• 14 July 1912, start of the olympic marathon race. One of the runners is Shizo Kanaguri from Japan. Some decades later the myth of him as “The Japanese who disappeared” was created.
    14 July 1912, start of the olympic marathon race. One of the runners is Shizo Kanaguri from Japan. Some decades later the myth of him as “The Japanese who disappeared” was created. © ASICS Stockholm Marathon Organisation
  • | SPORTMUSEUM

Stockholm: 14 July: Jubilee Marathon 1912 – 2012 - The myth of "The Japanese who disappeared" – grand grandson will run the Jubilee Marathon

In 1967 was the 76 year old Shizo Kanaguri invited to Stockholm to symbolically finish his suspended marathon race.

Shizo Kanaguri was one of the 34 runners who dropped out of the very warm Marathon race during the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. Some decades later the myth of him as “The Japanese who disappeared” was created.

Now his grand grandson Yoshiaki Kurado will come to Stockholm to run the Jubilee Marathon on the 14th of July.


Shizo Kanaguri.

To the day 100 years after the Olympic Marathon 1912 Kurado is aiming to fulfill the race which is run on the classical Olympic course.

Yoshiaki Kurado is a 24 years old bank clerk from the town Tamana in the south of Japan. He has finished a full marathon race once, but consider himself to be a “ordinary runner”.

Kurodo comes to Stockholm together with Tamanas’ mayor Tetsuyeva Tagasaki who is invited to attend some memorial ceremonies in connection with the 100 years memory of the marathon race in the Olympics 1912.

Among other things a memory sign of Shizo Kanaguri will be unveiled. Yosihaki Kurado is supposed to stop at this sign when he passes the spot after 14,5 km during his race in the Jubilee Marathon.

Shizo Kanaguri lived in Tanama the longer part of his life. He was appointed to Honorary Citizen of this town as an acknowledgement for his important efforts for Japanese long distance running.

Shizo Kanaguri dropped out of the marathon race in 1912, had a glass of lemonade in the garden of family Petré in Sollentuna, took the train back to Stockholm and a few days after started the long way back to Japan.

Some decades afterwards the Swedish sport journalist Oscar Söderlund created the story of “The Japanese who disappeared”. He developed a story about how Shizo Kanaguri disapparead without leaving a single trace during the marathon race and that he never had been seen again.

The story was absolutely not true, but it was a good story that survived and was spread even outside of Sweden.

In 1967 was the 76 year old Shizo Kanaguri invited to Stockholm to symbolically finish his suspended marathon race.

This year Yoshiaki Kurado will come to Stockholm to run the Jubilee Marathon.

The myth of “The Japanese who disappeared” is still going on living.

ASICS Stockholm Marathon Organisers