“Jidobuyo” is a form of children’s physical expression with music that flourished in Japan from the Taisho period to the Showa period. While “yugi” is dance for children that has been inherited from the Meiji period. The term “jidobuyo” was used instead of “yugi” by Sueo Kanemaki (1899－1983) who was considered a leader in the development of jidobuyo as an institution. Kanemaki placed great importance on the relationship between music and movement, and wrote about the notion in detail, enabling the concept to be examined from a historical perspective. The current study aimed to examine Kanemaki’s theory, focusing on the relationship between music and the movement involved in jidobuyo. The results suggest, this concept was developed at the historical transition of children’s physical expression. Kanemaki’s book, Gakko Buyo Riron yori Sosaku e (“School dance: from theory to practice”) was the main subject of this study. This text was selected for study because it was written after studying abroad, enabling an analysis of the source of Kanemaki’s theories and the process by which the distinctive theory of dance was developed by incorporating foreign conceptions of dance. Specifically, Kanemaki’s statements on the relationship between music and movement were analyzed in detail. This analysis revealed three main findings: Kanemaki’s ideal dance movements involved (1) choreography at the core of music; (2) avoiding enumeration of poses that suggested the meaning of words in music; and (3) expressing the mood of words in music. These viewpoints were historically significant for two reasons. First, Kanemaki’s theory led children’s physical expression to be more artistic and more emotional. Second, this theory played an important role in establishing the pairing of rhythmical movements and music.