A Study on the Political Process of Physical Education and Sports
Concerning "Oppress" of Student Baseball
under Total War Regime in Japan

(Graduate School of Social Sciences, Hitotsubashi University)


   The purpose of this paper is to clarify the political process that Ministry of Education
(MOE) intensified the control over student baseball after the outbreak of Second Sino-
Japanese War in 1937 and "oppressed" it in 1943. At the same time, the paper examines
the political aspect of the discourse about student baseball insisted by Tobita Suishu in that
period. Two sets of axes, "appeal-edification" and "autonomy-compulsion", are set to ana-
lyze the discourses of physical education and sports during the war.
   The conclusions of this paper are as follows.
1. School administrators, teachers and others who were involved in physical education and
   sports insisted on proceeding the unification of their administration, and reorganizing it
   into a top-down system in order to adjust it to the total war regime at that time. As a
   result, the Greater Japan's Promotion Society for Student's Physical Training (Dai Nippon
   Gakuto Taiiku Shinkou Kai) and the Greater Japan Physical Education Association (Dai
   Nippon Taiiku Kai) were established after the breakout of the Pacific War.
2. Tobita insisted on establishing the student baseball control organization to remove the
   "maladies" of student baseball, and to edify players through baseball. His opinions were
   highly evaluated because they were well-accorded with the ideal of New Order Move-
3. In 1943, as the tide of the war got worse and supplies were lacking in Japan, MOE com-
   pulsorily obliged students to join athletics and physical trainings such as marching and
   bayonet drills. Those trainings were to prepare students for a draft and also to train
   them to be workers who would support the industry. Student baseball, which was deter-
   mined as inappropriate, was "oppressed" as a result
4. The word "oppressed," which is used to describe student baseball at that time, is not
   only a simple adoption from Tobita's perspective, but underneath the word, there were
   stories of the "innovative" aspect of Tobita's discourses and the contribution to the war
   by participants of student baseball.