)

calvin said...

@ elaine:
ming jing? she was m.i.a xD

calvin said...

@ sakura:
thanks again :)
you can have nice food back home, which i envy you on that =P

calvin said...

@ chwk87:
i suppose you meant those guys playing the bou-taoshi event, right? it was a sunny day, but it was still quite cold. that is why i saw them putting on their shirts and jacket immediately they finished their matches :)

Endoru said...

Haha, I thought 玉入れ is only for little kids. :D

Kae Vin said...

Did u join the pole thing?

Looks fun.

How bout the piggyback-fight? You join sure win


calvin said...

@ endoru:
well, i suppose so too, but the event was really fun ^.^

calvin said...

@ specialhuman:
nope, i didn't join the pole event. maybe next year. same goes to the piggyback-fight =)

K3ViN said...

look like u all really enjoy urself.... even loss but still happy :P

calvin said...

@ k3vin:
it is just a game, so why should we feel down about losing. the most important thing is that we enjoyed ourselves =)