リン先生 英文記事紹介 No.69
Sport plays a significant part in the fabric of modern day Japanese life. It instills a sense of camaraderie, pride, hard work and dedication and that it's better known with a more ancient traditional profile. Japan’s de-facto national sport (although this is not an official status) is the enthralling and at times bewildering spectacle that is Sumo. Tournaments take place every two months in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka and are a truly fantastic way to spend the day. Another traditional sport is Kendo. It is Japan’s oldest martial art and blends power, skill and bravery. It could be described loosely as ‘Japanese fencing’ though the ‘swords’ are today crafted from four substantial bamboo slats, usually held together by leather straps. Next is one of the world's famous martial arts - Karate. It features largely unarmed combat with a spectacular array of blows and blocks delivered by the fists, feet, legs and arms. Aikido is a less overtly aggressive martial art that focuses on defence by redirecting the power and energy of the attacker, with the ideal outcome that neither the attacked nor the attacker is harmed. Lastly, the sport wherein essence lies in the speed, subtlety and skill of using the size and strength of the opponent against themselves is Judo.
Japan's traditional sports reflects on how Japanese preserves their culture and how it has greatly influenced globally. Martial arts is most influential, especially karate and judo, and is beneficial. Self-defense is the number one reason why one practices it. It also helps you maintain physically fit, flexible, get confident to overcome fear. And lastly it gives you the discipline and develops your attitude of respect towards what you are doing and who you are dealing with everyday. Setting aside this global influence, sumo wrestling is not widely-practiced in the world but mostly with Japanese. Many ancient traditions have been preserved with it including the use of ritual elements, such as salt, and a training dictated by strict tradition. Mainly, Japanese influences are teaching us how to live a better life.