- Title: JAPAN: Children and parents find fun at a paper airplane contest
- Date: 19th September 2009
- Summary: CHIBA, JAPAN (SEPTEMBER 19, 2009) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF CONVENTION HALL IN MAKUHARI, CHIBA INSIDE THE CONVENTION HALL WHERE PAPER AIRPLANE CONTEST IS BEING HELD VARIOUS OF CHILDREN AND ADULT PARTICIPANTS PITCHING PAPER AIRPLANES INTO THE AIR (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) FUMIHIRO UNO, SECRETARIAT OF JAPANESE PAPER AIRPLANE ASSOCIATION, SAYING: "We organised this contest to let our children get experiences in handcrafting things so that they become interested in craftsmanship at their early age and later become professional craftsmen." MORE OF CHILDREN PITCHING PAPER AIRPLANES (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) KOU OKADA, A 4-YEAR-OLD PARTICIPANT, SAYING: "I tried hard, but I lost." MALE PARTICIPANT THROWING PAPER AIRPLANE HIGH IN THE AIR FEMALE PARTICIPANT THROWING PAPER AIRPLANE VOLUNTEER INSTRUCTING HOW TO MAKE PAPER AIRPLANE AT A WORKSHOP MORE OF THE VOLUNTEER INSTRUCTING BOY MAKING A PAPER AIRPLANE AT THE WORKSHOP FAMILIES MAKING PAPER AIRPLANE FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTION (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) AKEMI KURODA, A 40-YEAR-OLD PARTICIPANT AND MOTHER OF 2-YEAR-OLD KOHARU, SAYING: "Children love playing with paper airplane because they can see right away how high and long their handmade airplanes can fly." ADULT VISITOR BEING INSTRUCTED AT THE WORKSHOP (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) MOTOH YOSHINO, A 65-YEAR-OLD RETIREE AND A VISITOR, SAYING: "I'm excited to teach my grandchildren what I would enjoyed playing with when I was young." MORE OF CHILDREN PLAYING WITH PAPER AIRPLANES VARIOUS OF PAPER AIRPLANES BEING EXHIBITED BOY LOOKING AT THE EXHIBITED PAPER AIRPLANES MORE OF PAPER AIRPLANES EXHIBITED
- Embargoed: 4th October 2009 13:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA9357RD1UFQ58RE0U3DVS82YS1
- Story Text: About a hundred Japanese children left their video game controls at home and picked up toys from their father's generation -- paper planes -- on Saturday (September 19), as they crafted and flew paper airplanes in a contest held in Makuhari, a suburban city of Tokyo.
A Japanese organisation called Conference for the Promotion of Monodzukuri, or manufacturing, were behind the event. Major Japanese firms like Toyota, Panasonic and Hitachi are among the board members, and they have been offering the biennial contest since 2003 to promote young generation's interest in craftsmanship.
"We organised this contest to let our children get experiences in handcrafting things so that they become interested in craftsmanship at their early age and later become professional craftsmen," said Fumihiro Uno, the secretariat of Japanese Paper Airplane Association.
Thirty teams -- each with three members -- participated in the admission-free contest, to determine who could keep their plane airborne for the longest time.
For some Japanese children, flying paper airplanes seemed more difficult than controlling space jets on their video games.
This was the case for four-year-old Kou Okada who was saddened after he was eliminated from the tournament.
"I tried hard, but I lost," said Okada.
Some participants showed their skill by throwing their paper airplanes about 20 metres high -- even grabbing the plane before it landed after over 15 seconds of gliding.
In a corner of the convention hall, volunteers offered visitors a free workshop teaching them how to fold long-flying paper airplanes.
Among the visitors were Akemi Kuroda and her two-year-old daughter Koharu, who found making and flying paper airplanes good recreation.
"Children love playing with paper airplane because they can see right away how high and long their handmade airplanes can fly," said Kuroda.
"I'm excited to teach my grandchildren what I would enjoyed playing with when I was young," said Motoh Yoshino, a 65-year-old retiree and another guest to the workshop.
Japan is not the only country where flying paper planes is now a competitive sport. Other European and Asian countries including France, Germany, the Philippines and Thailand have similar contests. But nine out of the top-ten longest glides have been set by Japanese. The world record of 24.91 seconds was set last March by 24-year-old Japanese Takuo Toda in Hiroshima.
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