Japanese engineer Akira Haraguchi, born in 1946, is known for memorizing and reciting digits of the Pi number (). He sees the memorization of the Pi number as "the religion of the universe" and as an expression of his lifelong pursuit of eternal truth. It reached the 100,000-digit world record after 16 hours of recitation, starting at 9am on October 3, 2006 and ending at 1:28 am the next day.
This event was filmed in a public hall of the Japanese city of Kisarazu. Every two hours of recitation Haraguchi had five minutes of rest to eat rice balls. Even when he went to the bathroom, the cameras accompanied him to prove that there were no scams.
But how did he do to decorate so many numbers? The secret is that Haraguchi used his own system, which related numbers and symbols Kana (Japanese writing system), thus allowing the number Pi to be remembered as a series of stories. This method was already used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Despite Haraguchi's best efforts, the Book of Records has not yet accepted any of his records, and attributes another Japanese world record, Hiroyuki Goto, who recited the Pi number to 42,195 decimal digits in 1995.