Mayor Of Kosuke Hagino’s Hometown Praises World Swimmer of the Year Choice

OYAMA – The Japanese city of Oyama is certainly proud of its son Kosuke Hagino, and for very good reason. Hagino was Japan’s most-decorated athlete at the Asian Games last month, and also impressed at the Pan Pacific championships and short course world championships.

The mayor of Oyama, Toshio Okubo, took the time from a busy schedule to pose for photos holding the December 2014 issue of Swimming World Magazine, in which Hagino was named as the first Japanese Male World Swimmer of the Year. Okubo is a big sports enthusiast, his staff tells us, and Hagino will likely be putting Oyama under the global microscope very soon. As the Olympics approach, it’s likely that film crews will begin to descend on the city to document the place where one of the big Olympic medal contenders was born.

Oyama celebrated its 60th anniversary last year, and one of its largest industries is silk production. Okubo posed with his copy of Swimming World Magazine while wearing a kimono made of silk from the historic Silk Weaving process called “Honba Yuki Tsumugi.” Clothing made with this process using the local silk producers is made completely by hand, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has deemed it an “Intangible Cultural Heritage.”

Oyama is only an hour north of Tokyo, and it’s likely the swimming arena at the 2020 Olympics will be filled with as many of the 165,630 residents of Oyama as possible to cheer on Hagino.

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Toshio Okubo holds Swimming World Magazine with Kosuke Hagino on cover

Photo Courtesy: Satoko Tanabe

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Author: Jeff Commings

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Jeff Commings is the Senior Writer for SwimmingWorld.com and Swimming World Magazine. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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