Magazine

May 16, 2017

A new generation of Japanese inventors is drawing on the country's rich history of comics and video game culture to create sports with a 21st-century twist - helping players feel "superhuman" through technology or other special equipment.

Japan’s ‘superhuman’ athletes
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Hirohiko Hayakawa, 26, a Ph.D. student in media design and an inventor of "ToriTori", poses as he controls a drone in front of a goal net as he demonstrates the sport in Tokyo, Japan, March 18, 2017. Players controlling the small drones score a point by putting them in the goal net and opponent controlling the big drone acquires a point by capturing the small drone. Hayakawa said: "The drone in the air is a part of the player's body and this sport integrating human and machine makes me experience the feeling of flying." He said he was inspired by the bird catchers ("tori tori" in Japanese) in Kenji Miyazawa's classic 1934 fantasy novel "Night on the Galactic Railroad". KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

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