A clash of colonialisms : sports culture in Hong Kong under the Japanese occupation

Brian BRIDGES, David Rosser PHILLIPS

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After a brief but bloody military campaign‚ the invading Japanese forces occupied Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941. For the following three years and eight months, the Japanese military administration tried to impose a new social order through the ‘Japanization’ of Hong Kong. The role of sport in this remodelling policy has been largely ignored‚ but it can provide a test-case to examine how superficial that ‘Japanization’ was in practice. This article discusses the sporting culture of Hong Kong on the eve of the Japanese invasion; the immediate impact of the military campaign and the imposition of Japanese rule; the policies of the new Japanese administration in terms of health, education and sporting activities; the extent to which Japanese-style sporting priorities were carried out; and the legacies of Japanese policies and influences after the war ended, including any impact on contemporary Hong Kong-Japan political and sporting encounters.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJapanese imperialism : politics and sport in East Asia : rejection, resentment, revanchism
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9789811051043
ISBN (Print)9789811051036
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

The research on which this chapter is based was supported by Lingnan University Hong Kong internal grant no. DS14A2. We acknowledge this support and also the excellent research assistance of Takagi Kohei in the investigation of Japanese language newspaper sources.


  • Hong Kong
  • Japanese Imperialism
  • Japanese Occupation
  • Japanization
  • Politics
  • Sport


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