JAPANESE SPORTS: A History, by Allen Guttmann and Lee Thompson. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 310 pp., plates, 25. $50, cloth; $24.95, paper.

Such was the troubled beginning of modern sport in these islands. Things native were kept quite separate from things imported. At the same time that “kemari” (a kind of kickball), sumo and various other hereditary athletics were being kept pure, however, foreign imports were being turned into something more suitably Japanese.

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