The Great East Japan Earthquake caused extensive damage to the sport world as well as the other areas. The purpose of this study is to identify the main powers which promoted the revival of the sport clubs damaged in the disaster. We studied the baseball club in a senior high school damaged in tsunami and a wheelchair basketball club for physical disabled persons as a local sport club damaged in earthquake, on the basis of data recorded during the interviews for staffs and members of the two clubs.
While there was nobody died among the staffs, the members, and their families of each club, their valuable strongholds were greatly damaged by tsunami or earthquake, and houses of the coach or the members were completely destroyed by tsunami. We acknowledged that, both their own powers and the others’ powers were engaged in the process of revival of each club. The main players or coach in each club exercised “spontaneous powers” to secure their practice places and restart their practices. However, they also needed “supporting powers” by others to secure the places. In addition, another kind of “supporting powers” by others given even before the practice restarted were also valuable. They were the powers of others that cheered or gave relief goods and donations. We believe that such powers reinforced the “spontaneous powers” and the powers for revival of the two clubs. Furthermore, the powers were behind “resurgent powers” of the coach and the member whose houses had been destroyed. In particular, the specific ties with the others, the other clubs or the organizations in each field were the main source for “supporting powers,” but in terms of the relief goods and donations, the power beyond the ties played an important role.
Some elite athletes have established non-profit organizations for social contribution since 1990’s in Japan. In reaction to the Great East Japan Earthquake, six non-profit organizations founded by elite athletes made an alliance “Japan Athlete Forum (JAF)” with a goal of reconstructing comprehensive community sport clubs in the three prefectures affected by the quake, I wate, Miyagi and Fukushima. JAF surveyed the current situation of the comprehensive community sport clubs in the affected area and elite athletes’ intention to support the reconstruction of the earthquake-affected area. The result showed that 44.3% of these clubs did not have readiness to hold the athlete event, on the other hand, 82.9% of athletes had intention to attend the event. On receiving the results of this survey, JAF organized a committee appointed by local people to support these clubs. JAF has delivered sport programs named “Warm up Japan (WUJ)” to over 2,500 children living in the three prefectures to encourage them from August in 2011 to January in 2012. Over 30 elite athletes gathered from all over Japan took part in WUJ and gave sport lessons to children. The junior high school participants (n=126) of these programs in Iwate prefecture showed a significant improvement in their motivation for physical activity after programs. However there are still numbers of challenges for the continuation of WUJ.
This paper attempts to illustrate meanings and possible effects of sporting narratives in the Japanese media after the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011.
The earthquake is one of the biggest disasters in Japanese history. Responses of top athletes to the national tragedy were swift and, probably, much more visible than those in other cultural areas such as literature, movies or music. Top athletes, including professional baseball players and J-League footballers, held charity matches, had voluntary money-making, or held events to communicate with refugees who lost their family and house.
True, their activities are encouraging. But the media narratives to deal with these events are too uniform and worked to discursively construct national unity after 3.11. Especially on the winning of the World Cup of the Japanese national women football team, known by their nickname “Nadeshiko Japan”, the media’s uniform narratives discursively construct national unity or kizuna (bond), a buzzword in post-3.11 Japan. They also uniformly portrayed “Nadeshiko Japan” as being “resilient”, which is supposed to mirror Japanese national identity and, at the same time, the national characteristic the nation needs most after this historic disaster.
When the media narrate that sports or their winnings give us a kizuna, those narratives could, even unconsciously, hide the possible division that does exist in Japan after 3.11 – that is disjunction between quakehit area and others.
The Master Plan for the Promotion of Sports of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology is the national strategy for sport in Japan. This strategy aims to get more people involved in sport more often, to achieve a society that practices lifelong sport by upraising the levels of regular involvement in sports to the point where more than 50% of adults play at least once a week. In this context, recent political concerns with the strategy have raised much debate regarding how to set up new type of sport clubs (comprehensive community sports club) within every district. This article explores how the sport policy is developed and how its implementation impacts various stakeholders. Through analysis of official policy documents, interviews with the taskforce members and empirical data gathered from observations, this paper demonstrates the dominant voices in policy communities and networks help shape the conceptualization of an issue, the discourse surrounding the issue. While the national strategy uphold comprehensive community sports club as a vital part of the fabric of healthy life, this paper concludes that it is not clear what contribution those sports clubs can play in this agenda.
The aim of this paper is to investigate the “governmentality” behind community sport in the contemporary society. For this purpose, the paper examines community sport policy under New Labour in the United Kingdom, by drawing on Foucauldian writings on “governmentality”. The paper draws on the data with analyses of key sport policy-related documents published by the Government and Sport England.
From the analysis of policy documents, there seems to be two key characteristics in New Labour's community sport policy. Firstly, “partnership” with stakeholders was employed as a major mechanism to deliver sport policy. Secondly, the Government considered community sport as a “policy tool” for broader social objectives, such as health, reduction of crime and anti-social behaviour, education, and in particular, social inclusion.
Following the discussion of these two characteristics with Foucauldian writings on “governmentality”, we conclude that community sport in the UK was governed under “advanced liberal” rationalities. That is, although voluntary sports organisations and local authorities came to be regarded as the “partner” in delivering community sport policy and seemed to be delegated power from the Government and Sport England in policy documents, in reality, their conducts might be strongly constrained by the Government and Sport England through setting agendas, allocating the funding, and monitoring and evaluating the outcomes. In addition, community sport was to be promoted as one of “the technologies of government” under New Labour, with which the Government (re)constructs individuals and communities as “active citizen” to sustain governing under “advanced liberalism”.