|National Sports Festival
The National Sports Festival of Japan (国民体育大会 Kokumin Taiiku Taikai) is the national premier sports event of Japan. It
consists of three stages. The skating and ice hockey stage takes place in January, the skiing stage takes place in February, and the
main Autumn tournament takes place in September and October. Its name is often abbreviated to Kokutai (国体).
The predecessor to the tournament was the Meiji Shrine tournament held from 1924 until 1943, a period including the Pacific War.
Since then there was a summer tournament that focused on swimming, and an autumn tournament that focused on track and field;
however, from the 61st tournament in 2006, the summer and autumn tournaments were combined.
The previous summer and autumn tournaments have fundamentally been held across one prefecture. The two winter tournaments
also take place in the same prefecture, making up the entire tournament. It is often the case when a tournament is held in colder
areas, both summer and autumn tournaments are held in the same prefecture. It is very rare that the skating and ice hockey
tournaments are held in separate areas.
From the 56th tournament in 2001, the National Sports Festival for People with Disabilities was also held.
The skating and ice hockey tournaments includes figure skating, speed skating, short track speed skating, and ice hockey.
The skiing tournament includes giant slalom, ski jump, nordic combined, cross-country skiing, and mogul skiing.
The autumn tournament consists of swimming, water polo, bowling, football, track and field, judo, kendo, fencing, wrestling,
mountaineering, volleyball, basketball, softball (adults), baseball (high school - hardball and softball). When the summer and
autumn tournaments were held separately, swimming, water polo, bowling and football were held in the summer season.
During the tournament, the official rankings change in accordance with the number of points earned with the final result being the
sum of all four tournaments. The top placing prefecture for both men and women is awarded the Emperor's Cup. The top prefecture
for just the women's score is awarded the Empress's Cup.
At first, the summer and autumn tournaments were planned to always be held in Kansai, but after the first tournament in 1946,
Ishikawa prefecture were presented the opportunity to host the second tournament. The host prefecture was then rotated
The logo was created for the 2nd tournament in 1947. The logo is a red torch leaning at a 30 degree incline to the right, wrapped in
a blue obi.
Ever since the second tournament in 1947 the song 'Young Power' (若い力 Wakai Chikara), written by Takao Saeki and composed
by Shinichi Takada, has been played at the opening and closing ceremonies of all large scale sporting events. Furthermore, it is
played at an opening ceremony in which the Emperor and Empress are both in attendance. At the autumn tournament there is a
torch relay following which a main torch is lit and burns until the closing ceremony.
The torch, which is based on the Olympic flame, was first introduced at the 5th tournament in 1950, and the torch relay at the 12th
tournament in 1957. From the 3rd tournament in 1948 a relay event had been held, though this was to carry the tournament's official
flag. This only remained until the 27th tournament in 1972. Afterwards, only the torch relay took place.
18th National Sports Festival Participation Badge.
Hallmarked 'Made at Japanese Mint.'
6th National Sports Festival Participation Badge.
24th National Sports Festival Participation Badge.
32nd National Sports Festival Participation Badge.
30th National Sports Festival Participation Badge.
31st National Sports Festival Participation Badge.
23rd National Sports Festival Participation Badge.
Hallmarked 'Made at Japanese Mint.'
Japanese Police Medal.
Commemorating the Emperor and Empress visiting in the fall,
and the Crown Prince and Princess visiting in the summer. ISe
Shrine Security Commemorative. 30th National Sports Festival
Security Patrol Commemorative. Mie Prefecture Police
Showa 50 .
Diameter: about 5 cm.
Cased paperweight from the 24th Citizen Athletic Tournament.