The 65th GJS SeminarCome for the Rugby, Stay for the Culture: The Rugby World Cup as a Catalyst for Atypical Tourists in Japan

Date and time: January 10, 2020 (Fri.), 5:00-6:00PM
Venue: Lobby (1F), Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo
Speaker: Christopher J. Hayes (Kyoto Studies Fellow at the Kyoto Institute, Library and Archives; Academic Associate at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures)
Language: English

Japan recently became the first Asian country to host the Rugby World Cup, which was held between 20th September and 2nd November 2019. An estimated 400,000 rugby fans travelled to Japan to watch matches, but what else did they do? Rugby fans make an interesting topic of study as they are not your typical tourists to Japan. First and foremost, they are in the country for sport. If they have an existing interest in Japan, it is likely to be secondary. As tourists unmotivated by a specific interest in the country, how then do they engage with the culture? Outside of spectating, in what kinds of tourist activities do they engage? And how does this contribute towards their knowledge and perceptions of Japan? Part of an ongoing research project, in this talk I will discuss my findings so far, drawing upon questionnaires collected outside rugby stadiums, and also consider what implications this has for the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Pictures of this event

Organizer: The Global Japan Studies Network (GJS)
Co-organizer: Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA)
Contact: gjs[at]