The Emergence of Boxing Mania in Japan
Very present in Japanese pop culture, particularly manga, boxing is one of the sports in which Japan performs well on the global stage.
In 2019, Japan was one of the best represented nations on the international boxing scene, with 1340 professionals (compared to France’s 444) and five world champions. The nation’s biggest stars include Ryuya Yamanaka, Hiroto Kyoguchi, and Sho Kimura. The majority compete in the lightweight category.
On closer examination, boxing is in fact very present in Japanese culture, especially in manga like Ashita No Joe (a manga released in 1968 that tells the story of an orphan who becomes a boxer) by Tetsuya Chiba, a cult classic that has sold over 16 million copies. Boxing also makes an appearance in Hajime No Ippo by Georges Morikawa, Katsu!, and Rokudenashi Blues. On television and in cinema, several films feature a boxer as the protagonist, like Boys on the Run, Kids Return, Tokyo Fist, and 100 Yen Love.
For those wanting to get into the ring, the club b-monster is known for its top-of-the-range studios in Tokyo.
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