Wearing dinosaur costumes, more than 200 people from around Japan joined the T-Rex race in Daisen, Tottori Prefecture, on April 15. (Orina Sakakibara)

DAISEN, Tottori Prefecture--Based on perhaps the most terrifying land predator in Earth’s history, events featuring dinosaur-costumed contestants are spreading playfulness, fun and laughter around the country.

“T-Rex races,” believed to have originated in the United States, are becoming fixtures in Japan since the inaugural Tyrannosaurus Race Daisen was held here in April 2022.
The event grabbed national attention through television and social media.

Since then, about 40 T-Rex events have been held across Japan.

The Daisen race was organized by Naoki Kawamoto, 35, a freelance video director.

“(Participants) can do things they can’t do as humans,” he said. “If they are all tyrannosauruses, nothing is shameful.”

This year, the Daisen race took place in April at a gymnasium after the venue was switched from an outdoor setting due to rain.

The event attracted at least 200 T-Rexes from around the nation. They prepared their own inflated costumes in various colors, such as brown, yellow and blue.

The race had three divisions: females, males and juveniles (children 12 or younger).

The contestants raced in a round-trip across the gym.
One participant said the event was nothing but fun.

“It helped relieve stress,” the dinosaur said.