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Advancing International Exchange and Popularizing Sports in Japan: Judo, Baseball, Soccer, Sumo, and Figure Skating

Sports News From Japan

Japan is advancing various programs for international exchange through sports. For example, it helps people in developing countries learn judo and other martial arts from Japan. It also teaches children a healthy lifestyle through physical activities.

Shohei Ohtani’s success in the US has further fueled baseball’s popularity in the country. But soccer is catching up fast, according to the latest Nielsen Sports Fan Insight Report.


The ancient sport of sumo has become a cultural touchstone in Japan. It also serves as a ritualistic performance for Shinto deities. The wrestlers, known as rikishi, live in stables that function like homes and are under the control of their stable masters. These men are forbidden from having social media accounts and can be forced to retire early if they lose a tournament or get too fat.

The violence in the ring can be extreme, and the wrestlers’ lives are short. They suffer from health problems such as diabetes and have a BMI that is more than 50 percent higher than the World Health Organization’s definition of obesity.

Although some rikishi are seeking reforms, the sumo association maintains tight control over the sport. This has prompted some wrestlers to demand more freedom.


The World Baseball Classic final between Japan and the US delivered on sporting prowess, drama and for Japan’s fans a long-awaited victory. The match-up of Japan’s two best players, pitcher Shohei Ohtani and Los Angeles Angels hitter Mike Trout, also offered the chance to see one of the sport’s greatest talents in action.

For Kitamura, it was a moment that symbolized the importance of baseball in building understanding between nations and cultures. He teaches an introduction to international politics course that focuses on the concept of diplomacy through sports and is working on a database of MLB players who have played abroad to learn how they shaped their new communities. He hopes that future collaborations between Japan and the United States will help build a similar bridge.

Association football

Association football is a team sport with a history that dates back to 1863 when the Football Association was formed in England to establish a set of laws for the game. Known as soccer in the United States, the game’s name is shortened to football in many other countries. However, despite its popularity globally, the sport still hasn’t achieved mass appeal in Japan.

Nielsen Sports’ latest Fan Insight Report reveals the complex dynamics of Japanese sports fandom. By leveraging the popularity of certain athletes, aligning with popular leagues and events, and understanding the shifts in demographics among Japanese fans, marketers can better connect with this powerful audience.

Figure skating

Figure skating is a sport and an art in which athletes skate on ice while performing jumps and spins. It is often performed to music and may include synchronized skating. It is a popular event at the Winter Olympics, and is sometimes considered glamorous. The sport has a long history, and its modern-day popularity is due in large part to the emergence of television.

Skaters compete either individually (singles) or with a partner of the opposite sex (pairs). They can choose from a number of compulsory moves and can perform a free program. The most difficult jump in figure skating is the triple axel, which requires three and a half revolutions in the air.

Many skaters are professional and earn huge salaries from their performances. However, this can be a burden on their mental health and lead to eating disorders.

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