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Nichibunken-IHJ Forum

2019 Feb. 20 The 16th Nichibunken-IHJ Forum

Place: Lecture Hall, International House of Japan (Address: 5-11-16 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032)
Start time: 18:30
End time: 20:00
Enrollment: Required
Fee: Free
How to enroll: Go to IHJ web site to register
Host: International House of Japan
Co-host: International Research Center for Japanese Studies
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Speaker “Japan’s Road to the Olympics in the Meiji Era: An Attempt at “Sports Civilization” Theory”
USHIMURA Kei,   Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies

Japan was forced to sign unequal treaties with the Western powers at the end of the Edo Period. Only after the abolition of consular jurisdiction in 1894, participation in a military coalition with the powers in suppressing the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1899-1900, signing of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in 1902, victory over Russia in 1905 and recovery of tariff autonomy in 1911, did Japan become a “civilized” or “first-class” nation in theory, but in reality the country continued to struggle to win equality in the international community. Should there be any arena where the newcomer could stand on an equal basis, it was the field of sports in which the same rules apply to all participants, the most prestigious being the Olympic Games. Participating in the modern Olympics can thus be seen as proof that the country had finally entered the circle of “civilized nations.” Based on this assumption, this lecture will examine Japan’s path to joining the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.
*This lecture will be held in Japanese.

Commentator MITANI Hiroshi,   Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo