Ed Odeven Reporting

This column appeared in The Japan Times jon Aug. 9, 2009.

Swim legend Furuhashi inspired Japan at tough time

By Ed Odeven

There are historical icons in every nation. But only a few individuals can be considered symbols of a nation’s collective psyche during a particular era.

This is Hironoshin Furuhashi’s legacy.

The “Flying Fish of Fujiyama” died at the age of 80 last Sunday in his hotel room in Rome. While in the Italian capital, the Japan Swimming Federation’s honorary president had a front-row seat at Stadio del Nuoto during the hot, humid days to watch the exploits of Michael Phelps, Junya Koga and others at the 12th FINA World Championships.

“That was really his style — to be a part of the swimming world until the last day,” Masanori Takaya, the Tokyo 2016 Bid Committee’s manager of international communications, said during a Friday phone conversation.

Indeed, Furuhashi’s never-wavering…

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