Follow this link to a very interesting article called ” Sport and Physical Education under Fascistization in Japan” by Ikuo Abe, Yasuharu Kiyohara, and Ken Nakajima on the InYo website.

The scantiness of the information about sport and physical education in Japanese history has caused foreign readers to be unfamiliar with the subject. Japanese sports historians have not yet established uniform translations for the technical terms in this field. Although we have a considerable accumulation of historical studies in this field, our first step should be limited to a sketchy introduction rather than a detailed and analytical history. This paper aims to demonstrate, as briefly as possible, the consolidating process of Japanese fascism and its influence on sport and physical education.


The formative process of Japanese fascism is subtly but essentially different from Italian Fascism and German Nazism, which had mass parties and are generally called “fascism from below”. Japanese fascism is instead typified as “fascism from above”. The Emperor System and its power groups have constituted rigid power structures and the charismatic governing apparatus since the Meiji Restoration. For this reason, we adopted the term, “fascistization”, and took a relatively long time-span for the explanation of the formative process of Japanese fascism.

Katsumi Irie skillfully described the fascistization of Japanese physical education in four developmental stages: germination (1917-31), transition (1931-1937), domination (1937-41), and culmination (1941-45). Instead of using his precise and accurate turning points, we use two stages — germination (before the Manchurian Incident of 1931) and consolidation (1931-1945). Simplification, sometimes, is needed for a brief introduction to a topic.

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