For the past three years, many people came out on a free day, no matter what the weather was like, in order to run the hash in Kumamoto Prefecture. It became a ritual and was something that many of us looked forward to doing each month. Running through all sorts of dangerous environments, stalking the hares and scrutinizing their spoor. The best hashes were the absolute worst. I ran my first hash in the city (City Hash #2).
We started out on the roof of the Parco Building, getting sprayed with beer and then plunged into the longest and most frustruating hashes I have ever run. We ran all over the city following the hash marks marked with chalk and flour, and worked as a team to get to the end. Unfortunately, there was a hitch. The trail died off half way through, and like Scooby Doo and the gang, we all split up and got into all sorts of trouble. After much time spent searching, some of us were lucky enough to finally stumble upon the true trail, and we made it to the finish about a half an hour past dawn. But there was a problem. No one was there, and worse yet the bastards didn’t leave any beer! We were stranded in a park next to the railroad tracks in the middle of the city, and we were getting cranky.
Finally, we all met downtown and got the explanation. Mark, Joe, and Austin all went to go look for us because they inferred that we got lost (they finished the course about two or three hours before us), and finally found us when they came back. It took about another hour to fully straighten things out and to round up those who had strayed from the path, but we finally did it. We headed off to the onsen to make our gaijin-selves less offensive to the locals, and proceeded to have a signature crazy night out. Blurred memories from that night include Austin doing a cannonball on the hood of some poor, scared out of her wits Japanese woman and the usual debauchery in the Sharps and Sanctuary. Everyone was pissed about the hash, but it brought us all close together and cemented social ties within the group.
The hash has been a great place to meet people who think the same way, have the same interests, or are complimentary to us. I feel sorry for all of those people who were scared away by the stories of near death experiences, exaggerated explanations of fraternity-like rituals, or just an aversion to being outdoors and getting some exercise. You’ll never know what you missed, and maybe it’s better that way.
Some of my favorite perils during the hash include:
wading through liquid shit in Kiyokushi, exposing ourselves to unknown pathogens and a really horrible smell.
jaywalking across really busy streets, Frogger style.
getting plastered with cobwebs in the forests.
watching bamboo fall and impale itself into the ground a few feet away from another hasher.
climbing across/up/down very high and dangerous places where if you fall, you will either be seriously injured or killed.
swimming through jellyfish infested waters.
getting caught in a forest with different colored path markers mixed with the markers used by the local farmers, which were put on almost every other tree!
driving a hare to the emergency room because he cut his hand by leaning on his glass door and sliced the thumb tendon, leaving him in a thumbs up cast for a couple of months (pure gold, that incident).
going far down a steep hill, only to find the initials “YBF”.
having to rescue some grumpy OC girls climbing over wet, jagged rocks.
running in the dark through the cold rain, trying not to catch pneumonia.
Generally, the best stories come from the most painful, embarrasing, and tiring hashes. I had an awesome two years running with you fools, and I will miss meeting with you all on every month to run, party, and recover from injuries and hangovers the next day in the onsen. Thanks to everybody who helped to organize and run these good times.
Below is a list compiled by Mark Fingerhut otherwise known as Disco Ass. I have taken the liberty to make a few changes, but if you want the original version, click here
for the Excel file. Please enjoy, and feel free to send me updates or corrections.
Thanks to Shige for the photo.
Kumamoto Hash House Harriers
Hash Name//Hash Date//Location
Immortalization(s) (denoted with italics, mortal name first followed by immortal name)
First Finisher(*)(*), oh, wait I put in one too many (*)s…
Hash, Year 3
City Hash 5, 6/26/04, Kumamoto City
Monica Alborg- Proctortoise
Kate Gardner- Princess Dive
Ed Snook- DJ Chu-Hi
The Dam Hash, 6/19/04, Ryumon Dam, Kikuchi
Derek- Stiffulis Hige
City Hash 4/YBF, 3/13/04, Kumamoto City
Paul Steele- Cherry Bandit
Ashikita Hash, 2/21/04, Ashikita
Jamie Mackay- Sliced Bush
Kyokushi Hash 2, 2003/12/6, Kyokushi, Kikuchi
Suzanne Strom- Asshole Kool-Aid
Danny Stapp- Dis Nut
Val- re-christened Shitheel
Kinpo/Quarry Hash, 10/2/03, Mt. Kinpo/City
Froilan Vispo- Nuck-a-nuts
Waterwheel Hash, 2003/9/6, Takahama Beach, Amakusa
Dave Seabeck- Shitfuck
Aso Hash, 2003/8/30, Aso/Kugino
Adam Yoshida- Sonic-san
Hash, Year 2
City Hash 3 (4人）, 2002/6/14, Kumamoto City
3 participants- all immortals
Mashiki Hash, 5/?/03 Mashiki
Mike “Steak” Russel- Sex Wax
Tatsuda Hash, 3/15/03, Kumamoto City/Tatsuda
Kelvin Chatman- Tinkerbell
Kyokushi Hash 1- No Joy, 2003/2/22, Kyokushi, Kikuchi
Rob Baldwin- Tailbone
City Hash 2 – No Joy, 2002/12/7, Kumamoto City
Joe Debiec- Professor Quintana
City Hash 1, 10/?/02, Kumamoto City
Elise Coleman- Chihuahua
Kikka Hash, 9/?/02, Kikka, Kikuchi
Mark Fingerhut- Pepper
Hash, Year 1
Aso Tri-Hash, 6/29/02
Skip – No Joy
Muppet, Lettuce, SuperDesu+
Ben Colbridge- Lettuce
Who was immortalized? Maybe we will never know…
Ringworm caught by Will and Testicles
Treve Brinkman- Super Desu
Joe Fingerhut- Muppet
Stopped by police due to threat of anthrax (bonus points)
Muppet came within 10 feet of catching Sakuraba
Will- Sir Will and Testicle
Ringworm (James), Sakuraba (Austin Philbin)–immortalized by default
police called by alarmed country folk because they thought we were terrorists
Note: I notice that the race where Jason was immortalized is not included, or it is not mentioned when but the name Fracas puts the hash some time after the night where he was misbehaving at the Sharps. I think it must have been some time before the end of the 2nd year…