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Monkey Man Gallops across Japan

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Published on Apr 17, 2012

Limbering up in the suburbs of Tokyo, Kenichi Ito is the fastest man on four legs.

For nearly a decade Kenichi has been perfecting a running style based on Africa's wiry Patas monkey, and that's helped the 29-year-old get into the record books for the fastest time running 100 metres on all fours.

"You know my face and body kind of looks like a monkey, so from a young age everyone used to tease me, saying 'monkey, monkey'. But I wasn't really bothered because I really liked them, and somewhere inside of me I had this ambition to adopt one of their traits,"Ito said, squatting on all fours in his Tokyo apartment.

For eight-and-a-half years Ito has walked around the local area on hands and feet, and turned household chores into challenges on all fours.
But his passion for simians was not without setbacks.

"In the streets around here I get stopped by the police, so I went up into the mountains for about a month for a kind of four-legged running training camp. But on the first day, a hunter mistook me for a wild boar, and he tried to shoot me," Ito told Reuters.

Constantly honing his style, Ito looks for inspiration from across the animal world using the internet and a season ticket to the local zoo.

So far he's developed six distinct forms of all-fours movement from his top-speed "gallop" to a more leisurely walking pace, and recruited about 100 converts across seven countries.

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