- 中京大学体育学論叢 (ISSN:02887339)
- vol.38, no.1, pp.1-12, 1996-10-31
The purpose of this study was to clarify the developmental process of 'Athletic Sports' from the 1874 meeting of the Imperial Naval College to the 1883 meeting of Tokyo University. Official documents of the government in the National Archives and articles of the Japan Weekly Mail were analyzed. Results of this study were as follows : 1) It was ascertained that the Imperial Naval College held 'Athletic Sports' on April 7, 1876. 2) Although most of the events were the same as those in 1874, Japanese officials of the college also joined the committee for the meeting and Japanese Fencing was added to the program. Thus the meeting was somewhat "Japanized" this time. Moreover, it must be noted that events including casualness and uncertainty, such as a blindfold race, a flat race with a bucket of water on the head, and a flat race to pick up 20 eggs, were not adopted in 1876. 3) The same site was used for 'Athletic Sports' by foreigners' athletic organizations, i.e., the Tokyo Amateur Athletic Association in 1876 and the Tokio Athletic Club in 1877 and 1878. The Parade Ground being at the disposal of the athletic organizations by the Naval Department, the attendance of the band of the Imperial Japanese Marines, and the participation of the cadets of the Imperial Naval College suggest that there was a close relationship and that the organizations were supported by the Naval Department and the Imperial Naval College. 4) F. W. Strange who taught English at Tokyo English College, later the Preparatory Course of Tokyo University, was an active member of those organizations. He also participated in the various meetings and matches held by foreigners' sports organizations in Yokohama. With his rich experiences in administration and participation, he worked for the introduction of 'Athletic Sports' at Tokyo University. From the viewpoint of sports history he was in fact a mediator between 'Athletic Sports' of the Imperial Naval College and that of Tokyo University. 5) Before the meeting of Tokyo University, F. W. Strange published a booklet, the title of which was "OUTDOOR GAMES". It aimed to give some information on the outdoor games to Japanese students to induce them to keep their health. The program of 'Athletic Sports' was composed of the same events as those cited in the booklet except for the three-legged race. It showed the exclusion of the events including casualness and uncertainty while the later Gymnastics Exhibition included some of those events, which became indispensable items for school undokai.