OSAKA -- An 86-year-old bodybuilder broke his own record as the oldest person to compete in the Japan championships on Oct. 9.
Toshisuke Kanazawa poses in the Japan bodybuilding championships in Osaka's Yodogawa Ward on Oct. 9, 2020. (Mainichi/Daiki Takikawa)
Toshisuke Kanazawa, who lives in the city of Hiroshima, took part in the 68th edition of the men's Japan bodybuilding championships in Osaka, going up against young bodybuilders with exquisite poses.
Though he didn't make it to the final among the top 12 participants, he said, "I'm grateful for just being able to participate. I hope I can reach the hearts of others when they see me take on a challenge even in old age."
Kanazawa started bodybuilding seriously at the age of 20, and won the Japan championships for the first time when he was 24. He won his second "Mister Japan" title at the age of 27, and retired when he was 34. However, he decided to make a comeback before turning 50 to encourage his wife, who was prone to illness. He was a Japan champion 15 times in total, including a victory in the masters championships for bodybuilders aged 40 or above when he was 57 years old.
He finished second in the 34th edition of the Japan masters championships held in Hokkaido in August, but he said, "I'm still not anywhere near the finish line. It's important to keep setting goals and taking on challenges no matter how old you are."
Kanazawa competed in the Japan championships for the second year in a row as a bodybuilder who had won twice in the past. He has been invited to the world championships and is set to take part in the event to be held in Spain in November. He commented, "I want to compete until I'm 90. And I'd like to set myself as an example to other grandpas and grandmas in the world by living healthy until 100."