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Two minutes until showtime and a murmur of anticipation ripples through the crowd. On a stage at a school gym in western Japan the instructor, flanked by two slender women in T-shirts and pink sweatpants, tells the gathering of 800 people standing in tidy rows to take a breather and drink some water. Strong gusts from an approaching typhoon rustle the gym’s curtains. “It’s hot and muggy today so let’s make sure we don’t overdo it,” the instructor, Hajime Tago, says. Twenty seconds before 06.30 ticks around he urges people to take their places. “OK…


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