There is so much more to Japan than Samurai and Sushi! Join hosts Noel and Mike as they chat to Olympians, Paralympians, Sumo Wrestlers, Historians and more to discover the most fascinating, surprising and untold stories from the world of Japanese Sport. The perfect podcast for Japan-fans, sports-fans and just about everyone in between. Web: JapanSportStories.comTwitter: @JSStories
How To Make People Care About the Paralympics
The world's focus is now on the Paralympic games - with many nations having the most hours of coverage that they've ever had, it's easy to forget that it wasn't always that way. Host Noel Thatcher often recounts the story of his triumphant return to London after his first Paralympics Gold and being met with an indifferent UK who weren't interested in Parasport. Fast-forward to 2020 and all of that seems to have changed, but why?
Well today we're talking to Yamaguchi Ichiro, a journalist at the Mainichi Shinbun and one of the leaders in getting Parasport into print media in Japan. Parasport was rarely written about and when it was, it was through the lense of human interest stories. He changed this, but convincing the editors that Parasport is sport was no easy task. We catch up with Ichiro to find out more.
Bringing the GAA to Japan
It took 111 years from the Gaelic Athletics Association (GAA) being formed in Ireland to it coming to Japan. Formed by some Irish expats, the club has grown and has players from Ireland, Japan and all over the world.
But how do you become the first sports club in a country with little-to-no knowledge of the sport? How do you find the pitch and the equipment? We find out just how Japan GAA has fitted in to their Tokyo home, and what comes next for Ireland's sport in Japan.
Japan GAA // Twitter // Instagram
Japan Sport Stories // Twitter // JSStoriespod@gmail.com
Japan Research Centre at SOAS
What can the Paralympics do for Japan?
Disability based discrimination is a global issue, and the forms it takes vary from society to society and place to place. So what's happening in Japan and can the Paralympics do anything to help that? Japanese Para-athlete Miki Matheson talks to use about how the Paralympic values can be brought into the classroom and what that could do to help fight disability discrimination.
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The Lost Games
Japan has an incredible Parasport history. Not particularly in medals - they're only 18th overall, but in the influence they have on Parasport events. They've hosted the longest running wheelchair marathon event in Oita and their coverage of the 1998 Nagano games was a great populariser of the Winter Paralympics.
But there's more, there are two games which are lost to popular and even institutional memory that Japan hosted. We're joined by Dennis Frost from Kalamazoo College in the US who talks us through the incredible Other Tokyo 1964 Games and The FESPIC Games. Two hugely influential events that are largely forgotten.
Dennis Frost: https://eas.kzoo.edu/about/people/
Check out Dennis' incredible Book More than Medals
Japan Sport Stories is hosted by Noel Thatcher and Mike Salter.
Come look at our website and follow us on twitter for more Japan Sport Content
We are proud partners with the Japan Research Centre at SOAS, University of London and generously funded by the Toshiba Foundation.
The 200% BMX Rider
Saya Sakakibara describes herself as 50% British, 50% Japanese and 100% Australian. Born in Japan, Saya started BMX racing from the age of just 4, following in her big brother's footsteps. Now, aged 22, she's one of the top ranked BMX riders in the world as has her eyes firmly set on Tokyo.
Saya talks us through the world of BMX, balancing her identity across her multiple nationalities, and the what life is like trying to qualify for an Olympic games in the middle of a global pandemic.
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Generously funded by the Toshiba Foundation
I'm an athlete, not a patient
Wheelchair fencer Anri Sakurai joins us to talk about her incredible life so far. After surgery gone wrong left her wheelchair bound, she was forced out of her physiotherapy university course. After a chance meeting with a member of the national federation - Anri took us wheelchair fencing.
Fast-forward a few years and she's chasing gold at Tokyo, but standing in her way in Bebe Vio, the international superstar and reigning Paralympic champion, made famous through the rising phoenix documentary. To achieve this, Anri moved her life to the UK so she could train with the best coaches and partners.
Join us as we talk through navigating disability for the first time, moving your whole life across the world for your sport, and what Anri hopes 2020 can do for Japan's disabled population.