About Chiropractic

About Chiropractic


In 1895 a Canadian healer, D. D.(Daniel David) Palmer discovered Chiropractic in US.The first Japanese Chiropractor is Shegetaro Morikubo who didn’t return to Japan after his graduation of Palmer School of Chiropractic in1907. Later chiropractic was introduced into Japan by Saburo Kawaguchi who graduated from Palmer school in 1916. The first chiropractic regulation of Japan was established by the governor of Kanagawa prefecture in 1918. This regulation was ended by the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (GHQ) after the World War II. In 1960 the Supreme Court of Japan decision allows anyone to practice non-regulated quasi-medical practice including chiropractic if it is not harmful to patients.

There was about a dozen who had studied in US before the war, followed by the first postwar graduate, Kazuyoshi Takeyachi who returned in 1969 after graduating from National College of Chiropractic. In 1995 finally the first international standard chiropractic college in Japan as well as Asian region, RMIT University Chiropractic Unit-Japan was established in Tokyo, Japan and received CCEA (ACCE) accreditation in 2005. As a second international standard school, Murdoch University Japan of Tokyo started in 2006 but was closed in 2010. Since 2011 RMIT University Chiropractic Unit-Japan was shifted to Tokyo College of Chiropractic (TCC) as an independent chiropractic school.

While many different practitioners such as bonesetters, masseurs, seitai(Japanese traditional manipulative therapists), accupuncturists perform spinal manipulation. The Japanese Association of Chiropractors (JAC) consisting of 70% of qualified chiropractors is a national member of WFC. In 2014 for the first time in this country, the Japan Chiropractic Register (JCR) submitted the list of registrants to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for the purpose of future legislation.

D.D. Palmer

Shegetaro Morikubo

Saburo Kawaguchi

WHO guidelines on basic training
and safety in chiropractic


‘Chiropractic (from Greek meaning treatment by hand / Kairopuraktikku-Japanese pronounciation) is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these disorders on the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual techniques, including joint adjustment (chiropractic manipulation).’
(World Federation of Chiropractic 1999)

‘A health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. There is an emphasis on manual techniques, including joint adjustment and/or manipulation, with a particular focus on subluxations.’
(World Health Organization 2005)


Medicine has a monopoly in Japan but many drugless healing arts including chiropractic are strongly supported by Japanese people. Chiropractic is yet legislated because of oppositions from medical profession and other established professional groups such as masseur, Shiatsu practitioners, acupuncturists and bonesetters. Precedence by the Supreme Court decision in 1960 allows anyone to practice spinal manipulations including chiropractic if it is not harmful to people. Today’s laissez faire situation created numerous entrepreneurs and proprietary schools.  Under this circumstance, ceasing the local standard programs and starting the new international standard colleges in the country will be the key for the future direction of the Japanese profession.


🔹A Chiropractor

– is a spinal health care expert in health care system.
– has an ability to improve function in the neuromusculoskeletal system, and over all health, wellbeing and quality of life.
– has a specialized approach to examination, diagnosis and treatment, based on best avilable research and clinical evidence with particular emphasis on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system.
– is an expertly qualified provider of spinal adjustment, manipulation and other manual treatments, exercise instruction and patient education.
(World Federation of Chiropractic 2005)

🔹Numbers of chiropractors in the world

– Total number of chiropractors (DC) over 90 countries:103,469

– United States 70,000* **
– Canada 9,000***
– Australia 5,500****
– United Kingdom 3,200*****
– Brazil 700
– Denmark 650******* 
– New Zealand 640******
– Norway 600
– Japan 560 (Japan Chiropractic Register, April 2019)
– France 400 
– Italy 400
– Hong Kong 230******** 


🔹WHO document of guidelines

“WHO Guidelines on Basic Training and Safety in Chiropractic” was compiled in November, 2005. Firstly the English edition is published along with French and Spanish editions, followed by Chinese, Finnish, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese and Turkish. Japanese edition of this guidelines document is available from mid June 2006 with the WHO approval of translation right.

🔹Chiropractic guidelines by the request of the NCAC

Japanese Association of Chiropractors released Chiropractic Guidelines on Safety and Advertising by the request of the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan (NCAC) in January 2013. This is because an increased number of accidents by manual therapists including chiropractic practitioners was reported by the NCAC in August 2012.