Going The Distance: Japan's Office Chair Grand Prix

June 13, 2019

This is a short video from The Guardian highlighting Japan's office chair 'Isu' grand prix. The events were started by Tsuyoshi Tahara in Kyoto in 2009, and there will ten separate races this year alone. That is some dedication to the sport. My money is on the Grim Reaper in pink. Some more info while I challenge my coworker Greg to an office chair race to the front lobby via the stairs:

Founded 10 years ago and inspired by Formula One and Le Mans endurance racing, the race sees teams of three battle it out on ordinary office furniture across two grueling hours to see who can complete the most laps of the 200 meter course.


Tahara's idea has proved surprisingly popular, with 55 teams entering the Hanyu Grand Prix alone and hailing from as far away as Wakayama, 600 kilometers to the south.


The winning team, Kitsugawa Unyu, come from Kyoto and so had also traveled several hours with their chairs for the race.

Their reward was retaining the title they won last year and a prize of 90 kilograms of local rice, which the "drivers" struggled to pick up such was their fatigue.

That sounds like a good time all around. But do you have to use stock chairs or can you modify them? Asking for someone who's interested in starting their own office chair grand prix. I'm thinking some faster ball bearings for the wheels, jet boosters, spiked arm rests, an oil slick and-- "Wait, are those homing missiles?" No they're not homing missiles, they're just regular missiles -- I know how to aim.

Keep going for the video.

Thanks to Marc B, for what I believe is his first non-automotive, although still automotive inspired tip.

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