- 保育学研究 (ISSN:13409808)
- vol.46, no.1, pp.12-21, 2008-08-30
There have been two radical changes in the history of children's play in the past half-century in Japan. The first change began in the 1960s: the period of Japanese rapid economic growth. During this period, children began to lose the three essential factors of play: time, space, and company. Gradually, fewer and fewer children were seen playing outdoors, such as running around with their friends. Many kinds of children's play that had accumulated over time as historical constructs began to be lost. This fundamental change continued, with the second radical change occurring in the late 1980s. At that time, technological development of electronic devices and expressive media produced massive amounts of expressive cultural goods for children such as game software, video software, and picture books. These artificial, fantastical, and imaginative products created a big market targeted at children. Consequently, children's interactive play with the real world, especially nature, changed into play with expressive electronic cultural products. This tendency changed children's play radically from interactive, physical, and creative play to more passive activities. Today, children are likely to play alone indoors without physical activities. It is feared that these changes will have harmful effects on children's mental and physical development.