Dear Fuji-san…

Opinions - October 7th, 1988
tokyoweekender_Mike_Marklew

…from Mike Marklew 

Armchair athletes

During the Olympics, everybody docs nothing but drool about medals and records but the other night, when I suggested making a run for the last train to a few of my colleagues, nobody was interested. They hailed a cab instead.

We got talking about which sport each in­dulged in. There were “enthusiasts” and “follow­ers” and almost every kind of sport “watchers,” but not one of them actually “performed” any­thing.

Playing golf once or twice a year can hardly be called being an active “sportsman.”

I admitted there is one sport I do participate in—fishing. It is classed as a sport, but to me it’s the perfect excuse to sit and do nothing. If you just sat on a river bank, everyone would call you lazy, but with a rod in your hand the only comment you get is, “Catch anything?”

Life as a sarariiman leaves little time to do any sport. With six working days followed by the usual post-office, beer and yakitori session there’s only Sunday left. After a sleep-in ’til noon and a chat with the kids, it’s time for bed.

Then, it’s Monday again.

(Let’s hope all companies follow the govern­ment’s “Saturdays off” idea from next April— except the department stores.)

There’s not even time for any exercise. Sure you can find plenty of places to swing a golf club or tennis racquet which are open at night, but most of us need some sleep.

Personally, the exercise I enjoy the most and was “techniquely” not good at until I became 40, is the one I do together with my wife.

Which? Disco-dancing, of course, but since our children arc very young, we don’t get many chances to practice without interruption.

That’s life in this country, I suppose. At least in the U.K., the average worker can get some exercise after work and stilt relax.

All the pubs have dart boards and many have a billiard table. And, have you felt the weight of a pint tankard, full of English beer?

In Japan you’ll find the same sized receptacle but in most places you get half a glass of froth.

Yoroshiku,

MIKE