Title

The Loss of the Individual, or How Japan Learned a Nationalist, Collectivist Identity Through Education

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Greg Rohlf

Abstract/Artist Statement

This paper analyzes the social impact of radical primary school education reforms in Japan beginning with the Meiji Restoration in 1868 tbrough the early 1910s, with an emphasis on a growing collectivist, nationalist identity, as well as government roles in education. The school system shifted from its foundations in the individual home or community to being standardized and Westernized by tbe government, which had a lasting impact upon the individual and national identity oftbe Japanese population. However, contrary to general understanding of Japanese modernization, tbe Westernized education was replaced by more traditional Japanese forms of education originating from samurai traditions, while teaching adherence to a new, national identity. This shift in focus laid tbe foundations for the imperialist national identity that would propel the nation through World War II. Sources of information include tbe History of Education Journal and other education history journals, tbe "Imperial Rescript on Education," tbe "Policy for the Construction of a New Japan," and other secondary analyses.

Location

Wendell Phillips Center, Room 140

Start Date

3-5-2008 9:00 AM

End Date

3-5-2008 12:30 PM

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May 3rd, 9:00 AM May 3rd, 12:30 PM

The Loss of the Individual, or How Japan Learned a Nationalist, Collectivist Identity Through Education

Wendell Phillips Center, Room 140

This paper analyzes the social impact of radical primary school education reforms in Japan beginning with the Meiji Restoration in 1868 tbrough the early 1910s, with an emphasis on a growing collectivist, nationalist identity, as well as government roles in education. The school system shifted from its foundations in the individual home or community to being standardized and Westernized by tbe government, which had a lasting impact upon the individual and national identity oftbe Japanese population. However, contrary to general understanding of Japanese modernization, tbe Westernized education was replaced by more traditional Japanese forms of education originating from samurai traditions, while teaching adherence to a new, national identity. This shift in focus laid tbe foundations for the imperialist national identity that would propel the nation through World War II. Sources of information include tbe History of Education Journal and other education history journals, tbe "Imperial Rescript on Education," tbe "Policy for the Construction of a New Japan," and other secondary analyses.