Japan Journal of Sport Sociology
Online ISSN : 2185-8691
Print ISSN : 0919-2751
ISSN-L : 0919-2751
Volume 23, Issue 1
Displaying 1-6 of 6 articles from this issue
  • Tatsuya MIMA
    2015 Volume 23 Issue 1 Pages 7-18
    Published: March 30, 2015
    Released on J-STAGE: June 03, 2016
     Since the late 1990s, human science fields such as sociology and bioethics have been interested in “enhancement”, which can be defined as the effort to enhance and improve human cognitive abilities and motor performances by the use of biomedical technologies “beyond therapy”. In the field of sport sciences, extraordinary training methods, enhancement technology, doping and human body modification have led to a form of chaos due to the inability to tell right from wrong. From the viewpoint of medical sociology, we clarified the ideas of the normal, abnormal, pathologic, and anomaly, based on Canguilhem’s “Le normal et le pathologique” and showed that the normal/abnormal distinction is a culture-bound concept which cannot be free from social value. Secondly, we examined the ethical discussions on the enhancement of physical performances in the field of sports. We presented evidence which showed that the traditional arguments for the clear treatment/enhancement distinction cannot be a useful guideline for the current situation. Moreover, the contrast between the enhancement without effort and the virtue of achievement through the combination of efforts and natural gifts might not be sufficient. Our conclusion is that modern technology’s domination over human nature is the fundamental problem of enhancement and should be reconsidered.
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  • Consideration of the Syogi Den-ousen
    Akinori KUBO
    2015 Volume 23 Issue 1 Pages 19-33
    Published: March 30, 2015
    Released on J-STAGE: June 03, 2016
     Based on the case study of a series of Japanese chess matches between professional players and a number of computer programs known as “Syogi Den-ousen”, this paper explores the new model of agent which consists of human and nonhuman technological entities, and which can be widely found in the contemporary sports.
     When we look at sports we can identify human and nonhuman hybrids, as in the case of runners with artificial limbs, or sports-loving people always with physical management apps in their smartphones, and top athletes who constantly try to modify their physical and mental parts through scientific observation and training. These human and nonhuman hybrids, however, are often comprehended by the way in which one is subjected to the other and therefore lost from our view, which maintains the proposition that only people take part in sports.
     By referring to the approach of Symmetrical Anthropology advocated by Bruno Latour, I firstly investigate the reasons why we still accept such an anthropocentric view of the contemporary sports clearly penetrated by various technological nonhumans, and secondly focus on a reflexive form of self, which makes in itself the sharp distinction between passive parts objectified by scientific / technological methods and independent-minded human parts to control the former, or “the agent of monitoring” eclipsing human and nonhuman hybrids and re-empowering the proposition that only people take part in sports.
     In contrast, my analyses of Syogi Den-ousen show that professionals and computer programs playing Syogi can be both recognized as human-nonhuman hybrids. Focusing on the processes in which they have transgressed the observational limits of monitoring and thus made fluid relations with various human / nonhuman entities, I finally suggest a non-anthropocentric form of agent that gives itself to these heterogeneous networks, which can be applied to the contemporary scenes of various sports.
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  • from the Viewpoint of Motor Physiology
    2015 Volume 23 Issue 1 Pages 35-46
    Published: March 30, 2015
    Released on J-STAGE: June 03, 2016
     In order to study the complexity of the skeleton-muscle system in human motor action, diversification and stratification are very important. Traditionally, the top-down exercise command system from the brain nervous system to the skeletal muscle system in environment is regarded as important. Recently, however, the possibility of rebuilding the entire system by iterative bottom-up information of the skeleton muscle system to the brain nervous system has begun to be seen as important.
     In this study I try to examine my hypothesis of the “3x3 system”, (three muscle fiber types by three energy supply types) which plays its part in transforming the appropriate motor skills in response to the reduction of the energy supply system.
     To consider this hypothesis, I analyze the transformation of running skills during an actual long-distance race. Well trained runners altered their running skills as a result of the adaptation of the human movement system in progress.
     However, the totality of such complex systems is difficult to examine empirically. Probably, a bird’s-eye view integrate research strategy is necessary for the construction of the research system.
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  • A Case Study of Bodybuilders in Tokyo’s Gym S
    Kazuma TAKEZAKI
    2015 Volume 23 Issue 1 Pages 47-61
    Published: March 30, 2015
    Released on J-STAGE: June 03, 2016
     As Japan’s rapidly ageing society continues to expand, bodily practices targeting the ageing body, such as sports facilities for the elderly and anti-ageing goods, have become ubiquitous. Previous studies have shown that such practices are of value to the elderly, enabling them to improve their quality of life and to redefine their identity. However, these studies have not fully explained why the elderly desire such values and how they acquire them.
     Recognizing the problematic nature of this lack of deeper understanding, this paper examines the case of elderly male bodybuilders at Tokyo’s Gym S, focusing on their practices to reveal how they derive value from their bodybuilding. The research finds that elderly bodybuilders do not view their bodily practices as a solution to physical ageing. Rather, they derive value from being different from those they view as “the ordinary elderly,” those members of Gym S who work out in order to promote good health. The elderly male bodybuilders distinguish themselves from “the ordinary elderly” by seeking new images of their bodies and through acceptance of their ageing.
     In conclusion, this paper argues that the bodily practices of bodybuilding among the elderly could possibly promote ageing as “abnormal,” while they could also elevate the body image of the elderly in spite of the body’s natural ageing process. This paper points out the necessity of examining how the ageing body and bodily practices are connected through investigations of the lived experiences of the elderly.
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  • A Case Study of American Football in Japan between 1933 and 1937
    Takuya KUMAZAWA
    2015 Volume 23 Issue 1 Pages 63-80
    Published: March 30, 2015
    Released on J-STAGE: June 03, 2016
     The aim of this paper is to investigate the history of American football in Japan between 1933 and 1937.
     American football was not commonly played in Japan before 1933, but when Nisei students began to play the game it gained in popularity. The national federation was established in 1934 and the first official game took place in the same year. Later, in 1935, American collegiate all-stars visited Japan and this was followed by a visit to the United States by Japanese all-stars in December 1936 and January 1937.
     Before 1934 Japan had been isolated from the international community as a result of the Manchurian Incident in 1931, the Shanghai Incident in 1932, and the establishment of Manchukuo in the same year, together with its secession from the League of Nations in 1933. Diplomatic actors in Japan tried to communicate with the international community in three ways. One was through international exchanges, one was by way of sport diplomacy, and the other was through Nisei students. Diplomatic actors realized that sport was useful for international friendship following the success of the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932. Also, diplomatic actors regarded Nisei students as a bridge between Japan and the United States. This means that diplomatic actors expected that Nisei students would become spokesmen for Japan after they went back to the United States.
     In conclusion, there are two reasons American football in Japan increased rapidly between 1933 and 1937. One was that most of the players were Nisei students who were regarded as spokesmen for Japan in the future. The other was that diplomatic actors supported sport diplomacy.
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