Sport in Syonan (Singapore) 1942-1945: Centralisation and Nipponisation

Lim, Lai Kuan, and Horton, Peter (2011) Sport in Syonan (Singapore) 1942-1945: Centralisation and Nipponisation. International Journal of the History of Sport, 28 (6). pp. 895-924.

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When Singapore surrendered to the Japanese, it was ironic that they promoted the British culture of sport. Sport became centralised and the political priority placed on sport by the Japanese government provided it with greater resources to develop than other cultural institutions. The direction and form of its development became more and more dictated by the state. Political function became the predetermining social force compared with such functions as class orcultural distinction. The increase in bureaucracy and complexity in the organisation of the institution of sport widened the network of interdependencies between the state and its subjects but, more significantly, the Japanese government also demonstrated the emotional quality of sport in facilitating political aggrandisement. Paradoxically, during this period of oppression the Japanese embraced the affective quality of sport in nationalising disparate social groups in Singapore. This article, embracing an Eliasian approach, investigates this critical phase in the development of sport in Singapore and reflects upon the notion the shifts in the governmental view of sport, physical education and physical fitness that emerged during the Japanese occupation were major preconditions and influences in the later development of the more centralised control of sport that emerged in independent Singapore.

Item ID: 16510
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1743-9035
Keywords: sport; Singapore; Japan; Second World War; Elias
Additional Information:

This article was awarded the Routledge Prize for the best article published in The International Journal of the History of Sport during 2011.

Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2011 04:39
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 50%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210302 Asian History @ 50%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 50%
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