2014 Volume 59 Issue 2 Pages 609-624
Kitaru Asahi studied dance education in the USA from 1918 to 1919, and after returning to Japan he introduced American dance teaching materials, which he recommended to Japanese physical education teachers through publications and courses in dance education. The present study attempted to clarify how the idea of recommending Gymnastic Dance was realized through the dance teaching materials.
First, we analyzed the characteristics of exercise consisting of steps and movements in the dance teaching materials that were introduced by Asahi. We then analyzed the relationship between the rhythm of the exercises and the rhythm of music through reference to these materials.
The results were as follows:
It was found that the teaching materials introduced by Asahi described various combinations of steps and movements in the dance exercises. These included walking, circling, hopping, jumping, stamping, pointing or twisting. When students exercised using the dance teaching materials, these combinations of steps and movements created active, dynamic and nimble sensations in the students through up and down, sideways, forward and backward changes in body position. It was found that these combinations of steps and movements changed the timing and direction of the exercises many times. Asahi's idea of recommending Gymnastic Dance was reflected in these characteristics of steps and movements.
Also in the relationships between the rhythm of the exercises and the rhythm of music, active, dynamic and nimble sensations were evident, helping the students to perform powerful jumps. Various combinations of different exercises and music were able to change the dance rhythm to a more dynamic, high-energy form. If these different exercises and music were performed in contrasting rhythms, each component would appear to be more dynamic and singular. It appears that Asahi's idea to recommend Gymnastic Dance to Japanese physical education teachers was based on these relationships between the rhythm of exercises and that of music.
Asahi expected that students in the 1920s who studied Gymnastic Dance would incorporate these active steps and movements when they danced together with classmates, and that this would assist them in realizing their goals in Physical Education.