Japanese Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei

A friend told me that Osim, being a healthcare products company, gives four days off for every marathon the employees take part in. Heh, imagine if that policy holds true for the Japanese Marathon Monks, who runs an incredible 52 miles a day for 100 days consecutively.

…when the viewer is comfortable with Tanno’s first year of marathons in the pouring rain with just straw sandals and no socks, he stuns them by announcing that if he fails to complete any part of the prescribed practice, it is his duty to take his own life – by either hanging or self-disembowelment. As he breaks each barrier of human frailty, both his stature and following grow as he becomes a spiritual icon.

It is simply amazing how incredibly disciplined and spirited these monks can be. I have seen people preparing for marathons, and that one marathon is already in itself a tremendous milestone of achievement, training and mental strength. Friends who had done the marathon have a glow of positiveness and spirit, as the mind and the body toiled to overcome what perhaps only 0.01% of the population are capable of. The reward is a sense of self-belief and achievement.

Imagine running that 52 miles (that’s two marathons a day) – while I have never even ran 10% of that distance, I suspect that the spirit that develops is no longer one of conquering and elation, but more of humility and quiet perserverance. Quintessential Japanese indeed.

Read more here.


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