2004 年 75 巻 p. 65-84
The purpose of this study is to examine the significance of the bodies of kenko-yuryo-ji (children in superior health), by analyzing representations of kenko-yuryo-ji in newspaper articles. The term kenko-yuryo-ji refers to children who were selected as Japan's healthiest children under the Kenko-Yuryo-Ji Hyosho Jigyo (Commendation Project).
Section 1 reviews previous studies on kenko-yuryo-ji, pointing to a lack of views on the significance of the bodies of kenko-yuryo-ji. Emphasis is placed on the importance of regarding kenko-yuryo-ji as symbols of the “ideal child” and examining what their bodies signify.
Section 2 clarifies the fact that the increase of concern over the health of children in the 1920s generated similar projects to the later Hyosho Jigyo. It then provides an overview of the contents of the Hyosho Jigyo, which was started due to the increase of concern mentioned above.
Section 3 considers how representations of kenko-yuryo-ji changed with the continuation of the project, using newspaper articles as the main historical data. The findings are as follows:(1) Due to the difficulty of selecting “Japan's no.1, ” relatively greater importance came to be given to school records and behavior in making the selection, (2) Although the main purpose of the project was to find what makes children healthy, it failed to do so;(3) Nevertheless, the project was continued and press reporting about the school records and behavior of kenko-yuryo-ji increased, (4) Consequently, the “health” of kenko-yuryo-ji not only indicates that their bodies are healthy, but has also come to refer to their innocence and excellence in terms of intelligence and character, and (5) This logic was supported by the following three points; the gymnastics view in the 1930s; “scientific” research on the connection between growth and intelligence/spirit; and the view of children in the 1930s.
Section 4 presents a comprehensive consideration of the meaning adopted by the bodies of kenko-yuryo-ji.(298 words)