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The athletic parks newly constructed in Tokyo after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923:

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  • Obayashi Taro
    Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba

Bibliographic Information

Other Title
  • 関東大震災(1923年)後の東京市におけるスポーツ公園の新設:
  • 関東大震災(1923年)後の東京市におけるスポーツ公園の新設 : 大日本体育協会の「建議」を背景として
  • カントウ ダイシンサイ(1923ネン)アト ノ トウキョウシ ニ オケル スポーツ コウエン ノ シンセツ : ダイニホン タイイク キョウカイ ノ 「 ケンギ 」 オ ハイケイ ト シテ
  • Proposal by the Japan Amateur Athletic Association
  • 大日本体育協会の「建議」を背景として

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Abstract

The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 that struck Tokyo was one of the largest-scale disasters in the history of Japan. Almost half of the city was destroyed by fire. This paper describes how the government constructed new athletic parks in Tokyo under a policy recommended by “Dainippon Taiiku Kyokai”, the Japan Amateur Athletic Association” (JAAA). The findings were as follows.<br>  1) After the Great Kanto Earthquake, the JAAA held a meeting of the board and submitted a proposal to both the president of the Imperial Capital Reconstruction Department and the Mayor of Tokyo. It requested the government to construct new athletic parks in affected areas of Tokyo in order to cultivate the physical strength and mental health of citizens.<br>  2) The government officially received the proposal and constructed 3 new parks (Kinshi Park in 1928, Hamacho Park in 1929, Sumida Park in 1931). Various sports facilities such as athletic fields, tennis courts, and swimming pools were set up in each park. Notably, pools had a night lighting system installed for office workers and arranged specific hours for women only.<br>  3) In particular, various events for general citizens were held at Sumida Park. These included a comforting sports day for city officers’ families, public radio calisthenics, and a baseball league made up of Kabuki actors. In a commemorative bulletin issued in Tokyo, the park was referred to as “Downtown Olympia”. In the 1920s, the early period of sports history in Japan, athletic parks were arranged at the request of the JAAA in the post-disaster phase. These 3 parks, still in existence, supported the development of sports in prewar Japan.

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