Radio Taiso = ラジオ体操

Radio Taiso (ラジオ体操) is the broadcast of a simple exercise program over the radio (at 6:30am every morning).

It became popular in Japan just after World War II and is still used among students and workers in companies to help raise morale and form group unity. The exercises reflect the general role of exercise in Japanese culture: to serve as a symbol of unity and cooperation among the Japanese, as well as to raise energy levels and encourage good health.

The kindergarten where I work will hold its annual sports day in October, and perform the radio taiso exercises to all the parents. The sports day is still 5 weeks away and the exercises are incredibly simple, but we have to practice them every day at 9am to make sure that all the kids are in-sync.

The purpose of the exercises is not to encourage students to become athletes but to push themselves and develop unity with their classmates.

An interesting statistic = Currently, 20 percent of the entire population, or around 27 million people, and 76.4 percent of elementary schools, still do the warm-ups, according to the National Radio Exercise Federation !!

This type of exercise, and the way it is done (big groups of typically old people in perfect unison) is very easy to mock, but looking at the culture in general, where the elderly are extremely energetic and live very long lives, and where fat people are most certainly few and far between ... there may be something wonderful about it after all!

It is very easy and although the music gets a wee bit annoying... I have to admit that doing the exercise with my class is kinda fun ;)


  1. This is funny! I happened to watched NHK radio taiso this morning since I left the channel there last night. Naturally, I did it in front of the TV. Ha-ha!!!


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