In Japan the origin of the Paralympic Games is generally traced back to the Stoke Mandeville Games of 1948 and to the rehabilitation activities of the patients in the Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
However, much attention has not been paid on the historical background of the Hospital and on the personal histories of those patients, which had a close relationship with the Second World War.
In the Tokyo 1964 Games a few Japanese wounded in the Second World War did participate. In the London 2012 Games, soldiers who had been engaged in the Afghan War or Iraq War occupied not a negligible share of the British and American Teams. This article attempts to put some light on the relationship between the Paralympics and international warfare mainly for Japanese readers who, for historical reasons, are not well aware of such a relationship.
A. Guttmann and the First World War
⑴ Guttmann witnessed wounded soldiers of the war in German hospitals
⑵ Treatment of paraplegic ex-soldiers was a grave social problem as implied in the novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”
B. Guttmann and the Second World War
⑴ Persecution of the Jews and refuge to England
⑵ “Outsider” status both in Germany and England
⑶ Normandy operation and establishment of a special unit to take care of paraplegics
C. Stoke Mandeville Games and War
⑴ All participants to the first Stoke Mandeville Games were ex-military service men
⑵ In the 1950s, supporters for the Games were mainly veterans
⑶ World veterans meeting in Rome spurred the holding of the Games simultaneously with the Rome Olympic Games
D. 1964 Tokyo Paralympic Games and War
⑴ Out of 193 non-Japanese participants who responded to the enquiry, 27 were ex-service men or women
⑵ A few（ at least two） Japanese participants were ex-service men of the Second World War
⑶ The athlete who made the oath at the opening ceremony was a person who had been injured in the Sino-Japanese war of the 1940s
E. Recent Trends
⑴ Seven members of the UK team in the 2012 Paralympic Games were exmilitary persons
⑵ 26 members of the USA team in the 2012 London Games were military service persons or retired soldiers