This book examines Australia’s sporting relationships with the Asian region during the interwar period. Until now, Australia’s sporting relationships with the Asian region have been neglected by scholars of Australian and Asian sports history, and the broader field of Australia’s Asian context. Concentrating on the period of the 1920s and 1930s – when sporting relationships between Australia and a number of Asian nations emerged in a variety of sports – this book demonstrates the depth of these previously under-examined connections. The book challenges, and complicates, the broader historiography of Australia’s Asian context – a historiography that has been strongly influenced by the White Australia Policy and the Pacific War. Why, for example, did white Australia so warmly welcome visiting Japanese sportsmen at a time when the Pacific region appeared to be inexorably sliding into a war that was informed by racial antagonisms?
This book examines sporting relations between Australia and seven Asian countries (China, Japan, India, Netherlands East Indies, Philippines, Malaya and Singapore) and a range of sports including rugby, football, swimming, hockey, boxing, cricket and tennis.
This book was published as a special issue of Sport in Society.
1. Introduction: Australia’s Asian sporting context 2. ‘Despicable and degrading’: Australian – Ceylonese sporting relations 3. ‘Little giants of the ring’: fighting race and making men on the Australia – Philippines boxing circuit, 1919 – 1923 4. A new China: using sport to expose a multi-class race through the 1923 Chinese soccer tour of Australia 5. Oldfield’s XI and the golden bond of empire: the 1927 Australian cricket tour of Singapore and Malaya 6. Second rate Java Jaunters: soccer football, the imaginary grandstand, cultural diplomacy and Australia’s Asian context 7. ‘Lively little visitors’ and ‘peabassadors’: reading Japanese sporting tours through the Australian press – 1926 to 1935 8. ‘Indian hockey [and football] tricks’: race, magic, wonder and empire in Australian – Indian sporting relations, 1926 – 1938 9. Playing fields
Sean Brawley is Associate Professor of History and Associate Dean (Education) at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is the author of eight books, including The Bondi Lifesaver: History of an Australian Icon; Fighting Words: Competing Voices of the Pacific War; and, most recently, Hollywood’s South Seas and the Pacific War: Searching for Dorothy Lamour.
Nick Guoth is a Visiting Fellow in the School of Sociology, College of Arts and Social Sciences at the Australian National University, Canberra.