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Japan Documents Handbook titles

This series focuses on the broad field of Japanese Studies, aimed at the worldwide English language scholarly market, published in Tokyo in English. Each Handbook will contain an average of 20 newly written contributions on various aspects of the topic, which together comprise an up-to-date survey of use to scholars and students. The focus is on Humanities and Social Sciences.

Handbook of Sport and Japan (Edited by Helen Macnaughanand Verity Postlethwaite)

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The Handbook of Sport and Japan presents a fascinating collection of established and new scholarship, a valuable text for readers who want to use sport as lens to look more closely into a nation. The chapters in the handbook convey what taking part in sport feels and looks like, highlighting the sporting accomplishments of Japanese athletes and teams, while also reflecting how the sporting experience interacts with economics, diplomacy, media, culture, demographics, gender, ethnicity and identity. 

This book also provides an insight into Japan’s long history and engagement with sport, from the Meiji period until the present day. In this collection, contributions pose key questions about what conclusions can be made when sport is placed in the foreground of key events in Japanese history, including pre-war industrialization and empire building, to the post-war economic boom, the 2011 Tōhoku Disaster and the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

March, 2024, 272p. Hardback

ISBN: 9784909286222

¥28,875 (tax included)


Helen Macnaughtan and Verity Postlethwaite

Helen Macnaughtan is Senior Lecturer in International Management for Japan at SOAS, University of London, UK. Helen has been the chair of the SOAS Japan Research Centre and during her tenure she was the Convenor of the Centre’s Sport Symposia Series. Her research interests focus on a range of topics relating to gender equality, women, work and employment as well as gender and sport in Japan. Her sport research and publications have focused on the history of women’s volleyball within the Japanese textile industry and the legacy of their gold medal victory at the Tokyo 1964 Olympics, as well as the history of men’s corporate rugby teams and the role of sport in soft power strategy in Japan.

Verity Postlethwaite is Vice-Chancellor Independent Research Fellow in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, UK. She also holds a visiting position as a Research Associate at the Japan Research Centre, SOAS, University of London. Her research is broadly focused on international sport events with a particular interest in how sport and other cultural entities have been used in local, national, and international contexts to govern society. Her research activities are connected to an established international network of governing actors related to a variety of organizations, where strategies and programs include engagement with inclusion, placemaking, sport and cultural policy, and sport diplomacy. This work has included a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science pre/post-doctoral fellowship around comparing disability sport policy and legacy aims in Japan and the UK.


Keiko Aiba, Professor in the Faculty of International Studies in Meiji Gakuin University, Japan; Ai Aramaki, Associate Professor in Faculty of Humanities and Liberal Arts Center, Musashi University, Japan; Emily Barrass Chapman, Research Associate at the Japan Research Centre at SOAS University of London, UK; Dennis J. Frost, Wen Chao Chen Associate Professor of East Asian Social Sciences at Kalamazoo College, USA; Mike Galbraith, Independent scholar; Michelle H. S. Ho is an Assistant Professor of Feminist and Queer Cultural Studies in the Department of Communications and New Media (CNM) at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore; William W. Kelly, Sumitomo Professor Emeritus of Japanese studies and anthropology at Yale University, USA; Robin Kietlinski, Professor of History at LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York, USA; Geoffery Z. Kohe, Senior Lecturer in Sport Management and Policy in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Kent, UK; Angus Lockyer, Independent scholar; Yunuen Ysela Mandujano-Salazar, Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico; Iwona Merklejn, Professor at the School of Cultural and Creative Studies, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan; Aaron L. Miller, Lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, East Bay, and Assistant Adjunct Faculty, Department of Kinesiology, St. Mary’s College of California, USA; Eri Mizuno, Lecturer in the Department of Human and Social Sciences, University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences, Kyoto University, Kobe, Japan; Győző Molnár, Professor of Sociology of Sport and Exercise in the School of Sport and Exercise at the University of Worcester, UK; Masafumi Monden, Lecturer in Japanese Studies at The University of Western Australia, Australia; Taro Obayashi, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Tsukuba, Japan; Helen Symons, Senior Lecturer in Sports Management and Development at the University of Portsmouth, UK; Christian Tagsold, Professor at the Department for Modern Japanese Studies, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany; Takayuki Yamashita, Professor Emeritus of Sociology of Sport and Popular Culture in the College of Social Sciences of Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan.

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