Far Eastern Championship Games

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The Far Eastern Championship Games (also known as the Far Eastern Championships, Far Eastern Games or Far East Games) was an Asian multi-sport event considered to be a precursor to the Asian Games.


In 1913, Elwood Brown, president of the Philippine Athletic Association and Manila Carnival Games, proposed the creation of the "Far Eastern Olympic Games" to China and Japan. It was at that time that Governor-General William Cameron Forbes was the president of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Association from 1911-1913. Governor-General Forbes formed the Far Eastern Olympic Association.

The first event was held in the carnival grounds (now Rizal Memorial Sports Complex) in Malate, Manila, Philippines on February 4, 1913 and was known as the "First Oriental Olympic Games". Forbes was also the one who formally declare the games open.[1] Six countries participated in the eight day event: the host country then-named Philippine Islands, Republic of China, Empire of Japan, British East Indies (Malaysia), Kingdom of Thailand and British crown colony Hong Kong.

In 1915, the name changed to Far Eastern Championship Games and the association to Far Eastern Athletic Association when the event was held at Hongkou Park in Shanghai, China.[2] They were held there again in 1921.[3] The games were held every two years except in 1929 when Japan decided to delay the project to 1930. The FEAA decided to change the time table to four years and the Philippine Islands hosted the tenth games in 1934. Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) joined in the 1934 FECG.

The 1934 edition was held in a period of dispute between China and Japan, following the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. Inclusion of people from this region in the games caused controversy between the two member nations, which resulted in the break-up of the Far Eastern Athletic Association. In September 1937, Japan invaded China with the Marco Polo Bridge Incident and started the Second Sino-Japanese War (which later became part of World War II), thus the planned games in 1938 were cancelled.[1]


Year Games Dates Host city Host nation
1913 I 3–7 February Manila Philippines
1915 II 15–21 May Shanghai China
1917 III 8–12 May Tokyo Japan
1919 IV 12–16 May Manila Philippines
1921 V 30 May–3 June Shanghai China
1923 VI 21–25 May Osaka Japan
1925 VII 17–22 May Manila Philippines
1927 VIII 28–31 August Shanghai China
1930 IX 24–27 May Tokyo Japan
1934 X 16–20 May Manila Philippines
1938 XI Cancelled Osaka Japan


A total of nine different sports were contested over the lifetime of the competition. Eight of the sports featured on each programmes of the games, with the ninth sport – cycling – being held once only, in 1915.[1]

Participating nations

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bell, Daniel (2003). Encyclopedia of International Games. McFarland and Company, Inc. Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina. ISBN 0-7864-1026-4.
  2. Morris 2004, p. 25-30.
  3. Morris 2004, p. 89.

Further reading

  • Stefan Huebner, “Muscular Christianity and the ‘Western Civilizing Mission’: Elwood S. Brown, the YMCA and the Idea of the Far Eastern Championship Games,” in: Diplomatic History 39,3 (2015), 535-557. http://dh.oxfordjournals.org/content/39/3/532.full.pdf+html
  • Stefan Huebner, “Making the Weak and Degenerated Races of East Asia ready for Self-Government: American and East Asian Views of Sport and Body in Early Twentieth-Century East Asia,” in: Walter Demel / Rotem Kowner (eds.), Race and Racism in Modern East Asia. Vol. 2: Interactions, Nationalism, Gender and Lineage. Leiden 2015, 196-217. https://www.unibw.de/geschichte/neueste/stefanhuebner/uplifting/at_download/file
  • Stefan Huebner, “Uniting the East via Western Amateur Sports Values: Asian Integration, the Olympic Ideal and the Far Eastern Championship Games,” in: Marc Frey / Nicola Spakowski (eds.), Asianisms: Regionalist Interactions and Asian Integration. Singapore: National University of Singapore Press, 2015, 75-98.

External links