February 1943, Seoul high school girls perform group calisthenics to prepare to become mothers of strong Imperial Japanese soldiers


Gyeongseong Ilbo (Keijo Nippo) February 6, 1943

Behold our training!

Gallantly doing group calisthenics

Seoul No. 1 High School girls aiming to be mothers of healthy soldiers

As the clock struck eleven in the morning, the loudspeaker above the entrance to the school building played a heroic marching song that echoed loudly throughout the school grounds. All the girls, dressed in their dignified Monpe work pants, gathered in the schoolyard at once.

It only took three minutes, but the strict training of Seoul No. 1 Girls’ High School began with the electrifying assembly. The girls’ calisthenics exercises were carried out with the blood of the maidens boiling and overflowing in the line of fire. 

The girls’ calisthenics exercises, which create a strong power and a robust spirit for striving to become mothers of healthy soldiers, become a ball of fire and cultivate a solid unity that overcomes any difficulties and pushes forward.

Stretch your arms out as far as you can. Stomp your feet. Once you say it’s boring, you’re out. But with a single command, they can move their own bodies freely. The limbs of one thousand one hundred maidens move in unison. The unrestrained extension of their bodies is controlled by a single will. It may be painful. But when you think that the people in front of you and behind you are doing the same thing, you feel a different kind of power surging through you.

The self that blends into the group. The group! The group! The self moves the group by fully fulfilling its own responsibilities. When you feel this, the joy that rises up in you arouses a new power. This power will not die even when you are alone. It is quick, unyielding, and bold. This is how the bodies and minds of the girls are forged through strong exercises worthy of “mothers of healthy soldiers”.

A mere twenty minutes of group calisthenics have such power. If these were just exercises to merely shake their arms and legs, they would not be training or health exercises. In this school, girls’ school calisthenics have been carried out for eight years without a day off, even on days of severe cold and heat, and have borne fruit in terms of training. (Photo: Group calisthenics)

Remarks by the leader, School Principal Kajiwara

“Training should not be conducted like fireworks. The effects of the training can only be achieved through constant and unbending practice. In addition to calisthenics, I am going to have the students do dry towel rubdown therapy or cold water friction therapy at home every morning when they wake up. This is also a form of training.”

Source: https://archive.org/details/kjnp-1943-02-06

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京城日報 昭和十八年二月六日










指導者の弁 梶原校長談