This dissertation is a study of the role played by ideas and practices of physical culture (physical education, sports, recreation, physical fitness) in China over the first half of this century. My focus is on the connections between Chinese physical culture (in Chinese "tiyu," or literally "body-cultivation") and notions of the nation, modernity and a modern citizenry - namely, how the realm of tiyu served as a conduit for teaching Chinese citizens about modernity and the nation. The work is primarily based on Republican-era physical culture journals and bureaucratic reports, collected in libraries and archives in Hangzhou, Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai, and interviews with elderly ex-sports stars living in Taiwan and China.



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