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Blow darts a breeze for Japanese eldery

Monday, June 11, 2012 - 01:31

June 11 - Blow darting takes off in Japan as pensioners swap the world of work for blowguns. Elly Park reports.

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It might have originated on the island of Borneo but the art of blow darting has found a huge following among Japan's elderly. In just five years the country's blowgun club has tripled in size - approaching 30,000. And the average member is 70-years-old. Blow dart instructor Nobuhiko Yamada. SOUNDBITE: Sport Fukiya Association Blow Dart Instructor Nobuhiko Yamada, saying (Japanese) "Whether your legs are playing up, you're confined to a wheelchair, or missing an arm. In fact you can do it even if you've got no arms. It's just that single puff of air." The blow dart form enjoyed here was actually created by a Japanese retiree in 1998 and includes this meditative movement called "fukiya." Plastic darts -- with blunted tips - shoot through a hollow pole at a target. It's easy enough for 79-year-old Yoko Onmyoji. SOUNDBITE: 79-year-old Yoko Onmyoji, saying (Japanese) "Well, blow darting's different because you can do it at a pace that suits your own body. It's down to the individual, it's not a group activity." Not quite the silent warriors of Japan's popular culture, it's a healthy form of exercise for the country's gray generation which is expected to account for 40 percent of the population by 2060. Elly Park, Reuters.

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Blow darts a breeze for Japanese eldery

Monday, June 11, 2012 - 01:31