- 体育学研究 (ISSN:04846710)
- vol.40, no.4, pp.205-220, 1995
Until now Michiaki Nagai has been regarded as a deserving person of school physical education reform, and there have been many studies about his school physical education theory. But no analysis has been made on the subject of his national physical education theory. Nagai who took a leading role in a school physical education reform from the late Meiji era to early years in the Taisyo did not have school physical education in mind as a problem limited to school. He described on his book titled "The Essence of School Gymnastics" published in 1913 that we could not realize a people of strong physique until the physical education should be practiced equally in families, schools, the military, and among the public with connection with and support from each other. In this paper an attempt is made to examine the process of development of his national physical education theory and to make clear its purpose, contents and method. The present study can be summarized as follows: 1) Nagai studied abroad to work out a policy for national physical education. And then with the experiences he would try to present a national physical education theory in an appropriate form to our country. The purpose of Nagai's national physical education is, physically, to build up a strong and active body with which people could survive a civilized society in which only the fittest can survive, and spiritually, to cultivate the samurai mentality that was a characteristic of our race, and then to encourage a foundation of Emperor's system through upbringing people of 'spirits'. 2) Nagai paid attention to the fact that in Europe and America, each government enforced public physical recreation as a public measure a long time ago, and planed to connect a school physical education both with public physical recreation and military physical education. In Europe and America people, very aware of the importance of physical education, exercised a family gymnastics vigorously. Nagai learned the contents and methods, and then he tried to execute national physical education in a way that family physical education was closely connected with physical education at schools and military institutions, and public physical recreation in Japan, too. But in our country people were retarded in awareness of the importance of public physical recreation and the economic situation was poor. So Nagai planed to fill up school physical education and to connect it with public physical recreation. 3) Nagai's plans of public physical recreation work were, firstly to found suitable facilities for physical recreation available for people from childhood to old age, secondly, to open school facilities, and thirdly, to invigorate young men's associations. And he thought that school teachers should take the lead and promote the plan in cooperation with the army and municipal authorities to attain these objectives. On the measures for public physical recreation, he took a serious view of young men's physical education. It was for the sake of the vitality of the nation and for the military in a broad sense, and for individuals in a narrow sense. 4) Nagai insisted on practice of family gymnastics to make up for a difficulty of public physical recreation work. He hoped that at first people of middle class and upper became an example of family physical education and then they should spread it to lower class. 5) Especially Nagai's serious point of view on exercise practice was to make people recognize a necessity of exercise rather than to make them take an interest in it. He insisted to practice national physical education as a discipline with an educational intention. Therefore Nagai's methods and contents of national physical education laid stress on a gymnastics.