STORY Nov 16, 2016
They came to Japan all the way from around the world. However, gathering them in one place looks like a landfill site, as we always feel.
Firstly I thought it was a joke to name "World Championship" for events.
I participated in an event called "the World Sports Yukikaki Championship" in past for news reporting. Actually the event was a local town event to promote the town and all participants were living in Hokkaido except us.
I also hosted "International GIF anime award" before. Needless to say all the participants were Japanese. Using "World" or "International" for their name is kinda joke for fun.
In August 2016, however, finally I had to organize a serious world championship.
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Daiju Ishikawa（石川大樹）1980 Born in Gifu. Making tricky and original devices of electric work, and collect music of frontier countries. Founder of Hebocon, a robot competition for those who don't have the technical skills to actually make robots.
Anyway, please see the video first!
I would like to make an apology in advance for this article, whose contents becomes very long because I am emotionally involved with the event!
But I created the video to summarize the event in short. I would like you to see at least this video. You can peep how the Hebocon World Championship 2016 was going. If you find it interesting, please read the rest of this article.
The video was produced by our video director, Shigeto Okita.
Hebocon is a robot sumo-wrestling competition for those who are not technically gifted to join in with their own made so-called robots.
The event started two years ago for a joke. But Hebocon becomes popular all around the world without realizing and currently the competitions are held locally in over 25 countries. (For mode detail, please see this posted Japanese article.)
I often said, "I hope I could organize the World Championship someday" when I knew Hebocons were held in many countries. Off course, it was a joke. However, soon I could get in tough online with local organizers in all over the world and I went to Hong Kong to see the competitions last year. In this year, I organized Hebocon myself in the United States. While having many experiences, "World" in the name used to be a joke is getting a serious meaning to me. At the same time, I used to say "Someday" but I started thinking "Soon". "I will organize the Hebocon World Championship soon." It's time.
The Hebocon in USA, I realized it was time for the World Championship.
The World Championship? Am I crazy!?
Am I serious!?
It was easy to say "the World Championship" for a joke but it is very serious to make it really happen. At first, I had many documents to write in English. Preparation with people in abroad was not simple compared to one only with Japanese people. And we need huge money.
However, I made up my mind to do it. If I miss this opportunity, the next chance to host the World Championship may not come again. This is the last chance for me to unlock achievement, Organizing World Championship.
NIFTY Corporation 30th anniversary event
The major concerns were English, Organization and Money. About the first two, I could probably manage with my guts and efforts. But the most serious concern is money. The reason Hebocom becomes so popular around the world is that we can organize it with a low budget. Although we can save cost for joking "World Championship", it is not the case for the serious World Championship. We need a simultaneous interpreter in the venue with necessary equipment. Also I want to invite judges from abroad for this event and I need to plan their travel expenses.
Just for your information, if we ask simultaneous interpreters, you may imagine they just come alone to the venue, however, instead, they come with a large equipment rack up to my waist.
These receivers, if we lose them, we have to compensate with a lot of money. My colleague, Chikako is asking to bring them back making her mouth in triangle shape.
It costs a lot of money. Yes, I know that, however!
Everyone, attention please. Here is an important announcement. This Website, DailyPortalZ as well as Hebocon are operated by a long-established Japanese internet service provider, NIFTY Corporation. The NIFTY celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. And the Hebocon World Championship was chosen for the 30th anniversary event. It means we won a budget!
NIFTY Corporation 30th anniversary event!!
I am now a loyal employee. As the company motto says, it is "With us, you can". If you have an opportunity to live in Japan, please use NIFTY for provider service and NifMo for your mobile phone.
Serious World Championship
Once I could secure the budget, only I had to work very hard until the day. It is not interesting to mention how hard I worked for the event. Thus I skip it. With support of Chikako who was assigned for Hebocon related tasks, I did my best. Then finally the World Championship 2016 was held on Sunday, August 7, 2016. It started in a very lively atmosphere and lasted for four hours. 32 teams in total, 22 from Japan and 10 teams from 6 foreign countries joined. A guest judge was invited from Europe and Hebocon local organizers also came from each country. The event was a genuine "World Championship".
The photo shooting session with participants after the competition. You may say "tide up the rubbish on the floor before photo session", but actually they were the robots.
I am sorry for the long introduction. This article is reporting the Hebocon World Championship 2016 held for the very first time.
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