Health and physical education
The Guidelines for the Course of Study 《→gakushu shido yoryo 学習指導要領 Guidelines for the Course of Study》 for senior high schools state that the objectives of teaching health and physical education are "to view body and mind as a unified whole, and through the understanding of health, safety, and physical exercise and a reasonable practice of physical exercise, to cultivate the character and ability for engaging in regular physical exercise throughout life, to improve athletic skills and physical strength in order to maintain and improve health and to develop a positive, fulfilled, and active attitude toward life."
Subjects include Physical Education and Health, both of which are required courses.
Junior and senior high schools usually have separate physical education classes for boys and girls. The curriculum includes gymnastics, track and field, swimming, and many ball-playing sports such as soccer, basketball, and volleyball. Some schools also offer electives in dance or martial arts such as judo and kendo. (Percentage of public elementary, junior and senior high schools with swimming pools: national average - elementary schools 73%, junior high schools 63%, high schools 56%. From a 1983 survey by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.) 《→gakko shisetsu 学校施設 school facilities》
In addition to these sports, elementary curriculums include marching drills and group-synchronized movement.
Students change into their gym clothes during the break before physical education class. The majority of schools have a regulation gym uniform. In health class, students study mental and physical health, environmental problems, etc.