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This comprehensive survey of Japanese sports is attentive to the complex and fascinating interaction of traditional and modern elements. In the course of tracing the emergence and development of sumo, the martial arts, and other traditional sports from their origins to the present, it demonstrates that some cherished "ancient" traditions were, in fact, invented less than a century ago. It also registers scepticism about the use of the samurai tradition to explain Japan's success in sports. Special attention is given to Meiji-era Japan's frequently ambivalent adoption and adaptation of European and American sports - a particularly telling example of Japan's love-hate relationship with the West. The book goes on to describe the history of physical education in the school system, the emergence of amateur and professional leagues, the involvement of business and the media in sports promotion, and Japan's participation in the Olympics.
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- ID: 9780824824648
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