Reuters reports that seven government officials in Ise started a group called the "Seven Metabolic Samurai"—a play-on-words on the famous Kurosawa film that refers to a dietary regime of hardcore exercise and health food.
Older men dieting is not uncommon in Japan. In fact, it’s become trendy, and very high tech (remember the cell phone camera diet plan, instituted this past spring). Talk of metabolic syndrome—excess fat, high blood pressure, high cholestrol—is all over dinner tables and news talk shows. So it’s only natural that a bunch of politicians would champion the cause by doing this. Right?
And so the diet samurai continue to train despite the death of one of their colleagues in August—he died of heart failure while jogging. Sad, and scary, but not quite enough to make a samurai terminate his mission.