Community can form anywhere, but the ingredients differ across cultures. The University of Virginia's Mobility and Community Forum seeks to analyze and compare these ingredients; thus, during the fall of 2017, four UVA Forum students conducted ethnographic research on community formation in Japan - this research provided the foundation for a capstone documentary: Running Japan.
The Running Japan Film Crew (as the four Wahoos came to be known) not only examined but experienced the community formation of Ekiden, a unique long-distance relay running sport in Japan. With guidance from numerous perspectives, we crafted an understanding of the origin, purpose, value and limitations of ekiden community formation.
From retired U.S. Army veterans to professors and sports journalists, a score of combined voices were the invaluable backbone for the gradual visualization of our documentary.
As many Japanese fans eagerly note, ekiden is filled with drama. The RJF Crew captured both the triumphs and heartbreaks of the ekiden season by attending and filming numerous team practices, qualifying races, and the culminating event: Hakone.