new Sports Festival.
The power of sports for everyone.
The National Sports Festival
Saturday, October 5th, 2024 ～
Tuesday, October 15th, 2024
National Sports Festival for People with a Disability
Saturday, October 26th, 2024 ～
Monday, October 28th, 2024
What is “Kokutai”?
The National Sports Festival, known in Japanese as the “Kokumin Taiiku Taikai,” or simply “Kokutai,” was first held in 1946 to boost morale and give people hope through the power of sports.
Every year, one of Japan’s 47 prefectures has the honor of hosting the festival, resembling a domestic equivalent to the Olympic Games. There are approximately 700,000 people involved each year. Athletes fiercely compete with their rivals from other prefectures in a variety of sports. Saga Prefecture previously hosted the National Sports Festival in 1976, known as the “Wakakusu Kokutai.”
What is “Zensho Supo”?
If the National Sports Festival is a domestic version of the Olympic Games, then the National Sports Festival for People with a Disability is the domestic version of the Paralympic Games. The event, known in Japanese as the “Zenkoku Shogaisha Supotsu Taikai”, or “Zensho Supo” for short, is held subsequently to the National Sports Festival, in the same location.
Inspired by the success of the 1964 Tokyo Paralympic Games, the National Sports Festival for the People with a Disability aims to use sports to further social inclusion for people with disabilities, as well as to raise public understanding of disabilities and those who have them.
SAGA2024 is the starting point for the Japan Games
The very first National Sports Festival was held almost 80 years ago and, in the intervening years, Japanese society and lifestyles have undergone profound change. To better reflect these changes and align with the modern era, the festival will undergo a transformation of its own. Starting from 2024, it will be rebranded as the Japan Games or, in Japanese, the “Kokumin Supotsu Taikai,” abbreviated as “Koku Supo.”
Saga Prefecture, which will host the inaugural Japan Games, strives not only to pass on the legacy of the event, but also to convey the wonder of sports to as many people as possible. While sports can involve rigorous training and intense competition that require one to discipline their body, the word “sports” has its roots in the Latin word “deportare”, which encompasses the ideas of recreation, play, and enjoyment.
Delivering the power of sports to everyone
Athletes will of course compete for victory at SAGA2024, but everyone will have the opportunity to get involved, regardless of athletic ability or nationality. Besides joining in on the excitement by watching matches, or helping out in the event as volunteers, people will have the chance to actually participate in some sports. SAGA2024 will inspire people to engage with, and enjoy sports in a multitude of ways.
The National Sports Festival will be reborn as the Japan Games in Saga in 2024. Let’s explore how we can make the best use of the opportunities provided by this momentous event that will take place here in Saga. Let us combine our respective strengths in ensuring that SAGA2024 is worthy of being the first-ever Japan Games.
Join us in our efforts to create a new event that delivers the power of sports to all.
This page was made with the help of foreign residents, who live or work in Saga.
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