The Young Men's Association (YMA) was an education institute that provided programs and further education for young men. It aimed to train both mind and body, and valued physical education.
However, in preceding studies of the YMA, emphasis was placed on the national stance that physical education should be promoted, or the implementation status of physical education in the YMA in the local community. Insufficient consideration was given to the policy and process of local government liaison between the national aim and regional implementation. The aim of the present study was to clarify the process of development of the physical education promotion policy of the YMA, taking as an example the Tokyo Prefecture administration during the Taisho Era.
The following points were clarified:
1) At the Local Governor Conference, no instruction was given regarding any specific method for development of physical education promotion by the YMA. Therefore, in each prefectural administration, policies needed to be formulated and implemented, taking into account the regional situation within each individual jurisdiction.
2) Prefectural Governor Tomoichi Inoue, who spearheaded the YMA policy in Tokyo Prefecture, had set as the main objective of the YMA, the implementation of civil education and labor education for working young men. He considered physical education to be “prerequisite for all” activities of the YMA. In so doing, the aim was to train “young men who contribute to labor” through physical education.
3) As a specialized institution reviewing physical education policies of the YMA in Tokyo Prefecture, Governor Inoue established the “Tokyo Prefecture Physical Education Council”. The council members consisted of not only Tokyo prefectural workers, but also external “education and physical education experts”.
4) The Physical Education Council raised as specific issues, “improvement of the physique and strength of young men” and “popularization methods for physical education”, and held repeated discussions with these aims in mind. In resolving the above issues, the Physical Education Council cooperated and collaborated with companies within Tokyo Prefecture, and further held “workshops” and “lectures” at the YMA at local level.
5) The Physical Education Council compiled the information obtained through discussions and through such “workshops” and “lectures”, and therefrom established and issued the “Tokyo Prefecture Regulations for Young Men's Physical Education”. Promotion of these regulations played an important role in the origin of YMA physical education in Tokyo Prefecture in the years that followed.