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Japanese Radio Calisthenics!

This video "Radio Calisthenics Phase Version 06|English Version" (「ラジオ体操第バ06_英語」), was created by Tokyu-Kensetsu (東急建設) for English speakers in Japan.
In Japan, radio calisthenics (ラジオ体操, rajio taiso) is a traditional custom where people perform calisthenics to music with guidance from radio broadcasts.

Radio calisthenics were introduced to Japan to improve physical strength and maintenance and development of good health.
What kind of calisthenics are there? How did it start? Let’s take a look!

What are Radio Calisthenics? A Look at the History

Image of Elementary school students doing radio calisthenicss
Photo:Elementary school students doing radio calisthenicss

The history of radio calisthenics goes back to 1920. The idea originally came from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. of the U.S as part of daily calisthenics.

The first radio calisthenics was broadcast to the public on NHK radio in 1928.
Since then, it has been modified little by little to the current Radio Calisthenics 1, established in 1951.
Besides Radio Calisthenics 1, the one introduced in the video, there are other types of radio calisthenics such as Radio Calisthenics 2 and 3, and Minna no Taiso (calisthenics for everyone).

The Health Benefits of Radio Calisthenics

Image of an attendance card for radio calisthenics
Photo:An attendance card for radio calisthenics

The radio calisthenics contains of 13 types of calisthenics in a particular order.
As you see in the video, the calisthenics starts with stretching (0:11) and ends with deep-breathing (2:56), a total of 3 minutes 15 seconds.
It helps you stay in shape and lose weight, as it makes you stretch the muscles of your entire body.

During summer vacation, local organizations and community associations gather children and perform radio calisthenicss together every morning.
Each child has an attendance card and gets a stamp each time they attend the radio calisthenics gathering.
The radio calisthenics serves to prevent inadequate physical activity in children, as well as have children interact with local communities.

Where Can I Find Radio Calisthenics?

Image of a radio

In Japan, radio channels still broadcast the radio calisthenics to music.
Radio calisthenics usually begin with a piece of opening music and a greeting from the instructor, and after the music finishes, Radio calisthenics 1 begins.
During the broadcast, they also introduce a supportive exercise and a neck exercise.

The radio calisthenics are also broadcast on TV.
Be sure to check out when it broadcasts!
You can also find the radio calisthenics on an App, videos online, or CD.
Choose one that is most convenient for you.

The Recap of Radio Calisthenics

Image of women doing radio calisthenics
Photo:Women doing radio calisthenics

Radio calisthenics is effective for improving health, so it has long been loved by Japanese people.
Even today, radio calisthenics are introduced at events for children, at offices before the day begins, and also done by people feeling they need more exercise.
Be sure to check it out! It'll help you get into a daily routine and feel more awake.

Written By
Last Updated : May. 29, 2022
坂崎 なお(Nao Sakazaki)
Interested in Japanese culture and traditions! I'll be introducing lovely scenery to you!

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Radio Calisthenics Have Been Around in Japan for Approximately 90 Years and Has Been Ingrained Into Japanese Culture. Loved by Many, It's a Source of Health for the Japanese People!
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