Modern Gladiators: Why is Total Fighting Becoming Popular in Japan?

Kensuke Yokoyama

Research output: Book/ReportBook - authored


This book examines 'total fighting', which is becoming increasingly popular in Japan, from several different angles with particular reference to the issue of violence, and, at the end, to evaluate the appropriateness of the theory of the civilising process, first suggested by Norbert Elias, for understanding a relatively contemporary spectator-oriented violent sport, such as total fighting. This book has two dimensions: first, the development of combative sports, such as bujutsu, budo and professional wrestling (all of which have a close relationship to total fighting) as well as total fighting, was examined in order to understand the emergence and growing popularity of total fighting in the 1990s in the context of the historical development of combative sports in Japan; second, the case study of total fighting itself was contextualised in the broader context of culture and the issue of violence in contemporary Japan. These interrelated analyses were informed by a period of exploratory fieldwork in Japan, and this context was reviewed in the light of a broader theoretical discussion concerning the theory of the civilising process.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSaarbrücken
PublisherVDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co. KG
Number of pages228
ISBN (Print)9783639163421
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2009


  • total fighting
  • violent sports
  • Japan
  • violence
  • combative sports


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