Sports art &Traditional sports

Pick up items

  • Lifting Stone
  • Lifting Stone (161kg)

  • A lifting stone is a stone used at traditional strength competitions, which spread across the country in the middle of the Edo period (1603-1867). Competitors would pick up a heavy stone with their arms or hold it up with one hand to determine the strongest man in the community. Those who took part sometimes engraved their names on the stones before offering them to a local temple or shrine.

    The lifting stone owned by the Museum shows several engravings, including the year the stone was lifted (1782), its weight (161kg), names of local men (Mangoro, Ichigoro, and Genpachi) and a motto (“Peace reigns over the land”).

  • Geta Skates
  • Geta Skates (Skates attached to Traditional Japanese Clogs)

  • There are several theories as to when ice skating first came to Japan. The earliest theory suggests that the Englishman Thomas Wright Blakiston introduced the practice in 1861. In the early years, people skated with what they called a pair of betta, which were geta clogs fitted with a metal clamp. Later the clamps were replaced with blades made specifically for skating. Imported skating shoes were extremely expensive, and the geta skates came to be widely used from the Meiji years on into the Showa Period. They flourished mainly in the Suwako area of Nagano Prefecture, a leading producer of saws and metal blades.