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Early last week we published an article about an unidentified “glowing man” that was spotted on a midnight train in Tokyo. No one knew who he was or where he came from, but everyone on the train that night loved him. After just a few hours, our wonderful readers clued us in to the mystery man’s identity, and what would you know, the very next day we got a friendly email from the glowing man himself.

Joseph Tame is more than just a guy who wears a crazy costume. He’s hoping to unite strangers and break down barriers through the sport of long-distance running. And with the help of over 32 meters of LED lights, plenty of pink pinwheels (which he insists are wind turbines), and a social media rig straight out of a sci-fi flick, Joseph will unite the world this Sunday at the Tokyo Marathon where he’ll be live-streaming the entire race with the help of his homemade gear.

On his Twitter feed, Joseph recounts his experience riding the rails in his running suit: “Just had a Hanzomon line last train party, everyone in the whole carriage laughing out loud at the impromptu performance. Love seeing smiles.” That single post of less than 140 characters is enough to capture Joseph’s kindhearted spirit. It’s not uncommon to see him jogging through the crowded streets of Tokyo, waving and bidding people a cheerful konnichiwa. Yellow tape across his helmet proclaims his name to be “Joseph” so anyone can greet him by name and his squeaky lucky rabbit toy startles and delights unsuspecting pedestrians.

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His runs through Tokyo decked out in lights and cameras are in preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Marathon where he’ll broadcast his experience online in real time for the entire world to see. Joseph elaborates: “The idea behind my Tokyo Marathon Live Stream is to enable people all around the world to experience it too – all the pain, the struggle, the laughter, the fun… so the more people that hear about it the more fun it is.”

Joseph has actually been at it for several years, constantly tweaking and improving his running gear. Here’s Joseph’s rig in 2011, which included two iPhone4s, two iPhone 3GSs, and an iPad to record his experience:


▼ Complete with pink bunnies on his feet.tame5

▼ And a banana just in case.tame3

And here is the 2012 version he used as part of a project for Nike Japan in which Joseph was made to run 100m for every “like” he received:



▼ A view of the suit’s power source.joseph3


For 2013, Joseph swapped out some of his pink pinwheels for 20 meters of LED rope light. Here’s a closer look at his 2013 suit along with a little more insight into why Joseph does what he does:

For 2014, Joseph’s suit has been updated and occasionally seen during test runs around Tokyo, but we’ll have to wait until February 23, the day of the Tokyo Marathon, to see his final version in action. We do know that this year he’s added even more LEDs and for the first time Joseph will have a much better HD camera streaming setup that provides 360 degree views, allowing online supporters to see not only his face, but other runners and people in the crowd as well.

So be sure to watch Joseph live directly on his modified homepage this coming Sunday in his sixth run of the Tokyo Marathon. Don’t forget to send him tweets of support; he’ll be monitoring Twitter during the entire race and will reply to people as he runs.

Special thanks to Joseph Tame, the man behind the suit, for taking the time to talk with us. To find out more, visit Joseph’s Twitter, Facebook, or official website.