The purpose of this study was to clarify how naginata education was practiced at the Women's Normal College of Nara (WNCN) from 1911, when naginata was first introduced, to 1946, when it was abolished, based on analysis of historical documents preserved at the WNCN and the book used by the instructor.
The main educational purpose of the WNCN, which was founded toward the end of the Meiji era to train women teachers, was to cultivate feminine virtues such as chastity and elegance. Naginata was practiced in order to achieve these virtues through physical and mental training.
Naginata education at the WNCN was studied by analyzing the content of instructions drawn up by naginata schools, with a focus on naginata instructors. This revealed that naginata was taught at the WNCN for 35 years, during which three Kyoshin-ryu instructors taught for 25 years and two Tendo-ryu instructors taught from Butokukai for nine years. From 1911 to 1936, naginata was a compulsory extracurricular subject for first- and second-year students and an elective extracurricular subject for third- and fourth-year students. The instruction based on Kyoshin-ryu was unique in that Arai, with support from the college, adapted the lesson forms for teaching at the school, including the use of easy forms, lessons in the early morning, introduction of kangeiko (winter practice), and presenting certificates to diligent students.
It is also confirmed that Mitamura Chiyo was installed as a naginata instructor at the WNCN when the discipline was incorporated into the regular curriculum in 1937.
The results of this study confirm that naginata education based on Instruction Guidelines for School Gymnastics issued by the Ministry of Education had been practiced at the WNCN before World War II.