2019 Volume 17 Pages 32-44
The purpose of this study was to clarify how women's physical education was promoted in Japan, particularly around the Taisho era (1912-1926). Before commencing the main discussion, the circumstances leading up to the promotion of women's physical education around the turn of the twentieth century are reviewed, along with the status of women's physical education at that time. Then, the following three points are considered as specific topics for the present study: First, critical opinions on women's physical education are reviewed to examine the details underlying the problematic nature of its promotion, hitherto assumed. Second, measures for promoting women's physical education in view of these difficulties are examined through arguments for promoting measures put forward by leading figures in physical education. Third, the tendencies and problems surrounding proposed measures for promoting women's physical education in the Taisho era are clarified through an examination of critical opinions on these promotion measures.
The study found that, against a backdrop of problematic conditions caused by various factors, measures for promoting physical education for women in the Taisho era placed greater emphasis on effectively advertising physical education than on improving its quality. Conducted in this way, the promotion was also criticized by some leading figures in women's physical education and can be regarded as one of the reasons why the quality of women's physical education remained low.