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[Delve into Japanese Culture@ I-House]
The Long-standing Liaison Between Sumo and the Media


  • Lecturer: Lee Thompson (Professor, Waseda University)
  • Date: Friday, November 24, 2017, 7:00-8:30 pm
  • Venue: Matsumoto-Kabayama Room, International House of Japan
  • Language: English (without Japanese interpretation)
  • Admission: 1,000 yen (500 yen for students; Free for IHJ members and guests staying at I-House on November 23 or 24)
  • Seating: 80 (reservations required) reservation
We are offering sessions for those interested in learning about Japanese culture in English. This time, we will be inviting Professor Thompson to talk about the close relationship between sumo and the media. The media have played a surprising role in the development of the modern form of the traditional sport of sumo. For example, newspapers were central in establishing a championship system. Professor Thompson will share with us a new perspective on enjoying sumo, which at first glance appears quite traditional, but actually has had a very close and profitable relationship with the media.

Lee Thompson

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Born in Oregon, the United States, in 1953. Received a B.A. in communication from Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the graduate school of human sciences, Osaka University. He is currently teaching as a professor in the faculty of sport sciences at Waseda University while serving as president of the Japan Society of Sport Sociology.
His publications include Japanese Sports: A History (coauthored with Allen Guttmann, University of Hawaii Press, 2001) and “The Long Association Between Sports and the Media: Meiji-era newspapers and the Development of the Championship System in Japanese Sumo” (Japan Society of Sport Sociology, ed., Sport Sociology in the 21st Century, Tokyo: Soubun Kikaku, 2013). Professor Thompson’s website