Hello from Tokyo!
I have been meaning to post an introduction for sometime and have been following several of the messages with interest.
I am currently a fifth-year PhD candidate in modern Japanese history conducting my research in Tokyo. In its broadest sense, my project is on the history of sports in Japan from Meiji up through the late 20th century. More specifically, I am studying the emergence and evolution of sports stars in Japan and analyzing how both state and non-state constituencies presented sports stars to the public. Some of the issues my work touches on include the ways in which representations of sports stars mediated Japan’s emergence into the putatively universal realm of sports, unsettled orthodox notions of gender, facilitated the wartime mobilization of physically fit men and women, and later masked lingering inequalities in postwar Japanese society. I am also particularly interested in the social construction and impact of celebrity, and its effect on bodily discourses and practices in modern Japan. That said, I have pretty wide-ranging interests in Japanese history, society, politics, etc., so I may post on a number of issues aside from things related directly to my topic. Glad to finally officially sign on!
There was an earlier message about the use of ” dou” and various martial arts, and I can’t resist sharing that sumo, which was mentioned, was in fact associated with something known as “sumodou” from at least Meiji on and became particularly so in wartime periods. Lots of references in Meiji newspapers and later in a range of sports journals as well.