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Tuesday, 12th June 2012
In General Japan News,

The latest craze to fly through Japan - blow darts

Once an ancient weapon used for hunting animals in the rainforest, blow darts are now a craze sweeping Japan faster than you can say 'poison arrow'.

Thousands of miles away from the Borneo rainforest where blow darting is traditionally found, elderly Japanese citizens are turning to the sport as a pastime – and its popularity is growing rapidly.

Since the first blow darts club was established five years ago, membership across Japan has tripled and Reuters reports that by the end of 2012 there will be 30,000 members.

To underline its popularity, around 600 people with an average age of 70 recently turned up to shoot plastic darts through 1.2m-long poles at a major tournament in Tokyo.

The reason for blow darting's success appears to be down to its meditative qualities and accessibility.

"Older people are really getting into it because it's easy for anyone to do - whether your legs are playing up, you're confined to a wheelchair or missing an arm," blow darting instructor Nobuhiko Yamada told the news agency.

In another example of elderly prowess in Japan, a 100-year-old doctor who still works as a director at a Tokyo hospital was recently named in a 'Green Ambassador' role by the agriculture, forestry and fisheries ministry.

Written by Susan Ballion

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