Takeru Kobayashi

Infobox person
name = Takeru Kobayashi

other_names = The Tsunami
birth_date = birth date and age|1978|03|15
birth_place = Nagano, Japan
height = 173 cm (5 ft 8 in)
weight = 58 kg (128 lb)
website = [http://takeru-kobayashi.com/ Takeru-Kobayashi.com]

nihongo|Takeru Kobayashi|小林尊|Kobayashi Takeru (b. March 15, 1978) is a Japanese competitive eater and a member of the International Federation of Competitive Eating (IFOCE). He held the world record for hot dog eating for nearly six years, and holds several other eating records, and is ranked third in the world for competitive eating according to the International Federation of Competitive Eating.

Competition and records

Born in Nagano, Japan, Kobayashi set his first record at his rookie appearance on July 4, 2001, when he ate 50 hot dogs in 12 minutes at the Nathan's Coney Island hot dog-eating contest, doubling the previous record of 25. The record was so unexpected that when Kobayashi got to the later numbers, the organizers ran out of signs indicating how many dogs Kobayashi had eaten and had to resort to handwritten signs. In 2002, he broke his own record by eating 50.5. In 2003, he won again by eating 44.5. In 2004, he triumphed again by eating 53.5 hot dogs in 12 minutes, beating his old record. There was a small conflict over this result, as some fellow competitors accused him of regurgitating during the 12-minute competition. Though regurgitation is not explicitly prohibited, once food enters the mouth of the contestant, it is not permitted to exit. In 2005, he managed to eat 49 hot dogs and win his fifth straight contest. In 2006, he ate 53.75 hot dogs for his sixth consecutive win and a new world record. On June 2, 2007, Joey "Jaws" Chestnut broke Kobayashi's record with 59.5 hot dogs and buns in a qualifying round for the annual Nathan's contest. [cite news | url=http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/07/04/hotdog.contest | title=Champ a top dog again with 49 weiners | work=CNN | author=Allan Chernoff; Adam Reiss; Shannon Troetel | date=4 July 2005 | accessdate=2007-07-06] [cite news | title=California man tops Kobayashi's hot dog record | url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19004354/ | author=The Associated Press | work=MSNBC | date=2 June 2007|accessdate=2007-07-06]

In the 2006 Krystal Square Off, Kobayashi's mark of 97 hamburgers was 30 better than his winning total in 2005 and 28 better than the World Record he set in 2004.

At a speed-eating contest in Hong Kong on August 13, 2005, Kobayashi consumed 83 vegetarian jiaozi dumplings in 8 minutes. [cite news | title=Japan speed-eater in dumpling win | work=BBC News | date=2005-08-14 | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4149974.stm | accessdate=2006-10-02] The next day, he ate 100 roasted pork buns in 12 minutes. [cite news | author=Monday Ng | title=Japan speed eater wolfs down 100 pork buns in 12 minutes | work=The Standard | date=2005-08-15 | url=http://www.thestandard.com.hk/stdn/std/Metro/GH15Ak02.html | accessdate=2006-10-02] Kobayashi also won the 2005 Alka-Seltzer US Open of Competitive Eating, a three-hour IFOCE elimination tournament on ESPN, [cite news | title=Kobayashi Takes Alka-Seltzer US Open of Competitive Eating | publisher=International Federation of Competitive Eating | date=2005-07-31 | url=http://www.ifoce.com/news.php?action=detail&sn=275 | accessdate=2006-10-02] as well as the Glutton Bowl, a two-hour IFOCE eating special that aired on the Fox Network in 2002. [cite web | author=Tama Miyake | title=Feature: Fast food | work=Metropolis Japan | url=http://metropolis.co.jp/tokyo/431/feature.asp | accessdate=2006-10-02] [cite news | author=Amy Moon | title=Asian Pop: Superchomp Korean-born Sonya Thomas is the No. 1 ranked competitive eater in the USA. | work=San Francisco Chronicle | date=2005-05-26 | url=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/gate/archive/2005/05/26/eat.DTL | accessdate=2006-10-02] However, on Fox's 2003 show "Man vs. Beast", Kobayashi lost in an eating competition against a 1089-pound Kodiak bear, when he ate 31 bunless hot dogs in 2 minutes and 36 seconds to the bear's 50. [cite news | author=Larry Getlen| title=The Miracle That Is Kobayashi | url=http://www.blacktable.com/getlen050519.htm | work=The Black Table | date=19 May 2005| accessdate=2008-02-23]

On August 5, 2006, Kobayashi set yet another world record at the Johnsonville World Bratwurst Eating Championship in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, by downing 58 bratwurst sausages in 10 minutes, shattering the previous record of 35 set the previous year by Sonya Thomas. [cite news | author=The Associated Press | title=Kobayashi eats record 58 brats in Sheboygan | work=USA Today | date=2006-08-05 | url=http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2006-08-05-brat-record_x.htm | accessdate=2007-07-01]

On September 23, 2006, Takeru Kobayashi set the world record at the Phantom Food Festival in Boston, MA for eating 41 Summer Shack Lobster Rolls in 10 minutes, replacing the previous record of 22 rolls.

Other world-eating records held by Kobayashi include 17.7 pounds of cow brains in 15 minutes and 20 pounds (9 kg) of rice balls in 30 minutes.

On June 25, 2007 Kobayashi announced on his blog that he seriously injured his jaw during training. He stated that he can only open his jaw about the width of a fingertip. Kobayashi's participation in the July 4, 2007 Nathan's contest continued as scheduled. He was able to eat a personal record 63 hot dogs, though his mark was bettered by Joey Chestnut who ate 66. [Agence France-Presse. " [http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,21963756-5012895,00.html Jaw arthritis for hot-dog champ] ." "The Daily Telegraph". June 25, 2007. Retrieved June 25, 2007.]

On July 4, 2008 he once again competed in the Nathan's contest. He and Joey Chestnut reached a tie of 59 hot dogs and buns each, but came in second to Chestnut in a 5-dog tiebreaker eatoff. Chestnut won the 92nd Annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island, Brooklyn, N.Y., by eating 66 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes. Chestnut, 24, weighed in at 102 kilograms (225 pounds). [ [http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080706/FEAT0108/807060331 journalgazette.net, 3RF contest could be a wiener] ]

Training and techniques

Kobayashi expands his stomach for a competition by eating larger and larger amounts of food, and then exercises to ensure that fat will not impede expansion of his stomach during a competition. [Talmadge, Eric. " [http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20040625f2.htm Pigout champion Kobayashi limbers up for hot dog gold] ." "Japan Times." June 25, 2004. Retrieved on June 25, 2006.]

Physically Kobayashi has undergone drastic change from his earlier appearances on the competitive eating circuit, weighing in at a mere 110 lb (50 kg) in his beginning competitions and then 144 lb (65 kg) in later events. This is due in large part to his more recent endeavors in weight training. By training with weights and working out, Kobayashi has increased his metabolism, which in turn has helped him to burn more calories. This training is used by Kobayashi to maintain his overall health as well as helping him to prevent excess calories from being stored as fat.

Kobayashi's official Web site gives his height as 173 cm (5 ft 8 in) and his weight as 75 kg (165 lb), but in a June 29, 2006, entry on his blog, he says that his weight grew to over 87 kg (191.8 lb) during 2006, still being under 10 percent body fat. Kobayashi has said in recent years that he consumes an average of 6,000 calories per day. As of July 3, 2008, Kobayashi's had dropped to 128 lbs, as recorded at the weigh in for the annual Fourth of July hot dog eating competition on Coney Island. [cite news|url=http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=6243536|title=Kobayashi looks to regain hot dog title|date=2008-07-03|publisher=ABC Eyewitness News|accessdate=2008-07-04] This is the same weight he'd originally competed at when he first began competitive eating in the United States. [cite news|url=http://www.blacktable.com/getlen050519.htm|title=The Miracle That is Kobayashi|date=2005-05-19|publisher=The Black Table|accessdate=2008-07-04] Kobayashi is also known for his trademark body wiggle, referred to by some as the "Kobayashi Shake", to force food down his esophagus and settle more compactly in his stomach. [Farley, David. " [http://www.timeout.com/newyork/DetailsAr.do?file=/eatout/433/433.eat.feat.html Curious Gorge] ." "Time Out." January 15, 2004. Retrieved on June 25, 2006] He eats the hot dogs by splitting the frankfurter in half, swallowing both parts at once, and then dipping the buns in water, Sprite, or 7-Up and stuffing it in his mouth. He calls this the Solomon method. [Poon, William. " [http://www.tqnyc.org/NYC051262/William/hotdogeatingcontest.htm Nathan’s Famous Hotdog Eating Contest] ." "ThinkQuest." Retrieved on June 25, 2006.]

Business Development

In summer of 2007, Kobayashi signed with NYC-based Wicked Cow Entertainment, Inc. to guide his licensing efforts. MerchDirect launched his t-shirt line in Summer of 2008 at www.eatmorehotdogs.com [ [http://www.eatmorehotdogs.com.] ] Kobayashi held up one of the shirts, "Kobayashi Eats Chestnuts For Breakfast" at the 2008 Nathan's 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest Weigh-In. [ [http://gothamist.com/2008/07/03/nathans_hot_dog_eating_championship.php Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Championship Contests Weigh In, Size Each Other Up] .]


Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Kobayashi was the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest winner for an unprecedented six years in a row. He was the world champion in that competition until 2007, when he finished in second place behind winner Joey Chestnut.

*2008: Second place* (59 hot dogs)
*2007: Second place (63 hot dogs - new record)
*2006: First place (53.75 hot dogs - new record)
*2005: First place (49 hot dogs)
*2004: First place (53.5 hot dogs - new record)
*2003: First place (44.5 hot dogs)
*2002: First place (50.5 hot dogs)
*2001: First place (50 hot dogs)

*Lost 5 hot dog eat-off. Match was also 10 minutes instead of 12 minutes.

Glutton Bowl

Kobayashi ate 31 hot-dogs in the hot dog eating round, putting him into the finals.For the final round of the Glutton Bowl the contestants had to eat a bowl of brains. Kobayashi won with a finished plate, of 55 brains.
*2001: Glutton Bowl Champion (55 Brains)

Krystal Square Off

Kobayashi was also the reigning champion of the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship until 2007, when he could not compete due to a recent wisdom tooth extraction. The 2007 winner was Joey Chestnut, who ate 103 hamburgers.

* 2006: First place (97 hamburgers) [cite news | url=http://www.tfponline.com/absolutenm/templates/breaking.aspx?articleid=6573 | title=Kobayashi Remains Krystal King | work=Chattanooga Times Free Press | author=Mike O'Neal| date=28 October 2006 | accessdate=2007-07-06]
* 2005: First place (67 hamburgers) [cite web | url=http://www.ifoce.com/contests.php?action=detail&eventID=41 | title=2005 Krystal Square Off World Hamburger-Eating Championship results | publisher=IFOCE | accessdate=2007-06-29]
* 2004: First place (69 hamburgers) [cite web | url=http://www.ifoce.com/contests.php?action=detail&eventID=4 | title=2004 Krystal Square Off World Hamburger-Eating Championship results | publisher=IFOCE | accessdate=2007-06-29]

ee also


*List of Competitive Eaters


External links

* [http://takeru-kobayashi.com/ Takeru Kobayashi official website]
* [http://www.ifoce.com/eaters.php?action=detail&sn=22 Takeru Kobayashi] at the International Federation of Competitive Eating
* [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/sioncampus/07/05/nathans.hotdog/index.html Sports Illustrated feature on 2006 contest]
* [http://islandwoo.com/2008/07/07/2008-nathans-hot-dog-eating-contest-winners/ Video of Kobayashi with Trophy]

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