Meiji Shrine Games, Tokyo, 1926.

1920sLifestyleSports & Athletics
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The 3rd Meiji Shrine Games commemorative postcard, Tokyo, 1926. Inset is a photo of Meiji-era physical fitness advocate Kano Jigoro, professor and headmaster at the Tokyo University of Education (later the University of Tsukuba), inventor of judo, and the first Japanese (and first Asian) member of the International Olympic Committee.

See also:
Undokai (Sports Day), c. 1930
A history of tennis in Japan
Exercises of the Tokyo Girls Higher Normal School, 1904

“That year [1924] saw many other initiatives: the inauguration of the annual Meiji Shrine Games, the creation of national institute for research in physical education, and the proclamation of November 3 as ‘National Physical Fitness Day’.

“… In line with the liberal-democratic tendencies of the late Taisho and early Showa periods, a federation to promote women’s sports was formed in 1926. At the Fifth Meiji Shrine Games, which took place in 1928, two hundred female athletes competed in a wide array of sports. In addition to women’s gymnastics and track-and-field, both of which were to appear for the first time in the 1928 Olympics, that year’s Meiji Shrine Games included contests in archery, riding, rowing, swimming, lawn tennis, basketball, field hockey, and volleyball.”

Japanese Sports: A History, by Allen Guttmann & Lee Thompson, 2001

“The Meiji Games had the typical track and field events, baseball games, swimming contests and the like, but it also included mass demonstrations of judo, budo and kendo by elementary- and middle-school children. There were also more military-like events such as national defense (kokubo) and marching (kogun) drills.”

Mapping an Empire of American Sport: Expansion, Assimilation, Adaptation and Resistance, edited by Mark Dyreson, J.A. Mangan & Roberta J. Park, 2013

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