Migration patterns of ancient peoples to Japan resulted in peoples of differing cultural and ethnic origin inhabiting Eastern and Western Japan. This differing heritage distinguishes lifestyle in these areas to this day. The people in these areas may also be distinguished by health status. Comparison of age adjusted death rates reveals, for example, a much higher incidence of stroke in Eastern Japan, as compared to Western Japan, whereas liver cirrhosis is much higher in Western Japan than in Eastern Japan. This research was conducted to explore the influence of variables of cultural and ethnic origin on the health status of Japanese people in Eastern and Western Japan. Differences such as dietary differences, differences in dialect, and differences in blood type and skull measurement were considered. Another difference of culturally related significance is in plant life, and this difference was also considered. The statistical tool used in analysis was Hayashi's Quantification on Response Pattern. Results of Hayashi's Quantification on Response Pattern. Results of Hayashi's Quantification III revealed the latent effect of the East-West factor and the urban-rural factor on health status differences and differences in cultural and ethnic origin. The relationship between the health condition of the Japanese people and the cultural variables was also confirmed.
Changes in population of Minamata were studied based on the data available from the national census and population registry. The results are as follows: 1) The population had drastically decreased from 1959 to 1975, and thereafter has gradually been increasing with a current population of about 37, 000. 2) The female population, especially teen-agers, has always been greater than the male population due to greater out-migration of the latter. 3) An average number of household members declined from 5 to 3.5 during 1958-1971, currently being 3.1 which has been the smallest. 4) Female population was greater in each census than the population registry in the corresponding year, while male population was larger in the latter. The difference in the population between the census and registry may be attributed particularily to the greater under-reporting among male than female. 5) Decrease in the population of Minamata after 1959 was consistent with the increased migration of the national population due to the changes of the industrial structure in Japan. The decrease is ascribed to the out-migration of the young generation for employment or education. In the following paper, we will report more detailed descriptions of these persons outmigrated from the city, particularily from the heavily polluted areas with methylmercury in order to obtain the basic information on the inhabitants to be followed up for study on the late effect of its pollution.
In order to increase health consciousness and to help establish physical activity in their lives, we taught physical exercise to rural housewives for one year. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of the exercise on health. The subjects were 28 rural housewives between 41 and 65 years of age. Height, weight, grip strength, shoulder and arm strength, back strength, vital capacity, vertical jump, and closed-eyes foot balance were assessed both before and after the instruction period. Questionnaires were also administered. The results were as follows: 1) Compared to a sample of the Physical Fitness Standards of Japanese People in 1980, the back strength, vital capacity, and closed-eyes foot balance of the rural housewives were inferior. However, the scores improved markedly after the one year of instruction in physical activity. 2) It is recognized that there were a few housewives who normally spent their spare time doing light exercises or participating in sports throughout the year.