Professional Japanese Wrestling “Sumo” has some aspects which are quite different from other sports. It’s typical aspect is revealed in “tachiai”. Two Sumo wrestlers facing each other rise to grapple by accordance of mind. This moves against the flow of objective rationalization underlying judgement in modern sport. This point is involved with an aspect of performing arts of Sumo.
During the Meiji and Taisho eras, there were even more aspects of Sumo which set it apart from other sports. Although these aspects might seem unsophisticated when compared to modern sport, it should be borne in mind that Sumo was regarded as more festival rather than sport. The Sumo stadium “kokugikan”, in those days, was certainly a festival space. What contributes to abundance of the nature of festival was the ambiguity of rules that was nothing but immature at a standpoint of modern sport and Sumo wrestler’s social position that was despised as an artiste. These factors roused audiences to enthusiasm through making them play the active leading character.
The process by which Sumo evolved from festival into sport is very interesting. In Football that had been playing as folkgame in every place of Europe at the medieval ages, the process by which it had developed as modern sport was based on a logic of internal development in which the united organizations and the united rules were constructed in order to enable large-scale international matches over a wide area to be played. On the contrary, the modernization of Sumo was propelled by external and social circumstances. Along an improvement of dignity by means of becoming a foundation, an authorization by means of an approval of the Emperor’s Cup, and a tendency toward solemnity of the total life of people by means of the propulsion of Fascism on the Emperor system, on one hand the courtesy of Sumo wrestlers and attitudes of audiences was sanctified, on the other hand an ambiguity in the competition and judgement was eliminated, a notion of fair victory or defeat became predominant, and a tendency toward sport was promoted more overtly.
The aim of this study is to re-examine the history of baseball in the Meiji era from the perspective of the categories, ‘Play’ and ‘Sacred’.
During the early Meiji era, baseball was introduced to Japan as a western amusement and adopted as part of physical education because it was regarded as an enjoyable pastime.
Hiroshi Haraoka, one of the people who introduced the sport to Japan, was a debauched pleasure seeker and, as a result, baseball was seen by some in the same light. When his type of excesses came to be frowned upon, the abstinence of ‘Play’ came into place. Shiki Masaoka is a good example. Masaoka explained that baseball was fun but did not mention any links with unwholesome debauchery. Thus, ‘Play’ came to be divided into two camps: wholesome and unwholesome.
The asceticism of ‘Play’ was introduced by First Higher School students who invented Bushido-Baseball. After enjoying the fun of baseball in Meiji 20s(1887-1896), Bushido-Baseball started in Meiji 30s(1897-1906). In this paper, I will show that Bushido Baseball came about as a result of a dispute about the school character in the First Higher School. Shintaro Suzuki(Kendo club member) advocated that Japanese traditional martial arts(including Japanese baseball) could raise the Bushido spirit. This was an example of when ‘Play’ was used as a form of ‘Sacred’ hard exercize.
Shunrō Oshikawa’s idea of Bushido-Baseball was very similar to that of the First Higher School. He argued that Japanese baseball must be a kind of martial art to cultivate the participants’ minds. However,his everyday practice of sports was far removed from ascetic hard exercise. He spent his time in playing for the moment, and embodied Bushi spirit by imitating Bushi practice. People’s bodies were an example of the‘Playing’ body versus ‘Sacred’ Bushido-Baseball and its “inner-worldly asceticism”.
In the early-21st century, international organizations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the United Nations cooperated in the expansion of sport for development and peace (SDP) programs. In the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics, strong messages about environmental conservation and human rights were on display. This paper will use J.J. MacAloon’s cultural performance theory and R. Roberton’s theory of globalization to consider the context in which SDP is taking place today. It also offers an historical overview of the development of SDP programs and considers the possibilities that they may offer. The author points out the following trends of SDP: 1) Not all aspects of sport can be positively evaluated with respect to SDP; 2) SDP is associated with certain aspects of neoliberalism; 3) Western conceptions of “human rights culture” cannot be universally applied. Anything other than a pragmatic approach that considers each individual example would be too simplistic; 4) The boundaries in the development of SDP thus far must be broadened to include other critical aspects outside the domain of sport, including sickness, hunger, wars and disputes, and refugee situations. These questions must be critically analyzed in the development of SDP programs. 5) Careful attention must be given to these issues so as to not confuse the balance of power between conventional and grassroots methods of SDP.
This study was done as part of examination of “socialization into wheelchair basketball” of a person with acquired disability. The purpose of this study was to analyze the contribution of specific other individuals to the process of “socialization into wheelchair basketball” of a former racing driver with acquired disability in a traffic accident who developed the careers of wheelchair basketball and another sport, paying attention to the aspects that he overcame the challenges and difficulties. The research method the author used was life history. His life history was investigated on the basis of the narration recorded mainly through the interviews with the subject. Major findings from this study were as follows:
After being injured in a traffic accident, the subject experienced the difficulty coping with a disability and the difficulty in his life after retirement from the career as a car racer. While the subject was under medical care, “the others” who contributed to the process of overcoming the former were “irreplaceable others” (father) and “close others” (best friend). They were also considered “the others” constructing “intimate sphere” of the subject. The subject overcame the difficulty of retirement by not only playing wheelchair basketball but also continuing auto race activity that he had devoted himself to before he acquired a disability for recreation. Both of them were valuable activities for him. In the process of the subject’s socialization into wheelchair basketball, two activities went side by side with each other. The specific other individuals who contributed to the process were “recruiting others” (associate in the facility) who invited the subject to wheelchair basketball, “leading others” (senior member in wheelchair basketball club), and “close others” (best friend) who supported the subject mentally through wheelchair basketball activities. In addition, they were “linking others” (associates of auto race) who connected the subject with recreational auto race activity. Except “recruiting others,” the three others can be considered constructing his “intimate sphere.”