Students received a lecture on Dr. Jigoro Kano, whose impact on sport is still felt today ©Facebook/TIAS.MasteringSport

Japan’s sporting history and traditions were examined by participants here today as the Tsukuba International Academy for Sport Studies (TIAS) and International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS) short programme continued.

Having received a talk on the 1964 Summer Olympic Games during the opening day of the two-week long programme, the 34 participants from 25 nations participated in a lecture on Dr. Jigoro Kano, who became Asia’s first International Olympic Committee (IOC) member in 1909 and is widely viewed as the founder of judo.

The students were introduced to Kano’s concept of achieving the maximum efficient use of energy and mutual prosperity for self and others, an idea which saw him make a significant impact on Japan’s sporting culture.

The lecture reflected on his promotion of sport as a means to develop Japan, through international cooperation with the West as part of the IOC and through physical education to boost the well-being of Japanese society.

Additionally the students were able to gain a better understanding of Kano’s aim to use judo as a means to develop skills which could benefit society, as well as his encouragement for women to participate in sport.

The history of Budo, Japanese martial arts, including the likes of sumo, were among the other aspects of Japanese culture investigated in the sessions.

Costa Rican National Olympic Committee President Henry Nuñez believes the seminars are proving to be of vital importance for the participants in gaining a greater knowledge of Japan, with TIAS aiming for the participants to be able to act as future sport leaders and promote the nation ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Participants also visited the Tokyo 2020 headquarters
Participants also visited the Tokyo 2020 headquarters ©Facebook/TIAS.MasteringSport

“Several times Japan has a lot of influence in countries around the world and I think that Japanese people do not know of that influence,” Nuñez said.

“For example, I live in a country that is so far from Japan, yet we have a big influence from Japanese culture.

“Japan is very respected in other countries for their culture.

“With this kind of seminar, people can begin to better understand your [Japan’s] mind and culture, and I think the participants are really learning about the culture and they are enjoying it also.

“The personality, the food and the history is very important for them to understand.”

In order to gain a better understanding of Tokyo 2020, the students were given the opportunity to visit the Tokyo 2020 headquarters and in keeping with the programme’s ambition to develop future sports leaders, they also attended talks on sport management and marketing.

The blend on traditional and modern topics will throughout the remainder of the week here, as tomorrow they will travel to the University of Tsukuba to examine topics such as sport and international development, anti-doping and the future of adapted sports.

The following day (May 28), the students will then receive instruction on the Japanese manner and Omotenashi, in addition to experiencing calligraphy.

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