68 The War on Wheels: Inside the Keirin and Japan's Cycling Subculture (Justin McCurry)

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On this episode of the Japan Station podcast, journalist Justic McCurry talks about his new book The War on Wheels: Inside the Keirin and Japan's Cycling Subculture.

About Justin McCurry

Justin McCurry is the Japan anc Korea correspondent for The Guardian. He is also the author of the new book The War on Wheels: Inside the Keirin and Japan's Cycling Subculture (Pegasus Books).

Topics Discussed

  • What it was like interviewing a senior member of the Yamaguchi-gumi yakuza group in 2008
  • Justin McCurry's first visit to a velodrome
  • About the velodrome in Tachikawa, Tokyo
  • How keirin seems to be hidden away and gets little mainstream coverage in Japanese media
  • The inescapable connection between keirin and gambling
  • How keirin is different from other forms of competitive cycling
  • The differences between the Olympic variety of keirin and the original Japanese keirin
  • Group dynamics between keirin riders
  • The brutal and violent side of keirin
  • How you become a professional keirin cyclist
  • About the Japan Institute of Keirin (formerly the Japan Keirin School)
  • What it's like living at the Japan Keirin School
  • The effort to modernize keirin
  • The strict expectations and restrictions placed on keirin cyclists in Japan
  • How cyclists must check in their mobile phones and disconnect from the outside world during race events
  • What it was like riding a keirin bicycle on a real keirin track
  • What keirin is doing to try to survive in present day
  • Women in keirin
  • The Nikkan Keirin Series
  • The future of keirin in Japan
  • And much more!
Support on Patreon

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Links, Videos, Etc.

To pick up a copy of The War on Wheels: Inside the Keirin and Japan's Cylcing Subculture, please consider using the Amazon affiliate link below. It will not cost you anything extra and it will support the show.

To follow Justin McCurry on Twitter, use the link below.

Use the link below to check out the latest episode of Ichimon Japan.

If you would like to support the show by picking up some merchandise, make sure to visit KimitoDesigns.com.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing song: Oedo Controller (大江戸コントローラー) by Yunomi featuring Toriena (Used with permission from Yunomi) To listen to more of Yunomi's music, check out his Soundcloud page or YouTube channel.

Japan Station cover art: Provided by Erik R.

Featured image: Courtesy of Dr. Rebecca Copeland

Featured image: Courtesy of Pegasus Books

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Full Show Notes

76 episodes