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J Exerc Rehabil > Volume 14(2);2018 > Article
Hwang and Kim: Intensification of the education of public health, hygiene, and martial arts during the Japanese colonial period (1937–1945)

Abstract

This study intended to examine the process of development and intensification of martial arts education in schools of Chosun as courses of health, hygiene, and physical education implemented by the Japanese colonial government that ruled Chosun during the period of ‘Second Sino-Japanese War’ from 1937 to 1945. During this period, the Japanese colonial government established the ‘Imperial Subjects’ Gymnastics,’ elaborated on the education of health and hygiene in order to lay the foundations for the strengthening of war potential, and intensified the theoretical education and practice of martial arts as an effective means therefore. The education of health, hygiene, and martial arts, implemented by the Japanese colonial power with the catchphrase of constructing robust body, was nothing but a means to construct and control the body of colonial people at its discretion. The thoughts of health, hygiene, and martial arts, which were presented to students, were rather intended for the cultivation of the subjects devoted to Japanese Empire than for the promotion of health and psychosomatic development of individuals. In particular, along with contemporary society fell into the turmoil of war, the amusable aspects of martial arts were lost in the education of martial arts and were replaced with the spirit of Japanese Samurai.

INTRODUCTION

This study intended to examine the process of development and intensification of martial arts education in schools of Chosun established as courses of health, hygiene and physical education implemented by the Japanese colonial government that ruled Chosun during the period of war, initiated by the ‘Second Sino-Japanese War’ occurred in 1937 and lasted to 1945 (Since the Japanese colonial government used the term, Chosun, to call its contemporary colony for the 36 years of its reign, this paper uses the term accordingly).
With the coercive annexation of Chosun in 1910, the Japanese colonial power transplanted its experiences of the implementation of education in Japan into the educational system in schools of Chosun. The morning session in schools, gymnastics, athletic meet, excursion, school trip, physical examinations relevant to health and hygiene, and examination of individual bearing, which are still remaining in current school, are typical aspects of modern educational system introduced into Chosun through Japanese colonial power (Hwang and Kim, 2013).
In this context, it is necessary to study the relevance of the education of martial arts to colonialism based on the education of health and hygiene in schools implemented by Japanese colonial government, if the history of education in modern schools, imported from Europe and then propagated with the foundation of the Great Korean Empire, is to be examined.
Since the early days of the colony Chosun, the Japanese colonial government implemented educational policies established for the cultivation of people in colony Chosun as compliant subjects faithful to Japanese Empire. On entering into the war period in 1937, the Japanese colonial government turned its policies of education to the way of the cultivation of colonial people as a means of strengthening robust military power preparing for the upcoming total war. Thereby, the educational courses, focused on the cultivation of robust body and strong military sprit, were prepared in the educational courses from elementary schools to universities (Mangan et al., 2017).
That is, on finding the gradual deterioration of the physique of people in Japan as well as in Chosun, the colonial government concentrated on the cultivation of people required for the war times with the recognition of the necessity of prompt improvement of the physique of people as an objective of school education related with public health (Takaoka, 2004). In April 1938, the Japanese colonial government promulgated the ‘Act of National Mobilization,’ and implemented the Act in Chosun in May to cultivate the ‘Imperial Subjects’ (Kokokushimmin) in Chosun. In this respect, the original school education of health and hygiene implemented by Japanese colonial government focused on the public health and hygiene in the 1910s however, upon the advent of war times in the 1930s, the education of health and hygiene in schools became reorganized with the policies intended for the strengthening of military power by focusing on the management of human resources (Fujino, 2003).
The issues relevant to war and health of people have been closely connected in every age. Among them, the cultivation of soldiers of robust bodies with strong psychological, mental, and physical strength would be an essential element. The educational policies established and implemented by the Japanese colonial government seem comprised of such elements selected according to political intentions.
Since 1937, the importance of national education was emphasized as a means to realize the system of total war thereby, the group gymnastics, referred to as the ‘Imperial Subjects’ Gymnastics (Kokokushimmintaiso),’ was introduced and implemented in the educational courses of schools. Even for the female students, the courses of education were revised by employing the courses of swordsmanship, judo, archery, and Naginata for the physical drills.
These were laid according to the intention of exploiting colonial people as a means of military mobilization through the courses of education in schools equipped with the courses of martial arts. The Japanese colonial government presented the purpose of physical education as the promotion of health of the students of colony Chosun. However, it was actually revised in a way to be focusing on military exercises comprising physical and mental trainings aiming for an attainment of skills and actions necessary for soldiers as Japanese subjects (Na, 1977).
Thus, what kinds of curricula in the educational courses of health and physical exercises in schools were emphasized, and how the courses were implemented in 1930s, need to be examined and analyzed, to clarify all aspects of the actual introduction of educational courses of martial arts and the Japanese colonialism. Shin (2006) conducted the study entitled ‘Militarization of Physical Education and Imposed Health,’ and delved into the health policies implemented through courses of physical education by the Japanese colonial government wherein, the militarization of physical exercises during the period of Pacific War, advancement of ‘Radio Gymnastics,’ popularization of hiking, and the establishment of ‘Ministry of Public Welfare’ which was in charge of such activities of health promotion, were addressed.
Besides, the formation of hygiene police as an implementation of social policies relevant to hygiene promoted by Japanese colonial government for the ordinary people in colony Chosun, and the effects thereof, were reported (Jung, 2011). The relationship between colonialism and martial arts was delved into by a study entitled ‘The Japanese Colonialism and Martial Arts: Establishment and Development of the Branch of Greater Japan Martial Virtue Society in Colony Chosun’ wherein, the social activities of the societies related with martial arts, conducted to propagate the Japanese Martial Arts in Chosun, were examined (Lee, 2015). However, along with the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, the Japanese colonial government amended the educational policies and focused on the cultivation of students to complete the system of total mobilization prepared for the upcoming war.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

In this study, the ‘Education of Chosun,’ published by the ‘Society of Education in Chosun’ (the society was based on the Bureau of Educational Affairs in the Japanese colonial government and was comprised of teachers in middle schools or beyond), and the ‘Researches in the Education of Chosun,’ published by the ‘Society for the Research in Elementary Education of Chosun’ (the society was comprised of teachers in contemporary elementary schools), were taken as main materials for the study conducted to examine the materials of physical education relevant to the education of health and hygiene in schools.
The term of study set for this study starts from 1937, the year of outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, to 1945; the examination conducted in this study was focused on changes in the contents of education, prepared to cope with situations of contemporary times.
In particular, the purposes of this study were focused on what contents of martial arts were employed in the revised educational courses and on how the contents were emphasized in the implementation of educational courses in schools, to identify and analyze actual realities thereof, in the context of the strengthening of war potential in response to the acceleration of war phases.

IMPERIAL SUBJECTS’ GYMNASTICS ON A WAR FOOTING AND THOROUGH IMPLEMENTATION OF THE HYGIENIC EDUCATION

The Japanese colonial power put its efforts on the amendment of educational system, prepared for the situation on a war footing, before the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in July 1937. By taking the way following the amendment of educational policies in its mainland of Japan, the Japanese colonial government set forth the system of total war and started to reorganize the contents in courses of physical education in schools.
In the contemporary society of Japan, the policies of social health were emphasized to cope with the forthcoming war times; many people promoted and participated in the group gymnastics. Iwabara (1939), who was a manager in the section of physical education in the Ministry of Education (the Mombusho) of Japan, valued the practice of gymnastics originally as a personal exercise.
However, he insisted to import the advantages of group gymnastics already implemented in contemporary European countries to cultivate robust Japanese people by referring to the special effects of the practice of group gymnastics incomparable to those of other exercises.
In accordance with such socially recognized aftereffects, the Japanese colonial government of Chosun developed the new group gymnastics called ‘Imperial Subjects’ Gymnastics’ that took a hint from traditional Japanese swordsmanship and propagated in Chosun. The group gymnastics was implemented solely in Chosun; it was comprised of basic techniques borrowed from judo and swordsmanship (Umesawa, 1937). Besides, he advocated the purposes of practicing group gymnastics, “…for the unified identities of the people in Japan and Chosun, the group gymnastics comprises an element which is ideal for gymnastic exercises rendering very healthy body and soul irrespective of the place of practice in schools or in a society. This would be an important exercise for the cultivation of true Japanese people…” (Umesawa, 1938). Thus, the development of group gymnastics led by the Japanese colonial government can be regarded as a rapid reaction to the changes in educational policies intended for the reinforcement of physical strength of people as a military force of the Japanese system of total war facing the upcoming war. Thereby, according to the amendment of ‘The Third Educational Decree of Chosun’ promulgated on March 30, 1938, the group gymnastics was included in the syllabus of the courses of physical exercises in schools, and implemented as a regular course for male and female students (Kim and Lee, 2000). The group gymnastics then propagated in the society of Chosun and popularized in the public including government and public offices from the end of 1938. Intentions behind active distribution of group gymnastics in Chosun led by the Japanese colonial government can be interpreted in the following two aspects. First, the Japanese colonial government intended for the cultivation of human resources of robust body and mind accustomed to modern hygienic concept which were attained through the encouragement of physical exercises of group gymnastics in schools or in daily lives of all people in colony Chosun. Second, the excellent effects of the practices of group gymnastics, and the available avoidance from financial suppression in the situation on a war footing that requires an economy of budget, were taken into account. Thus, the Japanese colonial government endeavored to propagate and implement the ‘Imperial Subjects’ Gymnastics,’ the group gymnastics that employed advantageous characteristics of judo and swordsmanship, as a means to cultivate robust and strong future soldiers destined to participate in battle fields.
Further, the Japanese colonial government put additional efforts on the education of individual hygienic practices to prevent the students from epidemics frequently found from battle fields. The Department of Hygiene in the Japanese colonial government started the ‘Movement of National Mobilization of the Spirit of People (Kokuminseishinsodoinundo)’ since 1937 and presented the new ‘Code of Hygienic Guidance’ for the improvement of the physique of people in Chosun (Jung, 2011). The head of contemporary Department of Educational Affairs in the Japanese colonial government commented, “…we are facing national crisis difficult to be resolved while the Japanese soldiers are fighting desperately in hot weather. To get over this national crisis, we need robust body and an education of perfect mentality for students. Thus, above all, we need an amendment of the syllabus of the courses of physical exercises in schools…”. He then requested the thorough implementation of health education for the students to be available as a soldier for future battle fields and the innovation realized through the amendment of the syllabus of the courses of physical exercises (Watanabe, 1937).
Further, the head of Department of Hygiene in the Japanese colonial government berated teachers in elementary schools of their easygoing education therein by pointing out the widespread of epidemics including the growing propagation of pulmonary tuberculosis. The myopia, dental caries, and increasing stomach diseases were also included in the scolding to point out them as causes of the deterioration of the physique of people. He requested the teachers in elementary schools, “…the physical strength of adolescents is deteriorating consequently together with the decreasing birthrate and resulting decrease of population growth rate. The higher infant mortality rate is also attributable to the poor hygienic statues of people in Chosun. Radical measures to solve the high incidence rate of pulmonary tuberculosis and widespread of parasite in the classes of adolescent and adult shall be devised…” (Nishikame, 1937), to awaken them becoming aware of the hygienic issues in elementary schools.
Regarding this issue, the Society for the Research in Elementary Education of Chosun (1938) commented: “…the generally found diseases such as pulmonary tuberculosis myopia, dental caries, and parasites are widespread among students causing the deterioration of physical strength of people. Thus, the means of human resource management including the promotion of increasing population growth rate shall be devised. Besides, the measures to prevent students from pulmonary tuberculosis shall be implemented in schools with an active encouragement of the activities of physical exercises to improve current situations relevant to health and hygiene in schools. The protective measures against various diseases owing to urbanized lives and for the students of weak physical strength shall also be secured with the amendment of the courses of physical education in schools to prevent the deterioration of physical strength of students...”. The society also emphasized, “…the promotion of physical education in schools shall be continued further to spur the militarization of colonial people by elaborating on the implementation of policies established by the Japanese colonial government.”

INTRODUCTION OF PHYSICAL TRAINING AND EDUCATION OF HYGIENE FOR THE STRENGTHENING OF WAR POTENTIAL

In July 1937, with the initiation of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese colonial government of Chosun started the physical examination of students in schools. The police of Japanese colonial government also participated in the implementation of coercive education of health and hygiene for people of Chosun in the society (Meng, 1999), the policies established during the initial stage of colonization were focused on the public hygiene whereas, the policies established during the last stage of colonization were focused on the improvement of military force based on the statistics of population control (Lee, 1999).
In schools, the standards to measure physical fitness of students which were established by the Ministry of Education in Japan in 1937 were introduced as they were wherein the aspects of physical fitness were classified into physique, physical strength, nutrition, capability of doing activities, and illness situation. For the measurement of physical strength of students, the grasping power, running power, jumping power, throwing power, and lifting power (of barbells) were finalized (Hikasa, 1937). For the measurement of physique of students, the height, body weight, and chest girth were measured while the gloss of skin and the degree of tension of muscles were measured for the nutritional aspects. In addition, the awareness of hygiene was emphasized as the most important practice for health together with an addition of moderate level of physical training. The human health was thus recognized principally as a realization of one’s wills relevant to one’s mental strength (Nishio, 2003). That is, the physical examination was originally intended for the cultivation of Japanese spirit. Besides, the physical examination was prepared for the prevention of pulmonary tuberculosis which rose as a problem in the contemporary society and, for the improvement of the physique of students who were regarded as future soldiers. It was rather a policy to be implemented in schools which were supposed to construct strong physique of quality students as future soldiers to be resulting from an affirmative mental cultivation. And, it was implemented in the context of the amendment of physical examination system in schools that managed the physique of students according to physical grades determined by dedicated standards established after the unification of organizations in charge of the administration of health and hygiene.
In January, 1938, the Ministry of Public Welfare (Koseisho) of Japan was established and the promulgation of the ‘Act of National Mobilization (Kokkasodoinho)’ was followed by in April (Fujino, 2003). As a purpose of the national mobilization, the Japanese colonial power intended for a advancement toward the construction of global welfare as a leading Asian race who took the movement as their duties. The Japanese education was based on this thought.
The course of physical training consisted of following four curricula: martial arts, gymnastics (including plays and competitive games), military exercises, and hygiene. However, the contents of these curricula were deviated from the purpose of actual activities.
Teachers were encouraged to teach martial arts, gymnastics, plays, and competitive games on the ground of teaching rules of etiquette, and the students were obliged to put what they learned therefrom into daily practice (Iwabara, 1939). In this way, the Japanese imperialists thought themselves as a leader obliged to lead contemporary East Asia, and in this context, they had changed the title of the course of gymnastics to the course of physical training, and requested teachers to teach students the courses of martial arts, gymnastics, military exercises, and hygiene in a way the students could sublimate their attainment into physical beauty.
Among them, the course of hygiene was regarded as an essential one to protect lives of students from epidemics; the argument, put heaviest weight to the hygienic practices in daily lives, was thus presented thereby.
Since 1939, the Japanese colonial government announced the Three Principles of Education: Clarification of National Identity (Kokutaimeicho), Unified Identities of Imperial Subjects (Naisenittai), and Training with Endurance (Ninkutanren). Thereby, new ways of education in schools were presented to realize the announced principles (Takamatsu, 1939). Simultaneously, the argument, insisting the control of physical strength of people in Chosun in terms of human resource management, was raised from circles of education (Nishio, 2003). Thus, based on the educational policies in Japan, the teachers were requested to teach the contents relevant to health and hygiene in schools of Chosun. Kim (1938), the teacher of physical education in contemporary school, commented, “…Gyeongseong, the capital city, would rank the first in terms of the incidence of diseases among entire cities in the country. Domestic lives of people also exhibit very poorer considerations on health and sanitation comparing to those in Japan. Therefore, the people in Chosun should be enlightened with the quality hygienic thoughts…”. Uchiyama (1938) requested teachers to encourage their students as ‘Imperial Subjects’ to accomplish improved physical strength through training with endurance and cultivation of sacrificial spirit with the confidence to love their country.
Contemporarily, there were doctors employed in schools in Japan for the thorough implementation of practical principles aiming for complete accomplishment of students’ health and physical enhancement however, on the contrary, medical care for students in schools of Chosun were rarely found despite the legal provisions and educational principles stipulated therefor. The educational principles presented for students in Japan and Chosun were almost identical however, the discriminations in actual practices thereof against students of Chosun can be inferred to. That is, in colony Chosun, the physical education was emphasized with the educational objective of the strengthening of war potential as the collaboration oriented to the construction of new order in East Asia. Thus, instead of the physical education to be implemented in peaceful times, it was requested that the physical education focused on the attainment of best war potential should be established (Takamatsu, 1939).
In short, the focus of physical education in schools gradually proceeded to the planning and implementation of the accomplishment of military physical strength of students.

INTENSIFICATION OF EDUCATION OF MARTIAL ARTS AS A MEANS OF STRENGTHENING OF WAR POTENTIAL

As the education of martial arts in schools became intensified, the training of swordsmanship based on military discipline became introduced into elementary schools to cultivate the students as strong adults preparing for the upcoming world war (Mangan et al., 2017). Besides, the teachers of physical exercises struggled continuously for the intensified education therefor; this then became the momentum that rooted the military culture represented through ‘military formation training’ into our society, instead of the pure objectives of physical education in schools (Yoo, 2001).
The Japanese colonial government introduced the physical examination into the entrance examination to higher schools in the 1940s. The contents of the ‘Act of Physical Examination,’ amended in October 1938 then were changed quite differently from those of previous one with the method of scoring each examinational items. The examination of the body of student was distinguished into the ones of physique, physical constitution, and physical fitness for the strict and exact screening of students. The screening of physique and physical constitution were employed even for the entrance examination of higher schools (Kenjaki, 1940). In particular, the physical function, constitutional disorder, and diseases of students were strictly examined and the results of examination were requested for further processing to secure the enhancement and development of the physique, physical constitution, and physical fitness of students (Iki, 1940). This tells us the physical examination in schools proceeded to the way emphasizing the importance of health examination together with the measurement of the physique, physical constitution, and physical fitness of students.
The Japanese colonial government renamed the ‘Ordinary School’ as ‘Elementary School’ since 1942 with the change of the name of physical exercises to ‘physical training.’ Besides, the ‘Third Educational Decree of Chosun’ was implemented by which, the system of school education was changed into the system of training and cultivation. Here, the training and cultivation refers to the military training and physical enhancement including health of students through the coercive nationalistic education that took schools as military subsidiaries of an army under the conscription system enabled by the enactment of the ‘Act of National Mobilization.’ The plans of physical enhancement of female students were also established.
In 1941, the ‘Education of Chosun,’ published by the ‘Society of Education in Chosun,’ and the ‘Researches in the Education of Chosun,’ published by the ‘Society for the Research in Elementary Education of Chosun,’ inserted pictures of the group of male and female students practicing Naginata together with the intention of publicizing the activities. And, in the articles of ‘The Spirit of Japanese Samurai’ and ‘Women in Imperial Country’ (Takeda, 1942), Japanese women were described with their racial traditionalism implicitly sacrificing everything when their country faces critical crises. Thus, the female students were enlightened to be faithful to individual obligations of their lives in the society, school, and home by acquiring the perfect spirit of wise mother and good wife, to cope with forthcoming war times. In this way, the obligations of women in daily lives were presented by borrowing Japanese tradition, to emphasize the roles of women in the war times.
As mentioned before, the Bureau of Public Welfare, comprising the sections of health, hygiene, social affairs, and labors, was newly established. These sections were previously belonged to the Bureau of Internal Affairs and Bureau of Police, and were rearranged in the new born Bureau of Public Welfare according to the reorganization of Japanese colonial government intended for the integration and intensification of administrative works for the management of human resources and their lives in November 1941, 2 years later from the establishment of the Ministry of Public Welfare (Koseisho) in Japan (Ishida, 1942). The duties of the Bureau of Public Welfare were determined to plan the enhancement of national physique and to construct facilities for the improvement of physical strength of people. Thereby, the societies, relevant to physical exercises in private sector, were enforced to be unified.
The Bureau of Public Welfare announced the implementation of conscription system in Chosun from June 1942. From September 10 to 11, 1942, the ‘first physical fitness badge test’ for the subjects of approximately 60,000 students aged from 15 years to 25 years (male students) (~22 years for female students) in middle schools, high schools, or over, was carried out for the implementation of conscription system. The running, saltation, throwing, carrying (heavy) loads, and suspending on horizontal bar, were taken for the examination by which, the subjects were distinguished into the ones of top grade, middle grade, elementary grade, and others. The subjects, attained certain level of standard records, were certified with the physical strength badge (Son, 2009). However, the Bureau of Public Welfare was abolished 1 year later from its establishment according to the policy of simplified administration of Japanese colonial government, and the duties thereof were returned to the section of hygiene.
Besides, the Japanese colonial government contributed an article (Pakusawa, 1941) intending for the intensification of the importance of mental education of people in colony Chosun to the journal of ‘Education of Chosun,’ published by the ‘Society of Education in Chosun,’ as an educational objective in schools for the strengthening of war potential; this was to renovate contemporary social atmosphere. Then, the Japanese colonial government announced that the principles for the training of students in war times will be implemented (Chosensotokufu Gakumukyoku, 1943).
Thereafter, the principles of physical exercises for ordinary people (Chosensotokufu Gakumukyoku, 1943) consisted of 16 provisions, the guidelines of the implementation of physical fitness badge test for male and female students, and the principles of the implementation of physical fitness test of martial arts (the test of physical fitness for practicing martial marts) (Yamamoto, 1943) were presented, and then implemented from May 1943. Here, for the male students, the sports, inherently borne amusement characteristics of a game, such as soccer and baseball etc., were prohibited and contrarily, the teachers were ordered to teach male students with courses of martial arts to cultivate physical fitness and combative spirit of male students.
Besides, the mock cavalry battle, snatching flags of opposite parties, carrying heavy loads, swimming, bayonet drill, marine training, aviation training, and snow and ice sports (skiing and skating) were recommended for the male students. Whereas, the gymnastics, marching, athletic sports, swimming, and snow and ice sports (skiing and skating) were recommended for the female students (Shin, 2006). Thus, from that times, the physical activities exhibiting borne characteristics of amusement or playing competitions between schools were prohibited while the group oriented and militarized forms of physical activities, particularly the martial arts, were encouraged with the policies of physical education turned to the enhancement of the physical fitness of all people in Chosun.
In 1944, when the situation of war turned into the stage disadvantageous to Japanese colonial power, even 3 hr of military training per week in schools was not available by the priority of the production of military supplies through the mobilization of students. As the situation of war became desperate, the education of martial arts became unavailable. And on reaching the final defeat in 1945, the education of martial arts of Japanese style started to fade away.

CONCLUSIONS

The Japanese colonial power broadly revised the educational policies and objectives in schools of Chosun by mobilizing scholars of pedagogy as she was participating in the way of the war of 15 years initiated by the Manchurian Incident occurred in September 1931. In particular, the purposes of the education of health and martial arts in schools were put on the enhancement of physique and physical fitness of students. Thereby, the new policies of the education of physical exercises comprising courses of health and hygiene appeared and propagated into contemporary society with an emphasis of the social connection of physical education to ordinary people. In 1937, the Japanese colonial power engaged in the war with China and thereby, reorganized and put its national system on a war footing. Such effects of political and social changes transmitted to Chosun and caused the establishment of the ‘Imperial Subjects’ Gymnastics’ propagated in the entire country by which, the educational policies of physical exercises in the national system on a war footing became visualized.
In particular, the practices of gymnastics were implemented only in Chosun wherein, the art of self-defense, devised from traditional Japanese swordsmanship and judo, was included in connection with the faithfulness to Japanese Emperor, to turn its educational policy in schools of Chosun toward the cultivation of ‘The Spirit of Japanese Samurai’ of students.
Besides, the physical examination of students was introduced in schools in order to manage the human resources of colonial people. Along with the engagement in the war with America, the Japanese imperialists established the Ministry of Public Welfare in Japan and developed and implemented the strong health policies for the enhancement of national physique. Thereby, the Bureau of Public Welfare was established in the Japanese colonial government in Chosun and the policies, intended for the enhancement of health education for the training and cultivation of physical fitness and the education of martial arts, was implemented. However, the Bureau of Public Welfare was abolished in a year.
On entering into the stage of the finalization of war with America, the importance of mental education in schools was emphasized and various systems were introduced to manage the physical fitness training of people. In particular, the courses of martial arts, mock cavalry battle, bayonet drill, and individual health and hygiene which were all necessary for the soldiers who must cultivate techniques of martial arts for the strengthening of war potential, were emphasized instead of the courses of physical exercises exhibiting characteristics of amusement or competition with others such as soccer and baseball. Further, the efforts were put on the mental education and enhancement of physical fitness of female students with the political intention aimed at the production of more population. Thus, the educations of martial arts, health, and hygiene which were implemented by the Japanese colonial power, that ruled colony Chosun during the contemporary period of war, with the educational objective of the cultivation of robust body, were nothing but the means to construct and control the bodies of colonial people. The thoughts of martial arts, health, and hygiene, presented to students by the Japanese colonial power, were rather for the cultivation of faithful and obedient subjects to Japanese Empire than for the cultivation of individual body and mind or health promotion.
In particular, as the contemporary political situation fell into the turmoil of war, the characteristics of amusement in physical exercises were disregarded but instead, the education intended for the cultivation of the ‘Spirit of Japanese Samurai’ took its shape. In this context, the educational theories and logics for the education of martial arts, health, and hygiene in schools, prepared and presented by the Japanese government and scholars of education mobilized therefor, were strongly embedded with the factors that discriminated the students of Chosun in the process of actual practices, despite they were based on the scientific knowledge identical to those constituted the foundation thereof in Japan. Thereby, during the long period from 1937 to 1945, the education of health, hygiene, and martial arts implemented in schools of Chosun by the Japanese colonial government lacked the original significance of physical exercises such as amusement, competition with others, or playful characteristics thereof, except for the educational elements of militarism intended for the cultivation of faithful and obedient imperial soldiers of Japanese Empire.
That is, despite the presentation of educational theories and logics for the education of martial arts in schools that advocated the health promotion of people in Chosun, the education of martial arts in schools was actually introduced into schools of Chosun as a means of military training intended for the ‘enhancement of fighting power’ of future soldiers to cope with the forthcoming war.

Notes

CONFLICT OF INTEREST

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2017-S1A5B4055939) and by Hankuk University of Foreign Studies research fund of 2018.

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