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4/19/2004 3:13:38 PM

Clay Dube
Clay Dube
Administrator
Posts: 1911
Subject: Sports -- generating interest in Asia
One topic that may help interest students in Asia is the new and impressive presence of Asian athletes in North American professional leagues such as the NBA and MLB. John Hunter Boyle's Modern Japan: The American Nexus (1997) includes several short pieces on Japanese baseball, including information on Ruth and Gehrig in Japan. Of course, the classic work is Robert Whiting's You Gotta Have Wa (Wa = harmony, 1990).

Here in Los Angeles, we know about Hideo Nomo and Kazuhisa Ishii of the Dodgers, Chan Ho Park, formerly of the Dodgers, and the Lakers' current nemesis Yao Ming, star center of the Houston Rockets.

Let's see if we can list additional players from Asia in sports and come up with ways to leverage student interest in sports into learning about Asia. For example, do our students know that there are Japanese, Chinese, and Taiwanese leagues? What are the most popular sports in Asia? How long have Asian nations participated in the Olympics? When have Asian cities hosted Olympic Games? Can we compare team names across cultures?
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8/8/2004 3:31:39 PM

apeel
apeel
Posts: 21
Subject: Re: Sports -- generating interest in Asia
I was a competitive gymnast for ten years. I know that the Chinese were infamous for their skill and technique in this sport. The women were known for their unique yet signature uneven bar and beam work. You could always tell the difference between countries. This skill came with a pretty hefty price though. In any competition there were always profiles done on individual gymnasts from around the globe. Often times the Chinese were shown as hard working perfectionists, like any gymnast. The difference was that the girls were taken from their homes at very early ages and sent to these gymnastic training centers. Those that showed promise were trained vigorously and often times had not seen their families at all. Sometimes ABC Sports would show the gymnast reuniting with her family after many years. The families always expressed gratitute and honor that their child was doing something so important. Many of the other eastern block countries like Romania and Russia also were known for this kind of training lifestyle. They were rewarded over the years for many world titles but, the U.S. has also remained strong. This summer's Olympic games will feature Ling Jie, Zhao Sheng and Li Dehzi. They will have tough competition from the U.S. in particular. We are sending the best women's and men's teams since the '84 Olympics.
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1/30/2005 9:38:37 PM

jchan
jchan
Posts: 31
Subject: Re: Sports -- generating interest in Asia
I was watching wrestling with my fiancé tonight and who should I see but . . . Kenzo Suzuki. Kenzo is huge! 6’3” and 250 pounds. He was born in Hekinan City, Aichi (Japan). He started his career in Japan by competing in the New Japan Pro Wrestling and Riki Choshu’s World Japan promotion. He currently wrestles for the WWE. Kenzo is escorted by Hiroko, his geisha, who acts as his translator. I don't always agree with the way the WWE sets up it's story lines. I remember watching Kenzo a few weeks ago. I don't recall exactly what happened but I know Kenzo was looking at one of the "hot" women wrestlers. His geisha, Hiroko, got angry and started yelling at him. Somehow, Hiroko and the "hot" woman wrestler engage in an off the mat wrestling match where they rip each others cloths off so they are left in their undergarments. This worries me if this is the only exposure some students are getting to the Japanese culture. I know a lot of my students enjoy watching wrestling. I'm not sure how we can use Kenzo Suzuki to encourage our students to learn about Asia. Maybe a research project. I know that women wrestling is big in Japan. Maybe we could do something with comparing and contrasting.

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JChan
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3/19/2005 10:36:48 AM

bbrown
bbrown
Posts: 31
Subject: Re: Sports -- generating interest in Asia
It would be good to allow physical education teachers to participate in these workshops. I believe that they could lend ideas about how to generate interest in Asia through lessons in the various physical arts: kendo, judo, tai chi, aikido..... I think we do a disservice by ignoring their contributions. So many times, we say that they just roll out balls and let the students play on their own. Real physical education teachers use their standards incorporating writing, speaking, leading, individual and group activities, and history of sports. Can we open up the spectrum of teachers to include physical educators?

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Bonnie B
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3/25/2005 2:21:02 PM

sperez
sperez
Posts: 74
Subject: Re: Sports -- generating interest in Asia
It would be great if physical education teachers did teach at least a little about the history, or at least about some of the current developments in sports in Asia. However, from what I've seen, there is little interest among them in doing so. Walking across the fields during my conference, I seldom see instruction in even the currently prescribed activities. Its a shame, since Asian athletes are now becoming well known in Western sports such as basketball and baseball, and because of that there is more interest and appreciation for their countries of origin.

In addition, often the main topic of interest when students are asked about Asia, is the area of martial arts. While their knowledge of this is often limited to the rather spectacular displays of this in movies, I think they would also be interested in hearing the stories of how these techniques were developed, and what the different moves represent. I've also found that I have more students than before who are taking different types of martial arts classes, and many of these are not Asian. I'm hoping to have enough time to get into this, and perhaps have some demonstrations, in my history classes. But, it would be great if this was acknowledged and included, at least as part of sports history, in the PE curriculum as well.[Edit by="sperez on Mar 25, 2:23:20 PM"][/Edit]

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steve perez
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5/6/2005 5:41:28 PM

kmilton
kmilton
Posts: 28
Subject: Re: Sports -- generating interest in Asia
I think students would be interested in learning more about sumo wrestling. It is one of the oldest martial arts in Japan. We could teach the history (originating from Shintoism) and also teach throgh the many woodblocks as well as the rules of the game and the rising popularity it has.

Though a japanese sport, I believe students would be quite interested to know that the American, (Hawaiian born) Akebono Tara ws the first non-Japnese ever to reach the highest rank of yokozuna in 1993. He held the rank for 8 years !

It would be interesting to have the students research this athlete. He was born in 1968 with the name of Chad Rowan...

Currently the title of yokozuna is held by a Mongolian, Asayorshu.
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7/23/2005 11:25:17 PM

ddandridge
ddandridge
Posts: 27
Subject: Re: Sports -- generating interest in Asia
The next couple of years will probably be a good time to look at sports in China, as the Olympics are coming. particularly during the Olympics I think the Chinese will do their best to show off their native as well as preffered sports to the world.
Three years ago China was already heavily promoting the Olympics domestically, we shal have to see what the future brings.

David Dandridge
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7/24/2005 2:49:19 PM

kdietrick
kdietrick
Posts: 32
Subject: Re: Surfing in China (please add to summer teacher trip!)
Might be nice to investigate this further... do the summer trips to China go to South China Sea? It would be a blast to surf local spots (Qingdao, Hong Kong, Hainan, Shaoguang, Jeshi, Shangchuan Dao or Xi Chong). The breaks look mild and reasonable for beginners if others want to join/learn.

Also, many surf spots around Hualien....East coast of taiwan. there is surf shop in Jici beach,it's about 40 min away from Hualien city.

More info here:

http://www.wannasurf.com/spot/Asia/China/South_China_Sea/

http://www.cityweekend.com.cn/en/beijing/features/2004_01/Travel_Surf

http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/forumpost1.shtml?pid=344832

And for Zodiac/River surfers:
In 1998, an English expedition went on the Quientang River in China to attempt to ride a six-foot foam wave that they only managed to surf for 11 seconds before the "Silver Dragon" swallowed one of the Zodiacs.


Surfing sounds dangerous in Seoul:
http://store.surfline.com/travel/tripwire/seoul.cfm

Maybe we can hook up a Surfrider Oragnization exchage.

Classroom connection= SCIENCE, Phys. Ed, ulture)
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7/30/2005 2:13:58 AM

jluesse
jluesse
Posts: 31
Subject: The World of Basketball
It appears that not only the sport, but the attitudes and sportsmanship of American basketball are being exported. In an article from the New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/sports/sports-china-basketball-shame.html?
an incident is describes that strikes a star-spangled chord. A brawl broke out between Chinese and Puerto Rican players and fans resulting in great shame for both the hosts of the 2008 Olympic hosts and international basketball.
One of the great things about international basketball was the notion that it was above the petty materialism and thuggish nature of the American NBA. This notion was proven false, however, as players and fans engaged in the international exchange of punches and projectiles, exhibiting puerile behavior similar to the ego and bravado driven NBA. The article even mentioned that the Chinese arena is being referred to as the Palace of Auburn Hills Arena as a reference to the horrific brawl between players of the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers last NBA season. The event was not one in isolation, as earlier instances of violence further blur the prevailing beliefs of Chinese sportsmanship and behavior.
Yao Ming did not participate in the fighting. Hopefully, international athletes can avoid the shameful behavior that American athletes embrace.
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8/11/2005 9:57:05 PM

cwangila
cwangila
Posts: 31
Subject: Re: Sports -- generating interest in Asia
It's without adoubt that all international eyes are on China: Olympics. This has added stature to China and Asia as a whole. I bet China is working it's human rights records and clean up exercise. We are watching you and we are coming, China get ready!
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7/11/2007 8:29:08 PM

jyamazaki
jyamazaki
Posts: 35
Subject: Re: Sports -- generating interest in Asia
Greetings,

The Japanese are nuts about baseball. In the summer of 2000, while visiting Osaka, I was fortunate enough to attend a pro baseball game at Hanshin Stadium, Home of the Tigers. The stadium was packed and there were section leaders with taiko type drums who would lead the crow in cheers. The food was great. Ramen, curry, and my favorite hayashi rice, it was definitely a multi-cultural experience. The game it self was very similar to Baseball in the US, although the fields seemed a bit smaller. The most exciting part of the game was during the 7th inning stretch. Instead of singing "Take me out to the ball game," the Japanese blow up long party type balloons with a whistle on the bottom, which they release simultaneously. It is a sight to see when thousands of these balloons are released into the sky! It was a great experience and if you like baseball, you need to go the A game in Japan.


John Yamazaki

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John Yamazaki
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7/21/2007 10:32:19 PM

gjones
gjones
Posts: 51
Subject: Re: Sports -- generating interest in Asia
When I lived and taught school in South Korea, I used to see the most incredible thing in the morning. I taught in An-Yang, a suburb about 30 minutes from Seoul. My daily walk to school would lead me past the An-Yang Sports Pavillion, and there was a good size contigent of ROK Tigers (an elite military unit) who would play volleyball...but they used their feet!! The first time I saw this I was absolutely flabbergasted. They would serve the ball in with their hands, but from that point on it was all feet. The control they exerted over that standard volleyball was incredible. I would often stop and watch. They must have noticed me, for they waved me down to the field and asked me if I wanted to play. Yeah, right! I would have made a complete idiot of myself. Most of these guys spent years learning Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Keuk To Gi, and other Korean martial arts, which are notorious for being very kick heavy. These guys could grab some serious air as well..talk about hang time!
Further along the same street, I used to pass an elementary school. What did I see every single day? Soccer, soccer, and more soccer. They even played in the snow! When I watch a group of American kids of the same age play soccer, I usually see a mad mob chasing a ball like a bull chasing a red cape. In Korea, the kids were very positional and really seemed to grasp the elements of team play.
It was a lovely way to start each day.
[Edit by="gjones on Jul 21, 10:33:33 PM"][/Edit]
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7/23/2007 1:50:58 PM

dlong
dlong
Posts: 32
Subject: Re: Sports -- generating interest in Asia
ICHIRO!

ICHIRO!

That is the chant you will hear if you attend or watch a Seattle Mariners game. Ichiro Suzuki changed the major leagues by becoming the first everyday position player from Japan. He is the second person to be named the American League MVP and Rookie of the Year in the same year. Ichiro is known and loved in the Northwest as an incredible batter and fielder. When I taught in Washington I typically saw at least one kid a day wearing a Mariners t-shirt with "Ichiro" proudly dispalyed on the back. Ichiro is definetly someone I would bring up when helping my students generate interest in the topics of sports and Asia.
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7/25/2008 11:32:41 AM

ddiaz
ddiaz
Posts: 31
Subject: Re: Sports -- generating interest in Asia
I find it interesting how Japan adopted baseball from the United States, while China seems to have adopted basketball as their favorite import sport. I wonder why this is? My hunch is that is has to do with the difference in how the two countries responded to the imperialist powers. Japan, choose not to put up a fight and accepted the terms of the US and other Western powers. With this decision came the adoption of baseball. Its obvious that Europe spread soccer to all the countries they colonized (Brazil, Mexico, all of Africa), but the Japanese had a more American influence, thus the adoption of baseball. I think that because they resisted, the Chinese were able to avoid baseball, soccer, etc. Although those sports are played in China, the Chinese seem to prefer basketball, its almost as if resistance allowed them to choose which sport to adopt. Also, Im sure the success of Yao and others only increased the love and interest in basketball.

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Danny
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7/25/2008 12:06:04 PM

jhenness
jhenness
Posts: 31
Subject: Re: Sports -- generating interest in Asia
One great way to generate interest in Asia through sports might be through the internment camps of World War II. The camps where well know for the competitive games of baseball that were played their under less then idea circumstances. I remember from my visit to the Japanese American Museum in L.A. that they have books written in both Japanese and English that detail these games. The books are intended for children, what a great way to spark interest into the treatment of Japanese during WWII.
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8/9/2008 12:31:18 AM

mburditt
mburditt
Posts: 40
Subject: Footballers (Soccer) in Asia
O.K Clay, I finally had to add to this thread. Well, first I will start with my favorite team, Manchester United. For those that don't follow soccer, Manchester United won the English Premiership League Cup the last two years, and recently won the 2008 European Champions League, which pretty much places them as the best club soccer team in the world. Two of their players are from Asia. Park Ji-Sung, a Korean, was an important key player during the European Champions League. It was stated in the news that Manchester always won when they started the game with Park. He also played in the 2002 world cup. Dong Fangzhuo, from China, is also on their squad. European soccer clubs have also been spending more time and money these last few years building up their exposer in China, which has an ever increasing viewership.
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8/10/2008 12:15:37 PM

Clay Dube
Clay Dube
Administrator
Posts: 1911
Subject: japanese college sports rivalries
I was stunned when we visited an elite private high school in Kyoto and heard from the principal that among the school's greatest achievements was success in sports, especially in American football. Given the focus on academics, this came as a surprise though I'd been impressed during earlier visits to Japanese high schools by the fervor for sports, arts, and various hobbies. A friend recently explained that since the high school was affiliated with Ritsumeikan University it was natural that it would emphasize American football. It turns out that Ritsumeikan is a Japanese university American football powerhouse. It's chief rivals are Kyoto University and Kwansei Gakuin University.

In baseball, Waseda University and Keio University are terrific rivals. It might be interesting for students to explore this. Waseda, incidentally, renewed its baseball rivalry with the University of Chicago.
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8/10/2008 12:22:06 PM

Clay Dube
Clay Dube
Administrator
Posts: 1911
Subject: Park Ji Sung -- manchester star
Thanks, Matthew, for getting this discussion of East Asian players in world football (soccer) launched. Here's a link to a 2005 Time magazine article about Park:

http://www.time.com/time/asia/2005/heroes/park_ji_sung.html

Here's a more recent article (May 2008) from Times Online:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/manchester_united/article3977048.ece

Park is quoted as saying:
“I proved my ability with PSV but some people still think Asian players aren’t good enough to play in Europe.... It's always challenging to prove them wrong. When I first came to United I had to prove my ability. Now everyone knows I’m not just here to sell shirts!" [meaning he wasn't signed by United just to boost shirt sales among Koreans]
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8/11/2008 12:28:36 AM

mburditt
mburditt
Posts: 40
Subject: Dong Fangzhuo, from China, Scores!
Dong Fangzhuo, who plays for Barclay's Premiership team Manchester United scored China's first ever Olympic goal in football (soccer). This no doubt was a proud moment for Dong; maybe this season for Manchester United Dong can muster this same magic on the pitch (field). Here's the article http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/olympics/wires/08/07/2080.ap.as.oly.soc.china.new.zealand/

Thanks Clay on the articles for Park.
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8/14/2008 7:59:04 PM

jlalas
jlalas
Posts: 33
Subject: Re: Sports -- generating interest in Asia
93% of my students are Latino. For many of my male students in particular, soccer and boxing seem to be pretty popular.

Hidetoshi Nakata is one player that might interest students. He started his soccer career at the age of 18, and represented his home country of Japan in the 1996 olympics where the Japanese team upset Brazil!! Also, he eventually became a player for Europe. He played seven seasons for Italy and won several awards while playing for Italy. There are lots of images that can be found of him because he also became a fashion and commercial model in Europe, as well as Japan.

Another athlete that comes to mind is Manny Pacquiao, also known as "the pac-man". Manny is of Filipino descent. He is currently the WBC Lightweight Champion and the WBC Super Featherweight Champion, and was the former world champion at IBF Super Bantamweight, and WBC Flyweight divisions. He is the first Filipino and Asian boxer to win three then later four world titles in different weight divisions. He took over as the Ring Magazine pound for pound number 1 ranked boxer in the world on June 9, 2008 after Floyd Mayweather, Jr. announced his retirement from boxing.

These are some amazing athletes that if given the proper introduction, would really excite students!!
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