World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Education in the Empire of Japan

Article Id: WHEBN0006213944
Reproduction Date:

Title: Education in the Empire of Japan  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Empire of Japan, Imperial Rescript on Education, Ministry of Home Affairs (Japan), Government Seal of Japan, Luo Zhenyu
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Education in the Empire of Japan

Ministry of Education of Japan, circa 1890

Education in the Empire of Japan was a high priority for the government, as the leadership of the early Meiji government realized the critical need for universal public education in its drive to modernize and westernize Japan. Overseas missions such as the Iwakura mission were sent abroad to study the education systems of leading Western countries.

Military training courses at Keio University

Education Policy during Meiji era

In 1871, the George Adams Leland, were recruited to create specific types of curriculum.

Private schools run by Buddhist temples (terakoya) and neighborhood associations were nationalized as elementary schools; feudal domain schools run by daimyo became middle schools, and the Tokugawa shogunal Academy became the foundation of Tokyo Imperial University.

However,they added a new curriculum which emphasized conservative, traditional ideals more reflective of Japanese values. Confucian precepts were stressed, especially those concerning the hierarchical nature of human relations, service to the new Meiji state, the pursuit of learning, and morality. These ideals, embodied in the 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education, along with highly centralized government control over education, largely guided Japanese education until the end of World War II.

In December, 1885, the cabinet system of government was established, and Mori Arinori became the first Minister of Education of Japan. Mori, together with Inoue Kowashi created the foundation of the Empire of Japan's educational system by issuing a series of orders from 1886. These laws established an elementary school system, middle school system, normal school system and an imperial university system.

Elementary school was made compulsory from 1872, and was intended to create loyal subjects of the Emperor. Middle Schools were preparatory schools for students destined to enter one of the Imperial Universities, and the Imperial Universities were intended to create westernized leaders who would be able to direct the modernization of Japan.

With the increasing industrialization of Japan, demand increased for higher education and vocational training. Inoue Kowashi, who followed Mori as Minister of Education established a state vocational school system, and also promoted women's education through a separate girl's school system.

Compulsory education was extended to six years in 1907. According to the new laws, textbooks could only be issued upon the approval of the Ministry of Education. The curriculum was centered on moral education (mostly aimed at instilling patriotism), mathematics, design, reading and writing, composition, Japanese calligraphy, Japanese history, geography, science, drawing, singing, and physical education. All children of the same age learned each subject from the same series of textbook.

1912-1937

During the Taishō and early Shōwa periods, from 1912-1937, the education system in Japan became increasingly centralized. From 1917-1919, the government created the Extraordinary Council on Education (臨時教育会議 Rinji Kyōiku Kaigi), which issued numerous reports and recommendations on educational reform. One of the main emphases of the Council was in higher education. Prior to 1918, "university" was synonymous with "imperial university", but as a result of the Council, many private universities obtained officially recognized status. The Council also introduced subsidies for families too poor to afford the tuitions for compulsory education, and also pushed for more emphasis on moral education.

During this period, new social currents, including socialism, communism, anarchism, and liberalism exerted influences on teachers and teaching methods. The New Educational Movement (新教育運動 Shin Kyōiku Undō) led to teachers unions and student protest movements against the nationalist educational curriculum. The government responded with increased repression, and adding some influences from the German system in an attempt to increase the patriotic spirit and step up the militarization of Japan. The Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors became compulsory reading for students during this period.

Specialized schools for the blind and for the deaf were established as early as 1878, and were regulated and standardized by the government in the Blind, Deaf and Dumb Schools Order of 1926. Blind people were encouraged toward vocations such as massage, acupuncture, physical therapy and piano tuning.

1937-1945

Military training courses at Osaka Municipal Commercial College

After the Manchurian Incident of 1931, the curriculum of the national educational system became increasingly nationalistic and after the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937, the curriculum became increasingly militaristic and was influenced by ultranationalist Education Minister Sadao Araki.

In 1941, elementary schools were renamed National People's Schools (國民學校 Kokumin Gakkō)(Translation of German word Volksschule) and students were required to attend Youth Schools (青年学校 Seinen Gakkō) vocational training schools on graduation, which mixed vocational and basic military training (for boys) and home economics (for girls). The Seinen Gakkō also conducted classes at night for working boys and girls.

Normal schools were renamed Specialized Schools (専門学校 Senmon Gakkō), and were often affiliated with a university. The Senmon Gakkō taught medicine, law, economics, commerce, agricultural science, engineering or business management. The aim of the Senmon Gakkō was to produce a professional class, rather than intellectual elite. In the pre-war period, all higher school for women were Senmon Gakkō.

After the start of the Emperor worship cult, and loyalty to the most important values of the nation, and the importance of ancient military virtues.

After the surrender of Japan in 1945, the United States Education Missions to Japan in 1946 and again in 1950 under the direction of the American occupation authorities abolished the old educational framework and established the foundation of Japan's post-war educational system.

See also

References

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.