Education About Asia: Online Archives

Web Gleanings: Sports, Culture, and Asia

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Sports Across Asia: Politics, Cultures, and Identities


This entry in Routledge’s Research in Sport, Culture, and Society series, edited by Katrin Bromber, Birgit Krawietz, and Joseph Maguire, was published in 2013. As is the case with all books featured by Google Books, only portions of this book are provided. The Introduction and the first article are presented with only a few pages omitted. The first article looks at the globalization of sports with the flow of sports in a multidirectional fashion, from east to west and west to east.

History, Culture, and Practice: Sports Around the World


This book was published by ABC-CLIO in 2012 and edited by John Nauright and Charles Parrish. Although the first pages of the book’s chapters on Asian sports are not offered, those that follow provide a comprehensive look at sports in several Asian regions, followed by sections on a wide variety of Asian sports topics, from jujitsu to cricket in Sri Lanka.


A History of Baseball in Asia


This thesis was submitted to the University of Hong Kong and consists of more than 200 pages. The initial pages contain a timeline beginning with the arrival of Perry in 1853. The body of the thesis looks at the history of baseball in several Asian countries, including China, Japan, and The Philippines.

Martial Arts History


These are short summaries of the history of martial arts in Asian countries. By clicking on the links, one can see articles about martial arts in specified countries in Asia.

The Secret History of Black Baseball Players in Japan


This article describes the arrival of Japanese–Americans and their black compatriots in Japan in the early years of the twentieth century. A Japanese–American team and a squad from the Negro League went to Japan in 1927, and received a warm reception.

“India’s Great Cricket Story”


In this interview published in The Wall Street Journal, James Astill, former South Asia bureau chief of The Economist, talks about the history of cricket in India, in addition to the current status of the game there.


Top Ten Most Popular Asian Athletes


These are the most popular athletes in Asia as judged by a columnist of The Diplomat magazine. Each athlete is described in a brief paragraph. The sports range from a boxer in the Philippines to a gymnast in Japan.

Asia’s Greatest Sports Heroes


Brief biographies are provided for more than thirty Asian sports stars, many totally unknown to the North American public. These athletes compete in a wide variety of sports, including cricket, swimming, and basketball.

Zhuang Zedong Obituary


Zhuang Zedong, whose sport was table tennis, was a national hero in China. Upon his death, The New York Times published an obituary that included the story of his friendly encounter with an American player and the effect it had on diplomatic relations.

Sumo–Chiyonofuji (video)


This eighteen-minute video shows the matches in 1989 of one of Japan’s legendary sumo champions: Chiyonofuji. Chiyonofuji was a yokozuna (Grand Champion) who demonstrated that despite his smaller size in comparison to other sumo wrestlers, he could dominate the sport. Although the narration is almost entirely in Japanese, one can simply watch the matches to observe the prowess of Chiyonofuji.

Bruce Lee


Bruce Lee was a legendary figure in martial arts. Although he died when he was thirty-two years of age, to this day he remains a popular figure among aficionados of martial arts. This site has links to a huge number of articles, as well as over 4,600 photos.


Fighting Arts


In the left frame of this online magazine are links to the “reading room,” where there are groups of articles on many varieties of martial arts. Farther down at the bottom of the frame are links to articles on the history and philosophy of martial arts. There are also forums where readers can share thoughts and comments on many pertinent topics. The forum area is accessible via a link at the top of the home page.

Types of Martial Arts


Here are short, concise definitions of more than ten martial arts.

How to Do Karate (videos)


This video play list consists of thirty-one short videos, most of them lasting for approximately two minutes, on the basic karate moves. Some topics are side kicks, multiple strikes, and jab punch.


Postcolonial Studies: Cricket


This blog is part of Emory University’s Postcolonial Studies group. There are a general introduction, a short history of cricket in the British colonies, and some information on important figures in the world of colonial cricket.

“The Expanding Asian Presence in Major League Baseball”


This article appeared in the journal Civil Beat in 2014. It looks at the interchange of baseball personnel between Asia and the United States (in both directions).

“How Did Baseball Become So Popular in Asian Countries?”


The social networking site Reddit has over eighty comments and opinions as to why baseball has become popular in Asian countries.

“The Samurai Way of Baseball and the National Character Debate”


Robert Whiting has written several books about baseball in Japan. In this essay, written in 2006 for The Asia-Pacific Journal, he returns to this subject. He touches on the history of baseball in Japan and looks at the sport in the twenty-first century.


Ping Pong Diplomacy: The Secret History Behind the Game That Changed the World


Google Books offers several chapters of the book Ping Pong Diplomacy by Nicholas Griffin (Scribner, 2014). The term “ping-pong diplomacy” refers to how exchanging ping-pong players between China and the United States affected the troubled US–China relationship in the late twentieth century. The sport helped break down some of the barriers between the two nations.

Chinese Fascination with Ping Pong (video)


This video, without narration, shows the pervasiveness of ping-pong in China. People of all ages are playing; they play day and night, in warm and cold weather. On the page are links to other videos about the popularity of ping-pong, not only in China but in other countries as well.

“Sumo Introduction”


This article (from Japanese sumo website Nihon Sumo Kyōkai) with text and photographs, published in PDF format, gives concise descriptions of the origin, rules, and the ceremonies of sumo. Because the text is presented in white against a dark background, reading it is somewhat difficult.

Sumo (videos)


These are two videos produced by National Geographic. They touch on the traditions and the life of a sumo wrestler. We are shown where the wrestlers live and how they practice before matches. We learn about ranking and differences in clothing according to one’s ranking. The diet of a sumo wrestler is also discussed. Links to other sumo videos can be found on each page.


The Incredible History of Olympic Table Tennis (video)


Here are highlights of table tennis matches in the Olympics dating back to the 1990s in Barcelona and Atlanta from the Olympic Channel on YouTube. There are men’s singles matches, women’s singles matches, and doubles matches. All of them demonstrate the quick reflexes and speedy movements of the participants. No narration is provided, nor is it needed.

Lin Dan Makes Badminton History


This video from the Olympic Channel on YouTube has short clips of the points that led to the back-to-back gold medal championships in badminton that Lin Dan of China won at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and then again in London in 2012.

“Ten Asian Sports That Would Spice Up the Olympics”


This article from the Asia Society has little to do with the Olympics, except in its title, but rather is an exploration of some of the rare and unusual sports that Asian athletes from several countries enjoy. Many of them date back to ancient times and are depicted in cave paintings.