In late 2010 I found myself struggling to complete the long training runs needed for the upcoming Tokyo Marathon. I found running long distances by myself quite boring, and also, being a productivity freak, I felt frustrated at not being able to get anything else done whilst running.
It was then that I came up with the idea to use a GPS app on my iPhone to draw a picture, using the streets as my canvas. By doing so, my runs were instantly transformed from merely being a matter of training my legs to keep moving for a long time, into a form of art. I was hooked!
However, I never saw it as anything other than a way to entertain myself during long runs.
I certainly didn’t see it becoming the core of a number of collaborative projects with major companies such as Nike & J-Wave radio, or the subject of a series of TV shows for national networks such as NHK, NTV, Fuji TV, and international networks such as Discovery Channel.
Find out more about my Running Art adventures through the posts below.
Nazca Lines Found in Tokyo?
The 2016 Tokyo Marathon (my 8th Tokyo Marathon, and 7th full Marathon) was the first for which I actually managed to train properly. When I say train properly, I mean spend about 4 months running several times a week, gradually building up to marathon distance. Why? I...
Running Art: Collaboration with Yomiuri TV’s ‘Garigeru’
A little while back, Yomiuri TV, part of the Nippon TV network based in Osaka, approached me with an idea to turn Running Art into a running game, to be played on the streets of Osaka. The concept was as follows: Design a 10km running art course in the shape of a...
The Art of Running: Collaboration with Kyodo News & Local Schoolchildren
A couple of months back I was contacted by a writer at Kyodo News. She’d read about my running art project and thought it would be a good fit for a regular column that she writes, introducing interesting uses of smartphones for elementary and junior high school...
TV: Collaboration with NTV for Running Art Series
Earlier this year we joined forces with Nippon TV and Hiroshima TV, to make a three-part series focused on Running Art - "Chikyu Mapping” (literally 'Globe Mapping'). For the first episode, we headed on down to Hiroshima, where me met up with Haruna Ai-san (a well...
The Art of Running: Collaboration with J-Wave Radio for a Special 100km Birthday Run
August 13th is a very special day for Japan’s no. 1 radio station, J-Wave, and this year I helped them celebrate it in style
TV: Tokyo Kurasso! Joseph Tame on MXTV
Earlier this year I was invited to appear on Tokyo MXTV’s Tokyo Kurasso! (‘Let’s live in Tokyo’), to talk about my Running Art, and the Tokyo Marathon project. This was the first time to appear without my wind-turbine-hat-of-power, but despite that it all went well.
The Art of Running: Collaboration with J-Wave 81.3fm celebrating J-me’s birthday
Looking forward to a new 105km Running Art piece – but this one I won’t be running on my own, I’ll be creating the picture with a team of about 40 runners consisting of J-Wave Radio DJs and listeners.
The Art of Running: 140km Olaf
As temperatures rise in Tokyo, what better way to keep cool than by running a 140km picture of Olaf on the streets of Tokyo?!
NHK World: Featured Tokyo Artist
Back in September 2014 I was contacted by NHK World regarding a couple of programs that they were planning focused on Tokyo-based foreign artists. Broadcast worldwide on Satellite TV, online, via their mobile apps, the program, Tokyo Eye, introduces various aspects of...
TV: Art of Running Introduced on NHK Education
If you start seeing little children running the streets of Japan whilst carefully checking their routes using a GPS tracker, it'll be thanks to NHK's morning kids show 'Shakiin' which today had a section all about funny ways of running. Featured alongside a backwards...
The Art of Running: 65km SoftBank Otousan
Softbank has been key to my projects over the past few years – I saw it as only fitting that I run an Otousan to show my appreciation
Nike+ Campus Run Club Summer College
September 3rd saw me at Nike’s flagship Harajuku store to lead an event for Nike+ Campus Run Club
The Art of Running: 385km (240 mile) Tokyo 2020
My most challenging Running Art project to date: a 385km version of the official Olympic emblem GPS tracked across Tokyo
The Art of Running: 116km Anpanman – Preparing for Fatherhood
With the birth of our first child fast approaching, I’ve been feeling increasing pressure to prepare myself.
[TV] Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet: Running Art
Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet was in Japan recently as part of an Asia Tech Week, covering robots and runners
The Art of Running: LED Traces
Painting the streets with the help of 10 metres of LEDs, a micro controller and long-exposure photography.
The Art of Running: PechaKucha 20×20
To celebrate PechaKucha’s 10th anniversary event in Tokyo, I ran a special 11km version of the 20×20 logo
The Art of Running: 80km Map of Japan
One of the first runs I did as a part of the Nike / Wieden+Kennedy Run Like Me project: an 80km map of Japan
The Art of Running: 54km Tokyo Frog
I’ve long wanted to draw a frog in Tokyo. But the thing with frogs is that they tend to be rather big. I mean, all those toes, and bulging eyes.
The Art of Running: Tokyo Snowman
Back in January we had a very chilly few days - with enough snow to build a 14km snowman! See the original run data on Runkeeper.
Art of Running: Kobe Port Tower
This weekend I was invited to take part in Kobe IT Festival held down in Harbourland here in Kobe.
Nike Japan’s ‘Run LIKE Me’
The idea of my running 100m for every ‘Like’ Nike Running Japan received on Facebook started out as a joke – but then somehow became a reality.
NHK: Live Streaming and the Art of Running
Maniac Runners: NHK ask me to carry out a mobile live stream of a runner making ice cream whilst Running Yoyogi Park
The Art of Running: Ishinomaki
One of the most memorable Art of Running projects I have done to date took place about 9 months after the devastating March 11th Earthquake and Tsunami.
Art of Running: “I ran 42km before work today”
With the Tokyo Marathon now only a couple of weeks away, I really need to step up the pace with my training
The Art of Running: Recovery in Ishinomaki
My latest Art of Running project saw me back up in Tohoku, the region of Japan so badly hit by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami
Art of Running: Hope in Sendai
Last weekend I travelled to the north-eastern city of Sendai to help out with a one day conference, TEDxTohoku …and to run
Art of Running: 16KM Tokyo Sky Tree
This morning I ran the new symbol of the city – Tokyo Sky Tree. At 634m it’s the tallest tower in the world, and the second tallest structure in the world今朝、東京の新しいランドマーク「東京スカイツリー」をGPSで書きました。本物のスカイツリー付近から開始して、５キロ以上南方面に走った
The Art of Running: Putting my name on the map
It’s about time my name was on the map, and if no-one else is going to put it there I’ll just have to do it myself.
Art of Running – A Tribute to Steve: 21KM Apple Logo
Showing my appreciation for Steve Jobs as he steps down as CEO of Apple, shortly before his death.
Art of Running: 11km baby elephant takes a drink from Iidabashi canal
Tonight’s art-of-running piece was designed on the train home, and was one of those that just kind of presented itself
The Art of Running: 50km Heart around Tokyo, the City I Love
On April 22nd 2011 I undertook the longest Art of Running challenge that I had attempted: a 50km heart around the city
The Art of Running: Tokyo’s 21km (13 mile) Google+ Logo
This morning I had the idea to celebrate the popularity of Google+ amongst my Japanese and non-Japanese friends here in Tokyo
The Art of Running: The 45km (28 mile) Hello Kitty
A rash promise made during a public presentation resulted in my having to tackle a symbol of Japanese cuteness
The Art of Running: The 15km Twitter Bird
I’ve been back out this morning to create the third in my series of GPS-trail art, a 15km Twitter Bird