Dance Becoming Physical Education? Vol. 2: Dance as Nation-founding Calisthenics

Dance Archive Project 2018

At the recent Dance Becoming Physical Education? (2016), using the example of Kazuo Ohno, himself a PE teacher and internationally renowned dancer, I outlined the current situation where dance education is treated as part of physical education more than as an artistic subject. I will now attempt to clearly underline differences between dance and gymnastics by examining the history of gymnastics in Japan since the Meiji era (1868-1912). In 2018, Japan will mark the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration.
As of 1924, the Meiji Jingu Gymnastics Tournament was held in the vicinity of the Seitoku Kinen Kaigakan. In 1940, "the phantom Tokyo Olympic Games" was called off due to the Pacific War, spawning numerous sports facilities on the site. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will mark the centennial anniversary of the official dedication of the Meiji Shrine. Through use of archival still and moving images, the lecture and performance will help us reflect on the significance of this site for the Olympics.

Directed and performed by Saiko Kino
Technical direction : Atsushi Saegusa
Production management : Toshio Mizohata

Date & Time :
Saturday 12 May 2018 : 11:00 and 14:30 (duration : approx. 1 hour)

Venue :
Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery's conference room (Tokyo)
Please assemble in front of the pool at the entrance of the Gallery 10 minutes prior to starting time.

Tickets :
By reservation only. Not available at the door.
Including an invitation ticket to the Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery.

Adult: ¥2000
Student: ¥1000

Presented by NPO Dance Archive Network (DAN)
Co-produced by Canta Co. Ltd and Kinoko no Kikaku
In collaboration with the Art Center at the Faculty of Regional Science, Tottori University

Nation-founding Calisthenics

On 11 February 1937, a public display of so-called Kenkokutaiso (Calisthenics to mark the founding of the Nation) was organized by the Japanese National Physical Health Association at Tokyo's Shiba Koen Park. Some 10,000 people attended the 6th Japanese Gymnastics tournament held at the Kashihara Jingu in Nara and 1,100 people at the Meiji Jingu Stadium on 12 May, 1940 to celebrate 2600 years of emperorship.

Seitoku Kinen Kaigakan (Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery)

Part of the Jingu Gaien complex, it houses culturally precious artworks depicting the Emperor Meiji's lifetime achievements. In the wake of the Meiji Emperor's demise in 1912, plans were drawn up and it was completed in 1926 on the site of the former Aoyama parade ground. Even today, one can see the building's original majestic dome.

Saiko Kino

Born in Hokkaido, Kino graduated from the Department of Dance Education at Ochanomizu University and Sports Promotion Course at Tsukuba University (MA). She now lectures at the Art Center of the Faculty of Regional Science at Tottori University. Previously a part-time PE instructor at middle and high schools, in 2003, she won the Foundation Award at the Yokohama solo duo competition with Edge. She later joined the Russell Maliphant Company in the UK as a dancer, and is now based in Japan. Among her many works are Shizuka, and Mobius (Chicago Moving Company, commissioned by the MacCarther Foundation ).


Confetti Tickets Center
Tel:0120-240-540(weekdays 10:00-18:00)


Dance Archive Network

Access to the venue

Seitoku Kinen Kaigakan (Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery)
1-1 Kasumigaoka-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
・5 minutes by foot from Shinanomachi station on the JR Chuo · Sobu line
・5 minutes by foot from Kokuritsu Kyogijo on the Toei Oedo line.
・10 minutes by foot from Aoyama 1-chome station, served by the Tokyo Metro Ginza line,· Hanzomon line and Toei Oedo line.