執筆 上野陽子
2012/9 Up

第26回 運動会
Vol.26 Sports day

When you think of sports day, what kind of games come to mind?


* 赤い色の語句の上にマウスカーソルを移動させる(スマホの場合はタップする)と語注が表示されます

A Common Japanese Sporting Experience

It is said that you'll find the origin of sports day in Europe. However, in Japan we also follow a set program of play and games that is unique to Japan. Though sports day is usually held in the autumn, sometime between September and October, small sports events are also held in the spring season during April and May. Let's take a look at the games most Japanese people will have experienced when they were at school.


With the call of, “Ready, go!” and a bang of gunshot, students start the sprint. This is one of the main events of sports day.


綱引き/Tug of war
Two teams pull a rope from opposite ends. The teams have to pull the rope a certain distance to win the contest. If you pull as hard as you can you'll have sore muscles all over your body the next day.


玉入れ/Beanbag toss
Each team member tries to throw small beanbags into a basket placed on top of a high pole. The team that gets the most beanbags into the basket wins the game. If you just throw the beanbags without concentrating, you are unlikely to get many in the basket.


二人三脚/Three-legged race
One person's right leg is tied to another person's left leg and they run the race together with an arm around each other's shoulders. If you don't run with the same length of stride, you tend to trip over. So, runners often say, “One, two, one, two” to keep pace with their partner.


騎馬戦/A mock cavalry battle
A few people carry one person on their shoulders as a “general.” Each team fights to get caps or other items from the generals on the opposing team. The team who gets the most items is the winner.


組み体操/Group gymnastics
Several people get together, stand on each other's shoulders, hold hands with each other and balance together in many different forms. It's very important for team members to work together effectively; otherwise it is easy for individuals to fall, and the pose the group is attempting to make will soon collapse. You need concentration, strength and good teamwork to perform well as a group.


フォークダンス/Folk dancing
People dance in a circle to music. Boys and girls often hold hands with each other while dancing to the music. Some boys tend to be embarrassed about having to hold girls' hands.



The most common sports day games are: sprinting, relay, the three-legged race, mock cavalry battle, the tug of war, beanbag toss, group gymnastics and folk dancing.

日本のキホン トップへ