- Among sport sociologists, the dependency relationship
between sport and the dominant culture has become an important
area of concern. Examination of the cultural and historical
transformations of specific sports may be expected to provide
significant insights into the nature of this relationship.
The purpose of this study was to develop hypotheses to explain
how the meanings and the forms of judo have been transformed
and/or maintained in the society of origin, Japan, and in an
adoptive society, the United States.
An ethnographic study, based upon in-depth interviews
with judo instructors in the United States and Japan, selected
by means of criterion-based and purposive sampling, served as
the principal source of information. In addition, a variety
of additional information-gathering methods were used for the
two countries. Observations at selected judo clubs and
tournaments, informal interviews with judoists, and analysed
of sport-specific publications, were employed to develop the
credibility of the findings. Consequently, three hypotheses
were developed and explored: ( 1 ) the forms of judo are
independent of the dominant society, (2) the meanings of judo
are strongly dependent upon the dominant society, and (3) the
forms of judo in Japan have been subject to greater variance
than judo as practiced in the United States.
In addition, based upon modern methodology of consumer
behavior, an investigation of the favorite possessions of
judoists in the United States and Japan was conducted to
explore the deeper meanings of judo to individual participants
in each country. For the United States, three themes emerged:
(1} judo as a means to form friendships, (2) judo as a means
to express individual abilities, and (3) persistence of the
Kodokan-Japanese orientation. For Japan, the two themes which
addressed the meaning of judo were: ( 1 ) judo as a means of
self-discipline and (2) judo as a championship sport.
When considered jointly, both ethnographic inquiry and
favorite possessions investigation suggested that there were
culturally different reasons why individuals in the two
countries chose to seek involvement in the sport of judo.
Basically, American judoists tended to emphasize friendships
among judoists and the value of individual achievements,
whereas Japanese judoists valued the nature of individual
effort and respectful feelings for their instructor and the