Education in the Empire of Japan
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. During the Edo period the common citizens of Japan were given limited means of education. What these low-class citizens did learn was geared towards the basic and practical subjects such as reading and arithmetic; the change came forth during the Meiji period. After sending several learned Japanese representatives to travel abroad, the government was able to learn many aspects of the West, from that developed a new process of education for the country. By the late 1860s, the Meiji leaders had established a system that declared equality in education for all as a means by which to help in the process of Japan entering into a more modernized nation, it was required by law.
This was done for the purpose of not only instilling the values of what it meant to be a Japanese citizen, but to bring about the knowledge necessary for the people to understand how the new nation would work under Western methods. With the change in education there was brought about more opportunities to prosper in the newly evolving and modernizing Japanese nation. Individuals and families moved up in society in ways beyond the freedoms or abilities of their ancestors; as education changed, so too did the range of talents and efforts applied by the Japanese people to enhance their society. In 1871, the Ministry of Education was established, with a school system based on the American model, which promoted a utilitarian curriculum, but with the centrally-controlled school administration system copied from France. With the aid of foreign advisors, such as David Murray and Marion McCarrell Scott, Normal Schools for teacher education were created in each prefecture. Other advisors, such as George Adams Leland, were recruited to create specific types of curriculum.
Private schools run by Buddhist temples and neighborhood associations were nationalized as elementary schools. However, they added a new curriculum which emphasized conservative, traditional ideals more reflective of Japanese values. Confucian precepts were stressed those concerning the hierarchical nature of human relations, service to the new Meiji state, the pursuit of learning, morality; these ideals, embodied in the 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education, along with centralized government control over education guided Japanese education until the end of World War II. In December, 1885, the cabinet system of government was established, 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, was intended to create loyal subjects of the Emperor.
Middle Schools were preparatory schools for students destined to enter one of the Imperial Universities, 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, promoted women's education through a separate girls' 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, design and writing, Japanese calligraphy, Japanese history, science, drawing and physical education. All children of the same age learned each subject from the same series of textbook. During the Taishō and early Shōwa periods, from 1912-1937, the education system in Japan became centralized.
From 1917-1919, the government created the Extraordinary Council on Education, 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 recognized status; the Council introduced subsidies for families too poor to afford the tuitions for compulsory education, pushed for more emphasis on moral education. During this period, new social currents, including socialism, communism and liberalism exerted influences on teachers and teaching methods; the New Educational Movement led to teachers unions and student protest movements against the nationalist educational curriculum. The government responded with increased repression, 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, were regulated and standardized by the government in the Blin
Kokutai is a concept in the Japanese language translatable as "system of government", "sovereignty", "national identity and character", "national polity. The word is a short form of the name for the National Sports Festival of Japan. Kokutai originated; the Japanese compound word joins tai. According to the Hanyu Da Cidian, the oldest guoti usages are in two Chinese classic texts; the 2nd century BCE Guliang zhuan to the Spring and Autumn Annals glosses dafu as guoti metaphorically meaning "embodiment of the country". The 1st century CE Book of Han history of Emperor Cheng of Han used guoti to mean "laws and governance" of Confucianist officials; the historical origins of kokutai go back to pre-1868 periods the Edo period ruled by the Tokugawa shogunate. Aizawa Seishisai was an authority on Neo-Confucianism and leader of the Mitogaku that supported direct restoration of the Imperial House of Japan, he popularized the word kokutai in his 1825 Shinron, which introduced the term Sonnō jōi. Aizawa developed his ideas of kokutai using the scholarly arguments of Motoori Norinaga that the Japanese national myths in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki were historical facts, believing that the Emperor was directly descended from the sun goddess Amaterasu-ōmikami.
Aizawa idealized this divinely-ruled ancient Japan as a form of saisei theocracy. For early Japanese Neo-Confucian scholars, linguist Roy Andrew Miller says, "kokutai meant something still rather vague and ill defined, it was more or less the Japanese "nation's body" or "national structure". Katō Hiroyuki and Fukuzawa Yukichi were Meiji period scholars who analyzed the dominance of Western civilization and urged progress for the Japanese nation. In 1874, Katō wrote the Kokutai Shinron, which criticized traditional Chinese and Japanese theories of government and, adopting Western theories of natural rights, proposed a constitutional monarchy for Japan, he contrasted between seitai. Brownlee explains; the Kokutai-seitai distinction enabled conservatives to identify as Kokutai, National Essence, the "native Japanese", immutable aspects of their polity, derived from history and custom, focused on the Emperor. The form of government, Seitai, a secondary concept consisted of the historical arrangements for the exercise of political authority.
Seitai, the form of government, was contingent and changed through time. Japan had experienced in succession direct rule by the Emperors in ancient times the rule of the Fujiwara Regents seven hundred years of rule by shōguns, followed by the direct rule of the Emperors again after the Meiji Restoration; each was a form of government. In this understanding, the modern system of government under the Meiji Constitution, derived this time from foreign sources, was nothing more than another form of Japanese government, a new seitai; the Constitution was nothing fundamental. Fukuzawa Yukichi was an influential author translator for the Japanese Embassy to the United States, his 1875 "Bunmeiron no Gairyaku" contradicted traditional ideas about kokutai. He reasoned that it was not unique to Japan and that every nation could be said to have a kokutai "national sovereignty". While Fukuzawa respected the Emperor of Japan, he believed kokutai did not depend upon myths of unbroken descent from Amaterasu; the Constitution of the Empire of Japan of 1889 created a form of constitutional monarchy with the kokutai sovereign emperor and seitai organs of government.
Article 4 declares that "the Emperor is the head of the Empire, combining in Himself the rights of sovereignty", uniting the executive and judicial branches of government, although subject to the "consent of the Imperial Diet". This system in practice was closer to an absolute monarchy; the legal scholar Josefa López notes that under the Meiji Constitution, kokutai acquired an additional meaning. The Government created a whole perfect new cultural system around the Tennou, the kokutai was the expression of it. Moreover, the kokutai was the basis of the sovereignty. According to Tatsukichi Minobe, kokutai is understood as the "shape of the Estate" in the sense of "Tenno as the organ of the Estate", while the authoritarians gave the kokutai a mystical power; the Tennou was a "god" among the incarnation of the national morals. This notion of kokutai was extra-juridical, more something cultural than positive; this stemmed from Itō Hirobumi's rejection of some European notions as unfit for Japan, as they stemmed from European constitutional practice and Christianity.
The references to the kokutai were the justification of the emperor's authority through his divine descent and the unbroken line of emperors, the unique relationship between subject and sovereign. The "family-state" element in it was given a great deal of prominence by political philosophy. Many conservatives supported these principles as central to Nihon shugi (Nihon gunkoku shugi, Japanese militaris
Pan-Asianism is an ideology that promotes the unity of Asian peoples. Several theories and movements of Pan-Asianism have been proposed from East and Southeast Asia. Motivating the movement has been resistance to Western imperialism and colonialism and a belief that "Asian values" should take precedence over "European values." During the Cold War, the movement became less vigorous, as nations in the region aligned with one or the other of the superpowers. Pre-World War II Japanese Pan-Asianism was, at its core, the idea that Asia should unite against European imperialism. Japanese Asianism developed in intertwining among debates on solidarity with Asian nations who were under pressure of Europe and on aggressive expansion to the Asian continent; the former debates originated from liberalism. Their ideologues were Tokichi Tarui who argued for equal Japan-Korea unionization for cooperative defence against the European powers, Kentaro Oi who attempted domestic constitutional government in Japan and reforms of Korea.
Pan-Asian thought in Japan began to develop in the late 19th century and was spurred on following the defeat of Russia in the Russo-Japanese War. This created interest from Bengali poets Rabindranath Tagore and Sri Aurobindo and Chinese politician Sun Yat-sen; the growing official interest in broader Asian concerns was shown in the establishment of facilities for Indian Studies. In 1899, Tokyo Imperial University set up a chair in Sanskrit and Kawi, with a further chair in comparative religion being set up in 1903. In this environment, a number of Indian students came to Japan in the early twentieth century, founding the Oriental Youngmen's Association in 1900, their anti-British political activity caused consternation to the Indian Government, following a report in the London Spectator. However, Japanese society had been inclined to ultranationalism from the Freedom and People's Rights Movement; the latter debates on aggressive expansionism to Asia became apparent. Their representatives were the Black Dragon Society.
The Black Dragon Society argued for Japanese imperialism and expansionism, they led to a debate on securing the Asian continent under Japanese control. Exceptionally, Ryōhei Uchida, a member of the Black Dragon Society, was a Japan-Korea unionist and activist of Philippines and Chinese revolutions. Tōten Miyazaki supported a Chinese revolution of Sun Yat-sen with spiritual sacrifice and sympathy under imperial Japan. Okakura Kakuzō criticized European imperialism as a destroyer of human beauty, argued for romantic solidarity with diverse "Asia as one" against European civilization. ASIA is one; the Himalayas divide, only to accentuate, two mighty civilisations, the Chinese with its communism of Confucius, the Indian with its individualism of the Vedas. But not the snowy barriers can interrupt for one moment that broad expanse of love for the Ultimate and Universal, the common thought-inheritance of every Asiatic race, enabling them to produce all the great religions of the world, distinguishing them from those maritime peoples of the Mediterranean and the Baltic, who love to dwell on the Particular, to search out the means, not the end, of life.
In this Okakura was utilising the Japanese concept of sangoku, which existed in Japanese culture before the concept of Asia became popularised. Sangoku means the "three countries": Honshu and Tenjiku. However, most Pan-Asianists were nationalistic and imperialistic and were connected with rightist organizations, they discussed self-righteous solidarity which led to ideology such as a "new order" of East Asia and "Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere" based on Japanese supremacy. In a Chinese perspective, Japanese Asianism was interpreted as a rationalized ideology for Japanese military aggression and political absorption. In 1917, Li Dazhao equal greater Asian union. In 1924, Sun Yat-sen stated that the West was hegemonic and the East was Confucian, he argued for full independence by resisting colonialism with "Greater Asianism" which unified Asian nations. Political leaders from Sun Yat-sen in the 1910s and 20s to Mahathir Mohamad in the 1990s argue that the political models and ideologies of Europe lack values and concepts found in Asian societies and philosophies.
European values such as individual rights and freedoms would not be suited for Asian societies in this extreme formulation of Pan-Asianism. The idea of "Asian values" is somewhat of a resurgence of Pan-Asianism. One foremost enthusiast of the idea was the former Prime Minister of Lee Kuan Yew. In India, Rammanohar Lohia dreamed of a united socialist Asia. ASEAN Asia Council Asian Relations Conference Bandung Conference East Asian Community South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Asia Cooperation Dialogue Pan-nationalism Shumei Okawa Iwane Matsui Chen, Jian. China's Road to the Korean War: The Making of the Sino-American Confrontation. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-10025-0. Saaler, Sven and J. Victor Koschmann, eds. Pan-Asianism in Modern Japanese History: Colonialism and Borders. London and New York: Routledge, 2007. ISBN 0-415-37216-X Saaler, Sven and C. W. A. Szpilman, eds. Pan-Asianism: A Documentary History, Rowman & Littlefield, 2011. Two volumes. ISBN 978-1-4422-0596-3, ISBN 978-1-4422-0599-4 Saaler, Sven and C.
W. A. Szpilman, "Japan and Asia," Saaler, Sven and C. W. A. Szpilman, eds. Routledge Handbook of Mode
National Spiritual Mobilization Movement
The National Spiritual Mobilization Movement was an organization established in the Empire of Japan as part of the controls on civilian organizations under the National Mobilization Law by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe. Representatives from 74 nationalist organizations were assembled at the Prime Minister's residence in October 1937, were told that their organizations were now part of the "Central League of the Spiritual Mobilization Movement," headed by Admiral Ryokitsu Arima and under the joint supervision of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Education; the purpose of the Movement would be to rally the nation for a total war effort against China in the Second Sino-Japanese War. Konoe ordered another 19 nationalist organizations to join the League; this movement and other policies were part of "New Order", promulgated on 3 November 1938, a holiday marking emperor Meiji's birthday. Apart from public calls for increased patriotism, the National Spiritual Mobilization Movement spanned some concrete programs like Boosting Production service to the Nation, Increasing Crops Service to the Nation and Student Volunteers Corps Service to the Nation.
It was moreover part of a general move made by the Shōwa regime to control the information which had begun in 1936 with the establishment of the Cabinet Information Committee which launched two official magazines: the Shūhō in November 1936 and the Shashin Shūhō. The purpose of these was "to ensure that the content and purport of the policies inaugurated by the Government are disseminated to the general citizenry and understood by them". Konoe's successor, Prime Minister Kiichiro Hiranuma, turned the movement over to General Sadao Araki in January 1939, who revitalized it by having it sponsor public rallies, radio programs, printed propaganda and discussion seminars at tonarigumi neighborhood associations. Famous public figures were recruited to provide lectures on the virtues of thrift and hard work, to disseminate a sense of national pride in the Japanese kokutai; the League was abolished on 20 December 1945 by the American occupation authorities after the surrender of Japan. League of Diet Members Believing the Objectives of the Holy War Imperial Rule Assistance Association SourcesBuckley, Sandra.
Encyclopedia of Contemporary Japanese Culture. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-14344-6. Duus, Peter; the Cambridge History of Japan. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-22357-1
Liberal democracy is a liberal political ideology and a form of government in which representative democracy operates under the principles of classical liberalism. Called Western democracy, it is characterised by elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, a market economy with private property and the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and political freedoms for all people. To define the system in practice, liberal democracies draw upon a constitution, either formally written or uncodified, to delineate the powers of government and enshrine the social contract. After a period of sustained expansion throughout the 20th century, liberal democracy became the predominant political system in the world. A liberal democracy may take various constitutional forms as it may be a constitutional monarchy or a republic, it may have a presidential system or a semi-presidential system.
Liberal democracies have universal suffrage, granting all adult citizens the right to vote regardless of ethnicity, sex, or property ownership. However some countries regarded as liberal democracies have had a more limited franchise and some do not have secret ballots. There may be qualifications such as voters being required to register before being allowed to vote; the decisions made through elections are made not by all of the citizens but rather by those who are eligible and who choose to participate by voting. The liberal democratic constitution defines the democratic character of the state; the purpose of a constitution is seen as a limit on the authority of the government. Liberal democracy emphasises the separation of powers, an independent judiciary and a system of checks and balances between branches of government. Liberal democracies are to emphasise the importance of the state being a Rechtsstaat, i.e. a state that follows the principle of rule of law. Governmental authority is legitimately exercised only in accordance with written, publicly disclosed laws adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedure.
Many democracies use federalism—also known as vertical separation of powers—in order to prevent abuse and increase public input by dividing governing powers between municipal and national governments. Liberal democracy traces its origins—and its name—to the European 18th-century known as the Age of Enlightenment. At the time, the vast majority of European states were monarchies, with political power held either by the monarch or the aristocracy; the possibility of democracy had not been a considered political theory since classical antiquity and the held belief was that democracies would be inherently unstable and chaotic in their policies due to the changing whims of the people. It was further believed that democracy was contrary to human nature, as human beings were seen to be inherently evil, violent and in need of a strong leader to restrain their destructive impulses. Many European monarchs held that their power had been ordained by God and that questioning their right to rule was tantamount to blasphemy.
These conventional views were challenged at first by a small group of Enlightenment intellectuals, who believed that human affairs should be guided by reason and principles of liberty and equality. They argued that all people are created equal and therefore political authority cannot be justified on the basis of "noble blood", a supposed privileged connection to God or any other characteristic, alleged to make one person superior to others, they further argued that governments exist to serve the people—not vice versa—and that laws should apply to those who govern as well as to the governed. Some of these ideas began to be expressed in England in the 17th century. There was renewed interest in Magna Carta, passage of the Petition of Right in 1628 and Habeas Corpus Act in 1679 established certain liberties for subjects; the idea of a political party took form with groups debating rights to political representation during the Putney Debates of 1647. After the English Civil Wars and the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the Bill of Rights was enacted in 1689, which codified certain rights and liberties.
The Bill set out the requirement for regular elections, rules for freedom of speech in Parliament and limited the power of the monarch, ensuring that, unlike much of Europe at the time, royal absolutism would not prevail. This led to significant social change in Britain in terms of the position of individuals in society and the growing power of Parliament in relation to the monarch. By the late 18th century, leading philosophers of the day had published works that spread around the European continent and beyond; these ideas and beliefs inspired the American Revolution and the French Revolution, which gave birth to the ideology of liberalism and instituted forms of government that attempted to apply the principles of the Enlightenment philosophers into practice. Neither of these forms of government was what we would call a liberal democracy we know today (the most significant differences being that voting rights were still restricted to a minority of the population and slavery remained a legal instituti
Hirohito was the 124th Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from 25 December 1926, until his death on 7 January 1989. He was succeeded by Akihito. In Japan, reigning emperors are known as "the Emperor" and he is now referred to by his posthumous name, Emperor Shōwa; the word Shōwa is the name of the era coinciding with the Emperor's reign, after which he is known according to a tradition dating to 1912. The name Hirohito means "abundant benevolence". At the start of his reign, Japan was one of the great powers—the ninth-largest economy in the world, the third-largest naval power, one of the four permanent members of the council of the League of Nations, he was the head of state under the Constitution of the Empire of Japan during Japan's imperial expansion and involvement in World War II. After Japan's surrender, he was not prosecuted for war crimes as many other leading government figures were, his degree of involvement in wartime decisions remains controversial.
During the post-war period, he became the symbol of the new state under the post-war constitution and Japan's recovery, by the end of his reign, Japan had emerged as the world's second largest economy. Born in Tokyo's Aoyama Palace on 29 April 1901, Hirohito was the first son of 21-year old Crown Prince Yoshihito and 17-year old Crown Princess Sadako, he was the grandson of Yanagihara Naruko. His childhood title was Prince Michi. On the 70th day after his birth, Hirohito was removed from the court and placed in the care of the family of Count Kawamura Sumiyoshi, a former vice-admiral, to rear him as if he were his own grandchild. At the age of 3, Hirohito and his brother Chichibu were returned to court when Kawamura died – first to the imperial mansion in Numazu, Shizuoka back to the Aoyama Palace. In 1908, he began elementary studies at the Gakushūin; when his grandfather, Emperor Meiji, died on 30 July 1912, Hirohito's father, assumed the throne and Hirohito became the heir apparent. At the same time, he was formally commissioned in both the army and navy as a second lieutenant and ensign and was decorated with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum.
In 1914, he was promoted to the ranks of lieutenant in the army and sub-lieutenant in the navy to captain and lieutenant in 1916. He was formally proclaimed Crown Prince and heir apparent on 2 November 1916. Hirohito attended Gakushūin Peers' School from 1908 to 1914 and a special institute for the crown prince from 1914 to 1921. In 1920, Hirohito was promoted to the rank of Major in the army and Lieutenant Commander in the navy. In 1921, Hirohito took a six-month tour of Western Europe, including the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium. After his return to Japan, Hirohito became Regent of Japan on 29 November 1921, in place of his ailing father, affected by a mental illness. In 1923, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the army and Commander in the navy, to army Colonel and Navy Captain in 1925. During Hirohito's regency, a number of important events occurred: In the Four-Power Treaty on Insular Possessions signed on 13 December 1921, the United States and France agreed to recognize the status quo in the Pacific, Japan and Britain agreed to terminate formally the Anglo-Japanese Alliance.
The Washington Naval Treaty was signed on 6 February 1922. Japan withdrew troops from the Siberian Intervention on 28 August 1922; the Great Kantō earthquake devastated Tokyo on 1 September 1923. On 27 December 1923, Daisuke Namba attempted to assassinate Hirohito in the Toranomon Incident but his attempt failed. During interrogation, he claimed to be a communist and was executed but some have suggested that he was in contact with the Nagacho faction in the Army. Prince Hirohito married his distant cousin Princess Nagako Kuni, the eldest daughter of Prince Kuniyoshi Kuni, on 26 January 1924, they had five daughters. The daughters who lived to adulthood left the imperial family as a result of the American reforms of the Japanese imperial household in October 1947 or under the terms of the Imperial Household Law at the moment of their subsequent marriages. On 25 December 1926, Hirohito assumed the throne upon Yoshihito's, death; the Crown Prince was said to have received the succession. The Taishō era's end and the Shōwa era's beginning were proclaimed.
The deceased Emperor was posthumously renamed Emperor Taishō within days. Following Japanese custom, the new Emperor was never referred to by his given name, but rather was referred to as "His Majesty the Emperor", which may be shortened to "His Majesty". In writing, the Emperor was referred to formally as "The Reigning Emperor". In November 1928, the Emperor's ascension was confirmed in ceremonies which are conventionally identified as "enthronement" and "coronation"; the first part of Hirohito's reign took plac