International Education Journal

WCCES 2001 Commission 6 Special Congress Issue: Japanese Education in Transition

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National Education Policy and the Masses in Modern Japan: The Origins of a State-Oriented Mentality and the Long Detour to a New Form of Citizenship Education


Satoshi Yamamura
Seiwa College, Nishinomiya, Japan
syamamura@nifty.com

 

 

 

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Abstract

The enlightened segment of the leaders of the Meiji State perceived the essential connection between modern education for the masses and modern methods of warfare. In 1872 and 1873 they introduced two new systems, the modern school system and conscription. These initial designs by the enlightened bureaucrats who eventually won the political leadership inside the central government met with a strong resistance from peasants. The government managed to mobilise the masses into its centralised system of education and politics by around the time of the Russo-Japanese War. The successful mobilisation of the whole nation was completed by the early 1930s together with permeation into the masses of a mind-set based on modern western science that was carried by enlightened bureaucrats and urban intellectuals. The plurality-oriented values of pre-modern Japan in education and politics thus ceased to exist. Today a new concept of citizenship is needed in Japan to foster community and plurality-oriented values with the concept of individuality.

Japan, modernisation, citizenship, history, education

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Yamamura, S. (2002) National Education Policy and the Masses in Modern Japan: The Origins of a State-Oriented Mentality and the Long Detour to a New Form of Citizenship Education. International Education Journal, 3 (5), 5-15.
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