Aiming to clarify how Olympic medals and medalists are described in the media, I analyzed the contents of articles from the Asahi Shimbun.
Analysis of the Japanese medalists clarified the following: Many of the acquired medals were for such sports as gymnastics, judo and wrestling. In recent years, female athletes played remarkably active roles in new Olympic sports.
Winning Olympic medals has meant showing Japan’s national power to the world, and fostering medalists has been reported as being a national policy. Until the early 1970s, the media depicted medalists as having unparalleled guts and medalists were crowned with the title of superhuman. There was an image that the nation and individuals were connected through mentalism.
As camps from both the east and west increasingly emphasized the display of national power that the Olympics fostered, medal acquisition using commercial capital became more and more firmly established as a national policy. The media during this period presented the following image: Athletes who fully displayed their abilities without being defeated by pressure were considered to be the ideal athletes.
In the early 1990s new types of medalists appeared in the media. Reporting during this period often focused on medalists’ personal information. Such publicity presented the image that there was no longer a connection between medal acquisition as a national policy and individual medalists’ experiences. It is suggested that the progress of commercialism in sports and the diversification of the media will make the relationship between medal acquisition as a national policy and individual medalists increasingly more complicated and diverse in the future.
The Japan Sports Association (JASA) and the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), which are the overall supervisors of sporting activity in Japan, were established in 1911. However, neither organization has been considered to be constitutionally or financially independent, as they have historically relied too much on the Japanese Government or financial institutions since their establishment. Therefore their projects, since before the Second World War, have been constructed to emphasize national policies that aim at the improvement of top athletes’ performance. Furthermore, both the JASA and the JOC have not been active in efforts to popularize sports for ordinary Japanese citizens.
These organizations turned their focus around 1970 from the strengthening of athletes to the popularization of sports by following the worldwide “Sports for All” movement. However, the idea of “Sports as National Policy,” based on an ideology favoring great powers, has been prevailing once again since just before the beginning of the 21st century, as nations began to prefer top athletes that would produce more medals at the Olympic Games.
This study historically reviews the notion of “Sports as National Policy,” and points out the current policy aimed at strengthening top athletes in an effort to increase performance or to obtain more medals. I argue that the policy itself is focused mainly on statistics, and that it ignores the essentials of sports. The study proposes a scheme through which this fault can be overcome, through the unification and popularization of sports.
On the basis of a viewpoint of career development of athletes, this study was conducted to analyze how Olympic gold medalists have lived their athletic lives prior to winning their gold medals, and how their lives changed by having won it. We studied the “life history” of a member of the Japanese team that won the gold medal in the team competition of the Nordic combined race in the Winter Olympic Games.
The athlete started ski jumping in a junior ski club and specialized in the combined race from the time he was a junior high school student. In senior high school, he dedicated himself to hard training, and could take part in the junior world championship as a member of the Japan’s National team. At that time, he also took the crown in the inter-high-school athletic competition. We call his athletic career until the age of junior high school “the stage of introduction and foundation,” his time in senior high school “the stage of reinforcement and dramatic progress, ” his university years “ the stage of stagnation with enjoyment,” and the following years “the stage of finishing”. This career will become a model to suggest that childhood is the foundational period for developing competence in sport performance, and will also show that the period of stagnation before his peak of sport performance was successful. During this period of stagnation, the athlete aspired to compete in the Olympic Games. We find that there were numerous factors involved in his career up until the point that he won the gold medal. In this athlete’s story, various coaches and supporters (e.g., parents) appear in each stage of his career.
Winning the gold medal was a supremely positive experience to this athlete, and has changed his life for the better. For example, he has been in the spotlight and gained a lot of confidence and thus was financially successful. In his second career, after he retired from being an athlete, he has received requests to give lectures from many schools, and has given television commentary on the combined ski race. His celebrity has also operated to his advantage in his business.
This study searched for the globalization of sports from the perspective of the sports labor migration observing the Israel Baseball League (IBL) which is a new professional baseball league that started in Israel.
The reality of the IBL is not as splendid as the image from the world professional baseball. The periphery can be seen here. But the appearance of the players of the IBL isn’t related to the image of exploited cheap laborers. Especially, from the observation to the players from developed countries, the labor as professional athlete has changed to a kind of amusements or escape from the real society.
This study analyses the feature of the IBL players as the sports labor migration, and illustrate that the globalization of sports is assuming the aspect of the mosaic expansion and osmosis in which the background and motive of the player each were involved rather than calling it a unicentric spread of the economic capital.
In the past studies, the global expansion of professional sports was often described from perspectives of the world system theory. In this context, it tends to be concluded the reason for the border crossings of professional athletes are economical factors. In this case study, IBL players as the sports labor migrants are classified into four types: “the prospects”, “the baseball laborers”, “vacation” and “ego-seeking” Though some studies illustrate the causes for transferring of athletes besides the economic factors, “vacation” and “egoseeking” types from developed countries don’t finish installing on the frame of the past studies. Therefore, these new types of sports labor migration have the possibility of developing the study for globalization.
Over the past 20 years, people who study the sociology of sport have been inspired by the Foucauldian perspective, especially with regards to “discipline”. In what has been called the “Governmentality” perspective, Foucault advocated that both bio-politics exercised on collective body, or the population, and discipline on the individual body relate not only to the reproduction of normative social relations, or the norm, but also to the construction of normality.
The aim of this paper is to examine contemporary politics of the body and health from the “Governmentality” perspective. In particular, this paper analyzes the process of the incorporation of the physical activity services for the elderly in the public insurance system.
New forms of risk technology and new mechanisms of security constitute different ways of enhancing the life of the population, and of shaping institutions for social security according to the calculability of multiple risks. In short, the incorporation of preventive health services in the insurance system means that such mechanisms serve newly-created risk groups based on statistically-created normalities.
I first argue that preventive health services function as a tool for improving the financial government of insurers. Secondly, I look at how the rate of physical improvements can help rationalize the burdens and benefits. Finally, I point out how we are now confronting a new political rationality that blames not only the individual for one’s health maladies, but also health insurance programs for the financial hardships they cause.
In the future, I intend to examine empirically whether preventive services are conducive to health insurance beneficiaries or to their professional staffs.
Fourteen years prior to the 1971 World Table Tennis championship that initiated the normalization of international relations between China, Japan and the U.S., boxing had already proven its political significance in international relations: particularly, between the Philippines and Japan. Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi in collaboration with the President Carlos Garcia wanted to create trust through cultural exchanges between these two nations.
A lack of foreign currency until the early 1960s made the Japanese government extremely reluctant to host any international meets; it was a national policy. It was Kishi who changed this longstanding policy. He sponsored, through the Foreign Ministry, an ‘‘Oriental Champion Carnival’’ in 1957 in Tokyo, letting all those involved know that the government supported this venture. Supporting this boxing extravaganza was important for Kishi, because he wanted to force the U.S. to reconsider the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, and wanted them to gain a then growing market in the Southeast Asia.
In order to prove the financial soundness of this event, Yachiyo Manabe promoted the fact that it had the power to engender cultural‘‘friendship’’ and ‘‘goodwill’’. In 1959, Manabe also arranged, in collaboration with Matsutaro Shoriki, an important baseball game, with the Emperor in attendance.
I interpret the role that the Oriental Championship played in international politics is to show the Japanese willingness to construct amicable relations with other Asian countries. Because of Japanese aggression during WW Ⅱ, the government of Japan was concerned about anti-Japanese sentiment throughout Asia.