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Lurking in the background of the impending Tokyo Olympics are various curiosities that seem to resist any attempt at co-option or beautification, offering potential respite from that upcoming sporting behemoth and its crowds.

One such curiosity is kyōtei (boat racing), a kind of slow, aquatic NASCAR that also happens to be one of the few things that you can legally gamble on in Japan. Six motorboats vie for top spot as they take three laps around two buoys — a simple endeavor that belies a great deal of skill.

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