A comparative study of perinatal cultural customs of 151 subjects was performed based upon interviews conducted in their home. The subjects were from two groups; AH group (N=114) who were 40 years of age and over and who resided in rural villages, and K group (N=37) aged under 40 and who were from an urban area. Participation in ceremonied customs was significantly higher among the younger group (K group) as a finding for the postwar generation. Analysis by type II qualification method was performed based on whether or not perinatal ceremonial customs were participated in. Results for the AH group showed participation in ceremonies related to pregnancy and delivery while for the K group ceremonies related to child growth and development predominated. These results indicate a concern related to pregnancy and delivery among the pre-war generation and a desire for health growth in the child among the post-war generation. Analysis by type III quantification method was performed with individual independence as the first component and historical aspects as the second component. Results showed a tendency for the younger generation to depend on perinatal ceremonial customa for psychological support. Perinatal customs have undergone changes with the flow at time, especially since 1960 when location of deliveries began changing from the parental home to medical facilities. In addition, an explanation for the high rate of participation in ceremonial customs by the younger group being the result of perinatal ceremonies representing a type of rite of passage is also suggested by the results of this study.
The aim of this article is to study the development of the health and the ethnic perspective of the Japan Association of Hygiene. From the middle of the Meiji period, public hygiene promotion activities directed at the general public were assumed by the Japan Association of Hygiene which was established in 1883. The key officers of this Association, which was supported by the government, were composed of staff from the Hygiene Bureauof the Ministry of Home Affairs, professors of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Tokyo, and key members of Army and Navy medical staff. The Association carried out a variety of activities, including a general meeting once a year and regular meetings once a month where various kinds of lectures were given on matters relating to health and hygiene. Regional association were also organized in prefectures and regional cities, and hospitals and theatres were used for meeting places for presenting slide shows and for organizing hygiene discussion groups. These activities, aimed at promoting awareness of health and hygiene among the people in the Meiji era, were something completely unique. Fundamented to the thinking in the association were two factors; westernization of lifeand the preservation of traditional customs in daily life. The latter became the basis for the concept of ethnic hygiene in Japan.
A study of the religious affiliation registration records (Shumon-aratamecho) of Kiyomi village Gifu prefecture for 1830 shows that a large number of entries for "gage 2", accompanied by the zodiacal signs of the sexagenary cycle are recorded. A possible reason for this practice is that delicate children with a low survival probability were notregistered in the year of their birth, but recorded later when they were considered healthy. By this practice, the reporting of birth of a child who had not been previously registered was entered as a two-year-old as a formality, and his zodiacal sign was included to indicate his real age. When the population of young people in the Shumon-aratamecho was revised by considering their zodiacal signs, the birth-rate and the population pyramid attained amore reasonable construct than with the unrevised data. The revised figures thus derived from the zodiacal signs provide additional information in attempts to verify the basis to the 7-5.3 custom (the traditional festival for children of three, five, and seven years of age).