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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Stefan Hübner

East Asian History
(PhD Students, October 1, 2010 - March 31, 2011)

  • Pan-Asianism
  • Nationalism
  • Sport and Identity
  • German-Japanese Relations


The Asian Games and Predecessors (1913-1978). Sport and Media Orchestration between Transnational Experience and Representations of the Nation.

The  Asian  Games  and their predecessors can  look  back  upon  a  history  of  almost  a  century. They were founded in 1913 in the Philippines by American YMCA-members as Far Eastern Championship Games / Far Eastern Olympics. Until 1934 these Games were organized ten times by Asian sports federations and governments. After the Second World War they were continued as the Asian Games, until 1982 supervised by the Asian Games Federation. Since then they are under the control of the Olympic Council of Asia.

My PhD-thesis examines the Games regarding their importance for nationalism and pan-Asianism within the host countries. International sports events are seen as public spheres, which among other things can be used to show the host countries’ ‘modernization processes’ and can serve for nation building purposes, but are also often meant to spread friendship between peoples. Thus, I will analyze how the Games were staged by the host countries. Here, the official ceremonies will be most important, but I will also consider the stadium architecture, the entertainment and cultural programs, the torch relay and the promotion in newspapers, radio and television. Moreover, I will deal with the discourses of important politicians, sportsmen, sports functionaries and journalists regarding the importance of the Games for the host country and for ‘Asia’. Finally, I will focus on the behavior of fans, sportsmen and sports functionaries to illustrate their degree of acceptance of the ‘Western’ / Olympic sports ideology.