Babies crawl and bawl to finish line in Japan race


More than 600 babies wriggled to the finish line on their hands and knees in the world’s largest crawling competition Monday.

Publisher Benesse organized the one-day event at a shopping mall in Yokohama, inviting infants aged from 6 to 16 months to participate in the 3-meter race.

Some vigorous babies crawled determinedly toward the finish line and their waiting parents, while others refused to participate, sitting stationary at the starting line and crying loudly.

“About a month ago she could not crawl well over a long distance, but I am so glad to see her grow,” said Hitomi Nanba, mother of Saho, who took part in the race.

The competition, involving 601 babies, was deemed a new Guinness World Record, breaking the previous mark of 451 infants at a similar race in China last year.

The winner was awarded a headset digital camera, which allows parents to take hands-free pictures and videos of their children.

  • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

    How is this not child abuse that traumatizes these kids for life, all in the name of ‘culture’? Granted, Japanese kids need to learn that the meaning of (their) life will be pain, suffering, disappointment, and without rewards, but this is a little young to start the indoctrination, no?

    • Charlie Sommers

      I must agree with you, babies should be allowed to be babies and not forced into frightful competitions for the amusement of adults. Shame on these people.

    • Devin Lowe

      This doesn’t only happen in Japan, and it hardly “traumatizes” babies who will never remember the event.

      This happens as half-time entertainment in the UNITED STATES, of all places. Even in France & the UK, Germany, and a few others.

      Don’t bother using this to accuse the Japanese of being any worse than the country you live in.

      • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

        Well, I live in Japan, and I am Japanese, so how about we play the ball, not the man, huh?
        Just because other countries abuse their children for ‘culture’ does not excuse Japan. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      • Devin Lowe

        I never said it “excuses” Japan, though the babies won’t remember this experience anyway.

        I highly doubt you live in Japan, or that you’re even Japanese. Anyone can say that over the Internet.

    • Blair

      I gather you’re against funding for more daycare centres…If you think THIS is child abuse

      • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

        Why would you gather that I’m against funding for daycare centers? The article isn’t about daycare centers, and I didn’t express an opinion about daycare centers.
        The article is about a kids eikaiwa company hosting an event that abused babies. I commented about that. Why don’t you try reading the content of my comments instead of attempting to read my mind?

      • Blair

        If you’d ever been to a daycare centre you’d see babies crawling around on rubber tiled floors just like the ones they are crawling on in this event, the only difference being that their mother’s aren’t there to comfort them in their moment of anxiety…