Japanese People Race on Office Chairs to Win 198 Pounds of Rice

A hilarious race of people on their office chairs shook Japan’s Greater Tokyo Area earlier this week.

The race, officially known as the Isu-1 Grand Prix, may seem like a joke on the surface, but participants would fight to prove that it is not.


Racers, who are grouped into teams of three, must rotate and propel their office chairs for two long hours, all under the dense summer humidity.

The team that completes the most laps in the 200-meter (650-foot) course for the duration then wins the race.

“The origin of this race came to my head when I saw a tricycle endurance race,” said creator Tsuyoshi Tahara, according to Reuters. “I wanted to create something no one has made before.”

Tahara, who conceived the annual competition in 2009, took inspiration from Formula 1 and 24 Hours of Le Mans. The latter, a car endurance event, takes exactly as long as its title suggests.

This year, the Isu-1 Grand Prix will be featured at 10 different locations across Japan. The event on June 9 was held in Hanyū, Saitama Prefecture.

Team Kitsugawa Unyu, representing a haulage company in Kyoto, won the race with 128 laps, according to The Mainichi. They brought home the title “Best Driver,” as well as 90 kilograms (198 pounds) of rice.

Interestingly, this is the second time Kitsugawa Unyu went home as “Best Driver,” as they also won the race last year. This is also the second time Hanyū, north of Tokyo, hosted the event.

Featured Images via Facebook / いす-1グランプリ

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