Embodying Japan: Cultures of Sport, Beauty, and Medicine 2017

How does the government reinforce 'gattai' through sport?

In Aaron Miller’s article "Foucauldian theory and the making of the Japanese sporting body," he makes it clear that the Japanese government had a hand in sports regulation and the promotion of it.  “The Japanese government reiterated: that sports training could serve as great preparation for [the military]” (23).  Through sport, the government could use Foucault’s idea of bio-power to regulate their subjects.  Famous Japanese baseball player Eiji Sawamura is an example of this regulation by the Japanese government.  Whether they intended it or not, because of the nation’s fixation and love of baseball, Sawamura’s baseball skills allowed him to become “a role model when he entered the military, because… his body [had] great physical strength” (Miller 23).  He also claimed he could throw grenades much farther than other soldiers, a testament to his time spent as a baseball player.  This regulation is exactly what the government seems to strive for.  By reiterating sports and sports training such as the sport of baseball, subjects of Japan could become more useful to the nation of Japan; they could be a part of this gattai.

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