The first very triathlon in Japan was held at the beautiful coast of Kaike Hot Springs at 7:00AM on August 20th, 1981. At that time, there were only fifty-three participants, including two women.
Origins of the Triathlon
Six months prior to the triathlon, The Kaike Inn Union were planning for the 60th anniversary of Kaike Hot Springs, and wanted to celebrate the image of health and beauty connected to the sea. They discussed what type of sports had not yet been done in Japan. Many men of the Kaike Inn Union were challengers of various competitions, not yet triathletes. One member recalled having heard of a new kind of sport competition named
‘tri---something’ which began in Hawaii, USA, and where one person competes in three sports as a part of one race.” The staff researched these claims and learned what a triathlon was all about. The idea of a triathlon seemed to fit the picture they were looking for. In helping to realize the triathlon, previous challengers and guidelines of the Hawaii triathlon were utilized. Two Japanese who had participated in the course at Hawaii, Mr. Seiichi Nagatani from Kumamoto and Mr. Teiichi Tsutsumi, attended as invitees from the Kaike Inn Union. Addionally, the manual from the Hawaii triathlon was translated, studied and used to plan the course for the Kaike Triathlon.