Asian-American Education: Historical Background and Current Realities

By Meyer Weinberg | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
Japan

Barely a century ago, Japan instituted a public school system. The action followed a thousand years of desultory provision of education for the country's elite. By 1920, the Japanese school system was the most extensive in the world. Nevertheless, inequality characterized the schools at numerous points in their history.

As early as A.D. 701, sons of government officials and local elites could attend the Grand School. Examinations for purposes of qualifying for government employment were given, but children of officials were exempt from taking them. They occupied official positions as a matter of right. During the following 5 centuries, aristocratic families organized their own schools that were thought to be a more effective avenue to officialdom. By the 13th century, five such schools existed. Not accidentally, the dominant great families of the country also numbered five.

Meanwhile, the aristocracy had been largely shunted aside by the warrior class, the samurai. Largely illiterate, the warriors exercised extensive power in society. As Kobayashi wrote, after the 17th century, "the military class transferred themselves to the military-bureaucratic class and literary abilities were required to carry out this new function."1 Special schools, some directly financed by the central government, were established for samurai. Distinctions among the samurai were respected and upper and lower samurai attended separate schools. The sons of wealthy commoners might also attend the same schools but were not permitted to share classrooms. The nearest thing to universal schooling between the 13th and 17th centuries were schools conducted in Bud

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Asian-American Education: Historical Background and Current Realities
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter One: Introduction 1
  • Chapter Two - China 12
  • Chapter Two - China 36
  • Notes 37
  • Chapter Three - Chap 42
  • Notes 67
  • Chapter Four - Korea 74
  • Notes 92
  • Chapter Five - Philippines 97
  • Notes 122
  • Concluding Remarks 128
  • Notes 151
  • Chapter Seven - Cambodia 156
  • Concluding Remarks 170
  • Notes 171
  • Chapter Eight Laos 176
  • Notes 199
  • Chapter Nine Hong Kong 205
  • Notes 221
  • Chapter Ten Taiwan 226
  • Notes 237
  • Chapter Eleven Micronesia 241
  • Notes 255
  • Chapter Twelve Polynesia 259
  • Notes 281
  • Chapter Thirteen India 287
  • Notes 307
  • Chapter Fourteen Cross-Group Issues 313
  • Notes 327
  • Index 331
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