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Entrance examinations in prewar Japan, late Meiji to 1941 Datta, Shammi 1992

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ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONS IN PREWAR JAPAN, LATE NEIJI TO 1941bySHAMMI DATTAB.A., International Christian University, 1990A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of History)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAApril 1992© Shammi DattaIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department of ^IA 5-roR The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate  APRIL 21 ^1 6192_DE-6 (2/88)ABSTRACTThe focus of this thesis is the influence of entranceexaminations on the education and lives of students in prewarJapan. I investigate the content and the extent of the tests'effect through contemporary media reports and officialcriticism. I show that the influence was similar to that inpostwar Japan, and that it extended beyond the few who enteredthe elite schools. In a direct or indirect manner, the testsaffected the education of most elementary school students.Official criticism of this extensive influence was followed byvigorous reform efforts from the late 1920s. Despite theseattempts, the influence persisted and was routinized. Thereasons for this are explored by tracing the responses of theschools, the students and their parents to the bureaucraticreforms. These sectors of society defied official directives,for the tests (in their established form) served an importantpurpose for each of them. The government tried to alter thenature of the examinations and prohibited many activitiesresulting form them, but it had an interest in the continuationof the tests as well. This multiple interest facilitated thepersistence of difficult entrance examinations and theireffects. The basic reason for their extensive influence and fortheir multiple utility is found in the gap between the demandfor and supply of post-elementary education in a society whereiisuccess through academic credentials was accessible andappealing to most youths.The defiance of government orders by the concerned sectorsof society illustrates aspects in the government-societyrelationship that suggest the need for revisions in the existinggeneral interpretation of that relationship--the formerexercising totalitarian control over the latter.iiiTABT  OF CONTENTSABSTRACT^LIST OF TABTES  viLIST OF FIGURES^ viiA I • 311102 ^ viiiINTRODUCTION  1The Problem 41. THE SCHOOL SYSTEM IN PREWAR JAPAN^  82. FROM JLEENZASSKI TO SUICIDE: THE CONSEQUENCES OFENTRANCE EXAMINATIONS BEYOND FORMAL EDUCATION^ 15Juken Zasshi 16Ranking of Schools and "Escalator" Schools 23ROnin, Yobik6, and Tokyo 26Shiken Jigoku and Extra Efforts 323. PREPARATORY EDUCATION FOR ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONSAND THE ATTEMPTS AT REFORM^  38The Content of Secondary School Entrance Examinations 40Preparatory Education 44Mombusho and Entrance Examinations 55Mombusho and Preparatory Education 64iv4 . SUPPLY AND DEMAND : =SHIN SHUSSE AND GAKUREECT SHUGI^ 76CONCLUSION^  88BIBLIOGRAPHY  95GLOSSARY^ 102LIST OF TABLES1. Middle School Entrance RatesHigher School Entrance Rates^  87viLIST OF FIGURES1. Japan's Prewar School System (1919) ^  132. Japan's Postwar School System  14vii1 • 2110• 2I am deeply grateful to Professor William Wray for hisguidance during my two years at the University of BritishColumbia. I also thank everyone at UBC Interlibrary Loan andMr. Tsuneharu Gonnami of UBC Asian Library. My special thanksgo to Erina for her long support.viiiINTRCDUCTIONIn this paper I explore the influence of entranceexaminations in prewar Japan. I analyze the nature, theextent, and the routinization of the tests' influence. Thesaga of the routinization is highly relevant to re-understanding the state-society relationship before thePacific War. I also examine whether or not the consequencesof the prewar tests were similar to those in postwar Japan.The postwar effects of entrance examinations have beenthe focus of several works. 1 Indeed, the examinations areextremely influential in contemporary Japan's social andeducational scene. All high schools and universities selectentrants by their own tests. Several prestigious privateuniversities have attached lower-level schools that requireentrance examinations as well. Entry into these attached1 Some such works are: Kuroha Ryoichi, Aylgaku Shiken(Nihon keizai shimbunsha, 1978); Shimizu Yoshihiro, Shiken(Iwanami shoten, 1957); E. R. Beachamp, "Shiken Jigoku: TheProblem of Entrance Exams in Japan," Asian Profile 6:6(1978), pp. 543-560; T. P. Rohlen Japan's High Schools(Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press,1983), pp. 77-110; and Erza F. Vogel, "The Gateway to Salary:Japan's Infernal Entrance Examinations," in learning to beJapanese, ed. E. R. Beachamp (Hamden, Linnet Books, 1978),pp. 213-239; Victor Kobayashi, "Japan's Examination Hell,"Education Forum v. 23 (1963), pp. 19-23.1"escalator" schools assures access to the university withouta grueling examination. Schools in general tend to be rankedby the difficulty of their examinations and how well theyprepare students to enter prestigious institutions at thenext stage. Conpanies give preference to graduates of highlyranked schools in hiring and promoting employees.Consequently, among the youth the race for a decent career ata respectable firm begins with school entrance examinations.Competition to enter prestigious universities, highly rankedhigh schools, and the "escalator" schools is severe to saythe least. Even mediocre schools set difficult examinationsthat require considerable memorization. The competitive anddemanding nature of the tests necessitate excessivepreparation in and outside school. Students attend cramschools (juku) after classes, and if they fail to enter aschool of their choice, they enroll as remin at privatepreparatory schools where they study for an extra year ortwo. The extra mental assurance of examination successtalisman (juken amamori) usually accompanies academicpreparation. Parents are as frantic as the students, andperhaps even more so. "Education mothers" (kyOlku mama)pester their children to study long hours from an early age.Come examination season, some mothers even abstain from afavorite activity (as in ocha dachi, or giving up tea) in thesuperstitious hope that their sacrifice will be rewarded bytheir child's success. Along with the preparatory schools,publishers of examination magazine and study guides depend2on the examinations for what appears be a lucrative business.Preparation for the competitive tests and pressure to succeedmakes the students' lives an "examination hell"--a state ofmental and physical stress, leading in extreme cases even tosuicide, usually after failure. A sense of controversysurrounds the examinations due to their extreme influence onthe students' education and entire lives. The nation'sprewar experience with entrance examinations is alsopertinent to this controversy.Western scholars investigating prewar educationalhistory have focused on themes such as the elite in thehigher schools and universities, government control, nationalethics, and patriotism. Most Japanese and Western worksexamining entrance examinations have concentrated on thepostwar period. 2 Some Japanese scholars have explained theorigins of the examinations at the post-secondary level inthe Meiji period (1868-1912). 3 Most scholars have made briefcomments regarding the prewar situation as they introducetheir analysis of the postwar entrance examinations. Thereappears to be a general consensus that, even though entranceexaminations were used as a means of selection before the2 Ibid.3 Amano Ikuo has insightfully examined entranceexaminations along with other school and occupationalexaminations in the Meiji period. Entrance examinations onlyaffected an elite minority in the Meiji era. Amano Ikuo,Shiken no shakai shi: kindai Nihon no shiken, kyósiku, shakai,(Tokyo University Press, 1983). See also, Fukaya Masashi,Gakureki shugi no keifu (Peimei shob8), 1969.3war, there effects were limited to an elite minority. Suchcontentions are typically based on statistics showing thatonly 10% to 20% and 3% to 4% of those who completedelementary education proceeded on to secondary and higherschools respectively. 4 Some have also contended that "thepractice of remin was virtually unknown," 5 or thatconcentration of applicants around the famous schools and theconcept of a favored route to enter prestigious institutionswere postwar developments. 6The ProblemThe initial questions that I address are: What and howpervasive were the educational and social consequences ofentrance examinations in prewar Japan? Were they in factlimited to the education of the few destined to proceed tothe elite tracks? Were many of the examination phenomenaprevalent today present before 1945?I will show that most consequences already existed andextended beyond the student elite. The elite that passed theentrance examinations to middle and higher schools were,4 See for example, Shimbori Michiya, Gakureki:Jitsuryoku shugi o habamu mono (Daiyamondo sha, 1966), p. 87-88; Shimizu, Shiken, p. 18-19; Shimizu Yoshihiro, "EntranceExaminations," Journal of Social and Political Ideas in Japan1:3 (December 1963), p. 89.5 H. D. Smith, Japan's First Student Radicals(Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1972), p. 272-274.6 Shimbori, Gakureki, pp. 88-93.4indeed, a minority compared to those that graduated fromelementary school. Some effects were more prevalent amongthe elite, but not limited to them. Moreover, I argue thatin order to understand the full extent of the influence ofprewar entrance examinations, we have to reach lower and seehow it affected the actual education (and thus the lives) ofelementary school students. That influence on formalinstruction, in the form of preparatory education, waswidespread. It was widely perceived as a social problem,which persisted despite much criticism and numerous reformefforts by the authorities.This raises other important questions. Why were theeffects of entrance examinations so pervasive? Moreover, iftheir influence on elementary education was extensive and waseven criticized, and if the government attempted, to reformthe situation, why were entrance examinations and theirinfluence routinized during the period in question? Why werethe tests not reformed enough to terminate their influence oneducation? What does this suggest regarding the relationshipbetween Mombusho (Ministry of Education) and the actualconductors and receivers of education?The basic reason for the widespread consequences ofentrance examinations, the continued necessity of the tests,and the routinization of their effects in prewar Japan is thegap between the demand for and supply of "desirable" post-elementary education. Given the high demand or competition toenter good schools, the actual style or content of the5examinations is also significant in explaining the intensityof preparatory education, the most prevalent consequence ofthe tests.To explain why entrance examinations and theirinfluence persisted despite government reform, I will examine(in the context of that very reform movement) the interactionbetween the government and society, that is, the schools, thestudents and their parents. We shall see that these threeelements of society managed to defy Mbmbusho directives aimedat curbing the importance of entrance examinations in theeducation system. The concerned sectors of society carriedon as before. This was possible because each party had aninterest in the continuation of entrance examinations. Thisautonomous and at times defiant behavior points toinadequacies in the general view of the government-societyrelationship in the realm of education which portraysMbmbusho as controlling the latter in an extremely completeand authoritarian manner. Room in the interpretation has tobe made for freedom and disobedience on the part of society.The structure of the thesis is as follows: Chapter 1briefly describes the prewar school system. The purpose isto provide the reader with the general framework and not totrace the evolution of the entrance examination system in thehistory of Japan's modern education.? Chapter 2 examines the7 The system history begins early in the Meiji periodand is one of tedious detail with differences in each track.For our purposes, it is sufficient to note that the Nbmbusho6consequences of entrance examinations beyond formaleducation. Chapter 3 discusses the influence of the tests onformal education and Mombusho's efforts at reform. It alsoinvestigates the interaction between Mombusho and society.Chapter 4 analyzes the demand-supply gap in post-elementaryeducation.The purpose of this study is to clarify the influence ofentrance examinations and same aspects of the government-society relationship in prewar Japan. Historicalconsiderations aside, such an undertaking is also relevant tounderstanding the tightness of the examinations' grasp oneducation and society today.Orders in mid-Meiji concerning each type of post-elementaryschool provided for the use of examinations as a means ofselecting entrants. There is ample documentation for a systemhistory in: Mbmbusho, ed.,ktiji ik(5 kyoiku seido hattatsu shi(Mbmbushi, 1939), and Kindai Nihon kyOiku seido shiry6hensankai, Kindai Nihon KyOiku Seido Shiry6 (Kodansha, 1956-1959). For accounts in Japanese, see: Ikeda Susumu, "Nihon nonyllgaku seido no enkaku," Kyoto Daigaku kyOiku gakubu iciy6 v.4 (1958), pp. 96-124 and Masuda Koichi, Aylgaku shiken: kakokara genzai made (Minshil kyOiku kyOkai, 1958).7CHAPTER 1THE SCHOOL SYSTEM IN PREWAR JAPANThe story of Japan's national school system begins earlyin the Meiji period. Starting with the Education SystemOrder (Gakusei) of 1872, the system was constantly in fluxfor the next four decades. It is generally agreed, however,that the educational structure was consolidated by the lateMeiji or the early Taisho (1912-1926) period. It is not myintention to trace the system's evolution. For ourpurposes, a basic familiarity with the general framework ofthe system in its mature stage, and the differences with thepostwar school system, is essential. 8The upshot of several government orders and numerousrevisions by the late Meiji period was an extremely camplex,multi-track school system. Minor structural changescontinued during the Taisho and the prewar Showa (1926-1989)periods. For us, however, these are of little significance,8 For historical accounts of Japan's education system,see: Kaigo Tokiomi, Japanese Education: Its Past and Present(Tokyo, Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai, 1965); Ministry ofEducation (Tokyo), Japan's Modern Education System (1980);Department of Education, Tokyo, A General Survey of Educationin Japan (1926 and 1933); Mombusho, Gakusei hachijOnen shi(1954); and Miambusho l Gakusei kyujOnen shi (1964).8as are many of the complicated details in the official systemcharts. The general framework of the system from the lateMeiji period to 1941 resembled the simplified system chartfor 1919 (Figure 1 at the end of this chapter). 9As in Japan today, compulsory education began at agesix. Tuition was made free from 1900, and the duration ofthe ordinary elementary school (jinje3 shO gakkO) course wasextended from four to six years in 1908. 10 Elementaryschools were coeducational, and the attendance rate forschool age children was over 90% from 1902. By 1909, therate had reached 98% and remained over 99% from 1920. 11Textbooks were standardized, and the curriculum includedJapanese language, Japanese history, geography, arithmetic,science, drawing, singing, physical education and sewing forgirls.By the Taisho period, most students proceeded to someform of post-elementary education. Unlike the compulsory,single-track junior high school in postwar Japan (Figure 2),prewar students had to choose from several tracks. Noexamination was required to enter the two-year higher9 Detailed official charts can be found in Nbmbusho,Gakusei hachijiinen shi, pp. 1026-1033; Mbmbusho,GakuseikyujOnen shi, pp. 583-591; and in Ministry of Education(Tokyo), Japan's Modern Education, pp. 429-449.10 The term 'ordinary' was used to distinguish thecompulsory years from the non-compulsory higher elementaryschool. In this thesis, 'elementary schools' is used to meanordinary elementary schools.11 MOmbusho, Gakusei hachijOnen shi, pp. 1036-1038.9elementary school (kioste5 shO gakkO). Affordable for all,these schools offered manual training, agriculture, commerceand domestic science in addition to the elementary schoolcurriculum. Entry into these schools did not preclude astudent from applying for middle school or girls' high schoolentrance examinations. In fact, these schools were oftenviewed by students and parents as additional preparation forsecondary school entrance examinations.Secondary schools (chOtO gakkO) included the middleschools for boys (chi') gakkO), ordinary course of higherschools (equivalent to middle school), the girls' highschools (Witc5 jo gakko or jo gakk(5), and the vocationalschools (jitsugye3 gakkO). Each secondary school had its ownentrance examinations. For boys, the five-year middle schoolswere the preferred option. These schools were the initialstep in the elite track that led to the universities. Middleschool students studied morals, civics, Japanese language,Chinese classics, history, geography, a foreign language,mathematics, science, technical/vocational studies, drawing,music, practical work, and physical education. Rigoroustraining in academic subjects took precedence over vocationalcourses, which were generally offered as electives.Girls' high schools were more diverse in charactercompared to the middle schools. In addition to the academiccourses, the curriculum covered domestic science, sewing,handicraft, child care, and ethics for women. The mandatoryschool program would take four to five years. Students could10choose between a regular academic course or a domestic coursewith less academic emphasis. The majority of entryapplications were to the former.Vocational schools trained students in technical skillsrequired for a variety of trades. This category of secondaryschools was the most diverse as it comprised commercial,agricultural, nautical and other technical institutions.These schools held lower status than the other tracks, butcompetition to enter government and some private vocationalschools was high. Vocational schools gained popularity asunemployment of higher school and university graduates becamea periodic problem from the early Showa period.Post-secondary educational opportunities for boys not inmiddle schools and for all girls consisted primarily ofnormal schools (shihan gakkO). Some secondary institutionsand higher elementary schools provided postgraduate orresearch courses after completion of the regular course.Some of these courses and all the normal schools requiredentrance examinations. In addition to normal schools, middleschool graduates could proceed to private colleges (semengakkO) or to the three-year higher schools (kOtO gakkO) thatled to the imperial universities. From 1918, collegesmatching certain standards could attain recognition asuniversities. These private universities usually establishedtheir own higher schools. Selection methods at these higherinstitutions were also entrance examinations conductedindividually by each school. Higher school graduates entered11universities without an examination, except in the case ofpopular departments such as medicine and law.The establishment of part-time youth schools (seinengakkO) in 1935 was the only structural modification to theschool system between 1919 and 1940. Separate for girls andboys, these post-elementary institutions provided vocationaltraining for working youths. Entry was without anexamination and could be after completion of elementary orhigher elementary school. Girls could attend until age 17and boys until age 19. In 1939, these schools were madecompulsory for 12-19 year old boys not attending any otherschool.Such was the general framework of the school system fromthe Taisho to the prewar Showa period. Structurally thesystem, was considerably different from the system today.However, the following pages will show that there wereconsiderable similarities in the effects of entranceexaminations in pre- and postwar Japan.12Normal Schools(first track)Fig.1 Japan's Prewar School System (1919)Graduate StudiesSchoolYear^kgrt24-1823172216211520141913181217-1116-1015-14.813-712-11-510 ,9321964HigherSchaalOrdinaryCUniversitiesHigherSchoolsMiddleSchools(Boys)Ordinary Elementary Schools(Compulsory Education)Higher Normal SchoolsLII•1I■111•■CollegesGirls'HighSchoolsHigher Normal Schools for WomenHigher Elemen.terySchoolsrural Schools (Second Track)VocationalSchools8-7-65- Kindergarten4-3-preparatory course leading to the specific school the course was offered by.Source: Compiled bu author. _Based on Mombusho.Gakusei k0jOnenshi  , p. 588and Ministry of Education,Japan's  Modern Educational System,1 3ProfessionalSchoolsHigh SchoolsHigh School ^Part-time /CorrespondenceI Courses II reduate SchoolUniversitiesJuniorCollegesJunior High SchoolsElementary SchoolsKindergartenFig_ 2_^Japan's Postwar School System Source: Compiled by author. Based on Mombusho,Gakusei kyaj  linen shi  , (1964), pp. 590-591.SchoolYe or age2418 23-1722-1621-15 20-14191318-1217-1 116-10159148137 126 11510493 8-27-165-4-3-14CHAPTER 2FROM JUKEN ZASSHI TO SUICIDE: THE CONSEQUENCESOF ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONS BEYOND FORMAL EDUCATIONThe effects of entrance examinations can be broadlydivided into those within and those beyond formal education.The former category comprises the tests' influence on actualinstruction at schools. Preparatory education (jumtikyeliku)--teaching geared towards preparing students for theentrance examinations of the schools at the next level--andthe effects of this education on the students' lives comeunder this category. However, the influence of theexaminations is not limited to formal learning. The testsaffect the students' lives beyond the classroom, and theirsocial consequences are numerous. These affects outside theclassroom are categorized in this paper as those beyondformal education. The purpose of this chapter is toillustrate the influential nature of prewar entranceexaminations in the sense that they had already produced manyof the phenomena beyond formal education that characterizeentrance examination competition in postwar Japan.Several phenomena that are the subject of this chapteraffected fewer students than did the consequences related toformal education. Whereas preparatory education at the15elementary level affected even those students who did not aimto enter difficult schools, these phenomena largely concernedthose who did attempt to enter competitive institutions. Itis nevertheless important to examine these aspects, for theyconstitute part of the total picture of the educational andsocial influence of entrance examinations. They also show acontinuity in the effects of entrance examinations from theprewar to the postwar period. It should be noted, however,that these consequences did extend beyond those who actuallyattended middle school. Several girls' high schools andvocational schools were as competitive as the middle schools.Moreover, anyone able to pass the middle school graduationequivalency test was eligible to sit for the higher schooland higher normal school entrance examinations. In terms ofthe education system charts, it means that proceeding to ahigher elementary or vocational school did not preclude onefrom the elite track to the university. The fact that manytried and some succeeded is evident from Mombusho directivesin 1935 that made it harder for vocational school graduatesto proceed to higher institutions. 12Juken Zasshi Juken zasshi are magazines aimed at students preparingto take entrance examinations. In postwar Japan, they are12 Ikeda, AyOgaku seido, p. 122-123.16considered to be indispensable by the jukensei (studentspreparing for or taking an entrance examination). They alsoconstitute a significant portion of the industry that dependson entrance examinations (juken sangy6). Examinationpreparation magazines were already an integral part of theexamination industry and the jukensei's world in the prewarperiod. Thus, this juken literature requires our attentionas an important aspect of the influence exerted by entranceexaminations.Juken zasshi targeted at youths preparing for post-secondary school entrance examination were in existence sincethe late Meiji period. 13 Their prototype was the Tokyoyagaku annai^guide to studying in Tokyo). First13 Most of the prewar juken zasshi are not easilyaccessible now. Kimura Shoshu, in ShOnen EUngaku shi Meijihen (Dowa Shunju sha, 1949), discusses some Meiji periodyouth magazines, but not entrance examinations. A 16 volumecollection of Meiji to prewar Showa examination magazines isnow being compiled and is much awaited: Ogawa Toshio et al.,eds., Kindai Nihon KyOlku sash°, Part V, Shingaku annai(Nihon tosho senta). The following is summarized from:1Myemen no jukensei no tame ni - Showa saisho no jukenkai notaisei o hOzu" (A report for next year's jukensei on thegeneral trends of the examination world in the beginning ofthe Showa period), ChOgaku sekai no. 30:7 (1927), pp. 2-10;Amano,Shiken, pp. 231-238; Takeuchi Yo, "Jukensei moyu Meijino shojin," Nihon Keizai shimbun, 3 February, 1991; AraseYutaka, "Mass Communication Between the Two World. Wars,"Developing Economies 5:4 (December 1967), pp. 755-6. To myknowledge, the only English work that has significantly usedsome of these youth periodicals, though in a differentcontext, is E. H. Kinmonth, The Self Made Mn in AbijiJapanese Thought: From Samurai to Salaryman (Berkeley,University of California Press, 1981).17published in the 1890s, the magazine gave its readers usefultips on studying in Tokyo to prepare for entranceexaminations to higher institutions. It contained a sectionon the entrance regulations of several institutions and a fewsample questions from entrance examinations of leadinggovernment schools. However, this magazine was concernedmore with assisting students to adjust to life in Tokyo thanthe examinations themselves, since the success rate to enterhigher school was still relatively high compared to the lateMeiji period onwards. Between 1896 and 1908 the ratedeclined gradually from 56.0% to 20.5% and was between 10% to18% in the 1920s and 1930s. 14 The rate is higher in theearlier period because the middle schools had not yetexpanded enough to produce sufficient graduates to createsevere competition.The first magazine to directly address entranceexaminations was the irregular special issue of aulgaku Sekai(Middle school world). Titled Saikin juken kai(Contemporary Examination World), this issue appeared twiceor thrice per year from 1907. From the Taisho periodonwards, there appeared same 30 different magazines, such asKatei to gakke3 (Home and Schools) and Juken to gakusei(Examinations and Students), that were devoted completely or14 Annual Report for the Minister of State forEducation, Tokyo, nos. 28-59 (1900-1932), Masuda, Wilgakushiken, p. 117. Severe competition was, needless to say, acrucial reason for the effects of entrance examinations. Itreceives further treatment in Chapter 4.18partially to entrance examinations . These magazinescontained accounts from successful students, hints on how tostudy, how many hours to study per day, and which preparationreference books to read how many times. Also common wasadditional advice on how to stay refreshed by taking walksand applying cold cloths to one's body, as was cautionagainst the distractions of one's surroundings. Studentsseem to have been among the regular patrons of Tokyo's red-light districts. Some magazines actually provided usefulinformation about specific higher schools and their entranceprocedures. It seems, though, that most were not examinationpreparation magazines in the strict sense of providing studymaterial or questions. Rather, they were advisory guidesthat helped create the concept of an ideal life of a jukenseior a rOnin much like the one that still exists. The idealjukensei concentrated singularly on his studies. He woke upto his books before dawn and did not part with them untillate at night. In general, anything associated with pleasurewas not for his world of effort and diligence. While a visitto a prostitute or an involved relationship with a girl couldbe devastating, even masturbation was considered to decreaseone's intelligence and the ability to memorize.A somewhat different brand of juken literature targetedat applicants to higher schools were the reference books orstudy guides (sankOsho). In existence since the mid4leijiperiod, these guides provided study material and practicequestions. Some covered all the subjects tested in higher19school entrance examinations, while others specialized in aparticular area. Some of these were actually quite useful inpreparing for the tests. There seems to have been quite anabundance of these guides, for many juken zasshi often had asection on selecting from the available references. 15Apart from the wide variety of juken literature forthose attempting to enter higher schools, there appearedsimilar periodicals aimed at elementary school studentspreparing for secondary school entrance examinations in theprewar Showa period. ShOgakkan published curriculum reviewmagazines for first to sixth grade students. 16 These weresimply titled ShOgaku rokunensei (Sixth grade elementarystudents), or ShOgaku gonensei (Fifth grade elementarystudents). The sixth grade supplementary reader waspredominantly a preparation magazine for entranceexaminations. It included sections such as "Key points forexamination preparation," and "How to prepare a jukenstrategy for guaranteed success." The readers could alsomail their answers to practice questions back to thepublisher for marking and advice.Secondary school entrance examinations were also aregular feature of Nihon shOgakusei shimbun (Japan elementary15 "Jukeny6 sankOsho no sentaku" (Selecting referencebooks for entrance examinations), ChOgaku sekai no. 9:8(1906).16 These are discussed briefly in Akiyama Masami, ed.,ShOgakusei Shimbun ni rniru senjika no kodanotachi, 3 vols.(Nihon Tosho Senta, 1919), p. 15.20school students newspaper). 17 Each issue contained a studycorner (penky6 shitsu) with a skill testing section (chikaradameshi) explicitly aimed at sixth graders preparing forsecondary school entrance examinations. There were questionson the five major subjects: Japanese, Japanese history,arithmetic, geography, and science. Answers were provided inthe following issue or in the Sunday edition. 18From October 1936, every Sunday edition of ShOgakuseishimbun carried a mock examination for its fifth and sixthgrade readers. Subscribers were encouraged to attempt thesetests as they would an actual entrance examination. Answerswere printed the following Sunday. Students could also mailtheir answers for correction by the paper. 19 One wonders howthe young students felt about spending part of their Sundayswriting these tests. It is most likely that the parents weremore keen on having their children do these mock tests.Like the juken literature for the more senior students,ShOgakusei shimbun went beyond academic assistance. Itcarried a variety of advice for the serious jukensei and for17 Established in 1936, this paper was published daily,except Mondays. At one stage, it had a circulation of onemillion. ShOgakusei Shimbun ni miru is a collection ofarticles from this newspaper. The paper changed its nameseveral times. The title ShOgakusei shimbun is used in thisthesis.18 Shogakusei shimbun, 21 September, 1936, in ShOgakuseishimbun ni Irdru , v. 1, p. 6 andip. 2.19 'Nogi shiken" Nock test), Shogakusei shimbun, 11October, 1936, in ShOgakusei shimbun ni mini , v. 1, pp. 14-15.21parents. We see dietary advice from a medical expert. 20 Heexplains that it is difficult to study with a stomach full ofdelicious food, for "the stomach and intestines require a lotof blood to digest it and the head becomes empty." Thismakes one sleepy. As a solution, the doctor recommendseasily digestible foods over oily meat and fish, tempura, andother deep fried food. Among non-vegetarian foods hesanctions raw fish and chicken. He further cautions thatlack of exercise during examination preparation can lead toconstipation, which interferes with studies. Interestingly,though, instead of a little exercise, the doctor endorsesonly vegetables and fruits with high fiber content.The newspaper also carried other advice. Night snacksand heaters were not good during examination preparation.One had to sit up straight for efficient studying. 21 Forthe examination day, there was advice on how to dress, how toconduct oneself, how to relax before and during the test, andwhat to take to the examination centre. 2220 "Benkyiöchil no tabemono" (Food whilestudying),Shogakusei shimbun, 13 March, 1938, in ShOgakuseishimbun ni mini , v. 1, p. 69.21 "Chishiki no peiji" (The knowledge page),Shogakuseishimbun, 13 December, 1938, in ShOgakusei shimbun ni ndru ,v. 1, p. 69.22 "KittO nytigaku dekiru kokorogamae" (Preparedness fordefinite success at entrance examinations), Shogakuseishimbun, 7 March, 1938 and 3 March, 1938, in ShOgakuseishimbun ni mini , v. 1, pp. 72-73 and 209.22Juken periodicals aimed at elementary and secondaryschool students were a direct consequence of entranceexaminations. For some, these magazines were a source ofincome. For others they provided a service that becameessential for everyone, for no one wanted to be left behind.The fact that so many periodicals existed and that thestudents were willing to buy them is one indicator of theanxiety encountered by the students preparing for entranceexaminations. Their popularity points to the importance, andthus the influence, of entrance examinations in the students'lives.Ranking of Schools and "Escalators" Schools Ranking of schools within each track was intensified byentrance examinations. In general, government schools rankedabove private schools, and prestige increased with the age ofan institution. Entrance examinations, however, were a moreconcrete yardstick to measure the standard of a school anddetermine its relative rank. The criteria were not only thedifficulty of a school's examination, but also the school'scapability to send as many of its graduates as possible to aprestigious higher school. Thus, a position achieved by agewas not always permanent.23In the Meiji period, this hierarchy had been largelylimited to higher schools. 23 By the Taisho period, however,it had spread to secondary schools as well. At the higherlevel, the First Higher School (Dai Ichi Mt:6 GakkO, orIchikO) ranked the highest. This schools was considered toprovide the best chance to proceed to the department of one'schoice at the Tokyo Imperial University. 24 At the secondarylevel, though the average entrance rate was rarely below 50%and often above 60%, it was regularly below 10% at the twoboys middle schools administered by the national government.The story was much the same at other prestigious middleschools and government-run girls' high schools. 25 Theseschools with a low success rate ranked highest within their23 Amano, Shiken, pp. 228-229, 294.24 ”Midai e tOdai e to shio no gotoki kOkO sotsugyOsei:kabetsu ni suru to ika ga ooi" (Higher school graduates rushto Tokyo University like the tide: Medical department is themost popular), Miyako shimbun, 26 March, 1926, in ShimbunShuroku Taisho Shi, v. 14, p. 113. The Third Higher Schoolin Kyoto was the nation's second most prestigious. Kyotocity, ed., Kyoto no rekishi, v. 8 (Kyoto, Kyoto shi hensanjo,1968), p. 523.25 Department of Education (Japan), Annual Report of theMinister of State for Education, provides separate entrancerate statistics for the government schools attached to theTokyo and Hiroshima Higher Normal Schools. The rest arecategorized together as public (local government run) andprivate middle schools. See also: "Sukuwarenu cht jo gakke)no shiken jigoku: shigansha ga bosh no jt bai" (Theunresolved middle and girls' high school examination hell:Number of applicants ten time those to be admitted), TokyoNichinichi shimbun, 1 February, 1928, in Shimbun shOsei Showashi no shOgen, v. 2, p. 45.24category. They were also most successful in placing theirgraduates into popular higher institutions. This kind ofranking meant that considerable significance was attached tothe last school from which one had graduated if one sought awhite-collar jab. For girls, graduation from a prestigiousgirls' high schools increased the chances of marrying into arespectable household. Some rich parents only consideredgraduates of Ochanomizu Girls School as prospective bridesfor their sons. 26Severe entrance competition and ranking are like twosides of a coin. Higher competition to enter some schoolscreated ranking, but ranking caused and perpetuated excessivecompetition to enter the most prestigious schools. Excessivecompetition, on the other hand, was responsible for some ofthe more extreme effects of entrance examinations discussedlater in this chapter.In prewar Japan we see also the prototype of anotherphenomena related to entrance examinations that characterizessome educational institutions today: the attached (fuzoku)schools. Often called "escalator" type schools, these arelower level schools attached to a private university. Nbstare high schools, but a few extend all the way down to theelementary level. They are called escalators because entry26 "Shusshinke) ga kekkon no jOken to naru keikO"(Graduation from a certain school a condition for marriage),Yomiuri shimbun, 6 March, 1917, in Shimbun Shuroku TaishoShi, v. 5, pp. 88-89.25at a lower level almost guarantees acceptance at the nextlevel all the way to the university. These escalator typeattached schools trace their roots to the prewar period.Preceding their regular five year course, some middle schoolshad a one-or two-year preparatory course equivalent to thelast year of elementary school. Ichik6 and almost all privatehigher schools had a seven-year higher school course. Thefirst four years replaced middle school and were called theordinary course, and the last three were the regular highercourse. 27 Most private universities, such as Waseda and Keio,had attached lower level schools, as did the higher normalschools for both men and women. In effect, successful entryinto most of these preparatory or ordinary courses and theattached schools assured admission to the next higher level.As in postwar Japan, competition to enter these attachedschools was high.Rönin, Yobikeil and Tokyo. The practice of rOnin -- studying after graduation untilone can pass the entrance examination to a desired school27 These are explained in the middle and higher schoolsections of each Annual Report of the Minister of State forEducation. See for example, no. 59, 1931-1932, pp. 152-153and 173-174. In Figure 1, these are denoted by a shadedpattern.26originated in prewar Japan. 28 It also illustrates theinfluence of entrance examinations on the lives of thestudents. A contemporary reform minded critic, KubotaYuzuru, described the situation in 1899 as follows: "Atpresent, it is impossible to determine how many thousands arewaiting to enter middle school after completing elementaryschool, and to enter higher school or other professionalschool after middle school-0n the whole, there is ashortage of educational institutions and no matter how manynew schools are set up, they will not be an obstacle in theway of educational reform." 29This sort of sentiment also underscores the problems andtasks created by the spread of elementary education, for itmeant an increase of students in a position to advance to thenext step on the ladder. It points to increased populardemand for post-elementary education, while supply did notkeep pace. This is a crucial issue in explaining why thepervasive influence of entrance examination originated andpersisted. The issue will repeatedly come forth as weexamine the effects of the examinations. It also raises thequestion of why there was an increased demand. This demandand the reasons behind it receive separate attention inchapter four.28 The original meaning of rOnin is a masterless or anunaffiliated samurai. In the case of youths waiting to entera school, it points to their status as unaffiliated students.29 Ikeda, Ayfigaku seido, p. 107.27The routinization of the practice of rOnin is evidentfrom official statistics. Mcmbusho nerwO (Annual Report ofthe Ministry of Education) indicates the percentage of middleschool students "studying at home" after graduation. In 1927,it was 18.2%. It reached 26.5% in 1929 and stayed above 25%through most of the 1930s. 30 Some of these youths may havebeen studying for a vocational qualification examination, butmany were reinin. There were also those graduates who had nottaken up any career. Still others were attending"miscellaneous schools." Some graduates in these categorieswere probably rOnin as well. Though the exact figure cannotbe determined, there seem to have been a significant numberof rOnin in prewar Japan. This is also testified to by thedemand for the yobikO discussed below.The practice of rOnin was mostly visible among secondaryschool graduates waiting to enter higher schools. We see,however, a similar phenomena among elementary schoolgraduates as well. Most students entering middle or girls'high school did so immediately after completing the six-yearordinary elementary school as they were supposed to.Inevitably, there were some who could not pass the entranceexamination of a desirable school. Some tried again afteradditional studying while attending higher elementary school.In 1927, 26% of the students entering middle school, and 16%of those entering the regular course of girls' high school30 Shimizu Yoshihiro, Shiken, Iwanami, 1957, p. 11.28had completed one or two years of higher elementary schoo1. 31These students were not true rOnin because they wereaffiliated students in an official track of the schoolsystem. What they were doing, however, was the same thing asthe rOnin - studying extra years to enter the desirabletrack. Unlike the real rOnin waiting to enter higherschools, these quasi rOnin were fortunate to have a "waiting"track in the school system.The existence of rOnin without an official track inwhich to wait and study necessitated the yobiko, orentrance-examination preparation schools. 32 Theseinstitutions catered to middle school graduates and anyoneelse who sought to study privately and enter a higherinstitution or its attached preparatory course. Thesituation regarding these unofficial, private preparatoryschools around the end of the Meiji period is describedcritically by KyOiku 3-iron, a contemporary educationaljournal. It explains: Many instructors of higher schools andcolleges take on part-time jobs at such preparatory schools."There is a popular notion among students that it pays tofind out which instructor of a particular higher school isteaching at a yobikO and enter it to prepare for the entranceexamination of that school." Though such schools and their31 Annual Report of the Minister of State for Education,no. 56, p. 143 and p. 153.32 Yobike3 are different from preparatory juku in thatthey enroll students not attending a formal school, while thelatter are typically extra classes for those in school.29instructors are able to earn much money, whether the schoolsactually benefit the student is dubious. Typically "100 to150 students cram into one classroom, smell foul air, and tryto listen to the lecturer, while some have to do so from thehallway. Often there is pushing and shoving and it isimpossible to listen. Even if the lesson is audible, thereare rarely any desks or even space for the students to takenotes." The journal expresses pity for the students who, "intheir desperate desire to enter a higher school, enroll insuch a school, thinking that it will be of some assistance inpreparing for entrance examinations,...but end up returningto their geshuku (quarters rented in a private home) totallyexhausted from its chaotic sessions." 33 Whether all theyobike3 were of such character is hard to say. There was a"yabik6 rush" in Kanda (a Tokyo ward) in the Taishoperiod. 34 Many of the now famous private universities such asMeiji University also managed lucrative yobik6 besides theirown regular courses. 35 One suspects that with competition,some would have had to improve their quality to stay inbusiness.33 Byeiku Jiron, no. 875, quoted in Ikeda, Ayilgakuseido, p. 114.34 Takeuchi, "Jukensei moyu."35^kOte) yobike) gakusei bosh" an advertisement byMeiji for its yobikO in Kanda that was put along side theadvertisement for the Meiji University course in Taisho dalzasshi (Ryudo Shuppan, 1978), p. 272.30The issue of Kanda brings us to yet another influencethat entrance examinations had on youths preparing to takethem; they drew those students to Tokyo. This processstarted in the early Meiji period and was a considerableburden to many students and their families. We have alreadymentioned the Tokyo yOgaku annai. One scholar cites anaccount of a student who in the early days of Meiji had totravel for days by ship just to reach Tokyo and apply forentrance. 36 Until the mid-Meiji period, some studentsattending local middle schools would willingly quit and moveto a yobikO in Tokyo. These schools, with a narrower focus,were seen as a better way to prepare for higher schoolentrance examinations compared to the as yet evolving andinadequately manned local middle schools. This problem waspartially caused by the lack of an official connectionbetween middle school graduation and higher schools. From thelate Meiji period, however, that link gradually developedwith the improvement in the quality of regional middleschools. It was further strengthened by Mombusho reforms in1896 that opened the possibility of entering a higher schoolby recommendation from one's middle. With this connectionand improvement of middle schools, the phenomena of quittingmiddle school in favor of a yobikO disappeared. 3736 Karasawa Tomitaro, Gakusei no rekishi (Solminsha,1955), p. 57-58. For the Meiji period, see also: Amano,Shiken no shakai shi, pp. 267-70.37 Ikeda, Wilgaku seido, p. 104-5.31For rOnin, however, Tokyo always remained the place tobe. Adjusting, staying, and attending a preparatory schoolin Tokyo was expensive, but was the only option since mostyobik6 with any credibility at all were located in Tokyo.Studying at home in the country was seen as a disadvantageover one's competitors studying in the more cultured andcompetitive environment of Tokyo. The top ranking higherinstitutions and the most prized jobs were in Tokyo as well.However, coming to Tokyo did not always produce the bestresults. We have already mentioned the cautionary advice ofthe juken zasshi against the city's red light district. Manystudents led lavish and degenerate lives at the expense oftheir parents. 38 Some private companies and serious privateschools even offered deals to parents to manage theirchildren's money while they studied in Tokyo. 39Shiken Jigoku and Extra Efforts "Examination hell" (shiken jigoku) is a general termthat includes all the mental and physical hardships faced bystudents preparing to take entrance examinations. In thissection we will briefly examine the agony of those in theelite track of middle school who were preparing to proceed to38 See: Amano, Shiken no shakai shi, p. 268; Takeuchi,"Jukensei moyu."39 Amano, Shiken no shakai shi, pp. 268-270.32higher schoo1. 40 This examination hell was a direct result ofthe severe entrance examination competition (nyilgaku nan ornyfinan). The number of applicants to public (government)higher schools was routinely nine or ten times the number ofplaces available. 41 The competition also extended to privatecolleges and higher schools attached to privateuniversities. 42 This suggests that examination hell at the40 The tough times faced by these elites in the Meijiperiod, have been mentioned, by Amano, Shiken no shakai shi,and Kinmonth, Sell7 Pfacielttn. The examination hell faced byelementary school students applying to secondary schools ismore significant in showing the pervasiveness of theexaminations' influence. This lower level examination hellis discussed along with preparatory education in Chapterthree.41 "Hemin o yurusanu gakusei no shiken jigoku"(Examination hell that can not be left wild), 19 March, 1927,Tokyo Asahi shimbun, in Shimbun shOsei Showa shi no shOgen,v. 1, pp. 118-9. This article explains that examination hellwas becoming a social problem.42 The number of applicants to private institutions wasusually three to five time the spaces available; Ibid. Inthe case of Waseda, until 1909, anyone who had graduated fromany public or private middle school was eligible to enterwithout an entrance examination. The university took pridein maintaining such an open door policy till then, whichsuggests that others such as Keio required examinations froman earlier date. Beginning with its School of Science andEngineering in that year, by 1918 competitive entranceexaminations were made mandatory for all its departments.The success rate was typically from 20% to 30%. TheUniversity history cites the increasing demand for thisunavoidable change in policy. See Waseda Daigaku Daigaku shihenshiljo, ed., Waseda Daigaku hyakunen shi, Waseda UniversityPress, 1982-1987, v.,p. 735; v. 2 pp. 16-17, 310; v. 3, pp.63, 73, 91, 221, 268.33secondary to higher school transition extended beyond thoseaiming at the elite higher schools.The hazardous influence of this entrance examinationcompetition on the lives of rOnin and jukensei ranged fromexcessive anxiety, worry, and depression to nervousbreakdowns, severe damage to health, and in some casessuicide. 43 A contemporary critic also cites examination hellas one of the factors leading to suicide from failure. 44Having to confront one's parents, relatives, and friends wasnot helpful either. Many students dropped out of middleschool, or even after they entered higher school, due to theill health they inherited from the ordeal of examinationpreparation. 45 Examination hell is also the theme of a shortstory written in 1918, in which a rOnin commits suicide onhis way back home to the country after failing the entranceexamination of Ichik6 twice, while his younger brothersucceeds. 46In light of the anguish caused by examination hell, itis not surprising that the examinees resorted to the extrasupport of magazines and the additional effort at preparatory43 umnin o yurusanu gakusei no shiken jigoku."44 Takada Sanae, "Jisatsu mondai to rakudaisei mondai"(The problems of student suicides and failures) Gakusei (Oct.1915), in Taisho dai zasshi (Ryudo shuppan, 1978), pp. 293-294.45 Ibid.46 Kure Masao, "Jukensei no shuki" (Notes of a StudentExaminee), summarized in Introduction to ContemporaryLiterature (Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai, 1939), pp. 108-111.34schools. Same also hired private tutors (katei kydshi).These tutors were usually university or higher schoolstudents. 47 Extra assurance was also sought by other meanssuch as good luck talisman for entrance examinations. In anextreme case, students repeatedly stole the name plate ofPrime Minister Hamaguchi, a "successful individual," in hopeof similar success on entrance examinations. 48 Some parentsregularly visited a shrine or a temple to pray for theirchild's success. 49 A mother even made her son live in Osakafor over a year, for she felt that he needed to breathe thecultured air of a city to compete fairly with city students.To have her extra effort acknowledged, she went and told herstory to the principal of the school her son had appliedto. 5047 "Katei kyOshi" (Private tutors), Jiji shimpO, 7August, 1923, in Shimbun shOroku Taisho shi, ed. NakajimaKenzo, v. 11, p. 289. Working as private tutors was animportant source of income for many senior students. This isstill true today.48 "Arataka na 'shiken pasu" no amamori rei" (Amiraculous examination success talisman), Yomiuri shimbun, 24January, 1929, in Shimbun shOsei Showa shi no shogen, v. 2,p. 1928.49 "ko ni masaru oya no nayami" (Parents worry more thantheir children), Osaka Asahi shimbun, 26 Feb, 1922, inShimbun shilroku Taisho shi, v. 10, p. 85. In Japan today,Dazaifu Shrine in Kyushu and Yushima Shrine in Tokyo arethought to bring success to examinees. Students who can,visit these shrines themselves. If relatives are travellingor living near these shrines, they often send a talisman.50 Ibid.35Examination agony sometimes led to illegitimate effortsand other frauds. The use of stand-ins (kaedama) to takeexaminations seems to have been a headache for the schools. 51In extreme cases, examination questions were leaked out formoney. This happened in Osaka in 1927. 52 Desperate examineesand their parents were also susceptible to frauds such asprivate tutors or even older students faking to be schoolinstructors and charging high tuition for lessons. 53 Ingeneral, however, such problems were not so common as toseverely rattle the system.Together, the phenomena discussed in this chapter depictthe wide variety of influence that entrance examinations hadin prewar Japan. Examinees bought preparatory magazines,spent additional year(s) studying at preparatory schools,hired private tutors, and sought extra support in a variety51 "Kaedama ga nen nen ooku naru" (The number of stand-ins increasing year by year), Hochi shimbun , 20 March, 1917,in Shimbun sharoku Taisho shi, v. 5, p. 8, and "Jukensha gakaedama" (Stand-in Examinees), Kyushu nippo, 18 April, 1929,in Shimbun shOsei Showa shi no shOgen, v. 3, p. 129. Thisproblem still occurs periodically. A few years back, afather tried to take his daughter's entrance examination. Heused a wig, wore make-up, and dressed as a girl, but wascaught.52 "KW) nyashi mondai ga jizen ni Osaka de moreru"(Higher school entrance examination questions leaked prior toexaminations in Osaka), Osaka Asahi shimbun, 9 April, 1927,in Shimbun shOsei Showa shi no shOgen, v. 1,p. 151.53 'Wise kyOju o nitatete jukensei o ku gakusei"(Students who use examination takers by pretending to beteachers), Tokyo Asahi shimbun, 8 July, 1936, in ShimbunshOsei Showa shi no shOgen, v. 10, p. 299.36of ways. The schools they applied to were ranked by entranceexaminations. Preparation for the tests made life hellish.The examinations also produced a dependent industry -examination literature, yabik65, and private tuition. Allthese phenomena indicate the importance attached to entranceexaminations by prewar jukensei. They also bear muchsimilarity with the influence of entrance examinations beyondformal education in postwar Japan.The consequences explained in this chapter are largelyinherent potentials of entrance examinations. I call theminherent potentials since a system, which judges entry intoprized institutions by competitive examinations of few hourswithout much regard to how the examinee spent the precedingyear(s), by its very nature encourages the extra and extremeefforts even at the cost of time and health. Increase in thedemand for education and excessive competition to enter someschools were crucial for the realization of these potentials.Before we discuss the social reasons behind the increase indemand, however, we must treat the effect of entranceexaminations on formal education. In light of the nearlyuniversal attendance rate at elementary schools, the effecton elementary education is particularly significant.37CHAPTER 3PREPARATORY EDUCATION FOR ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONSAND THE ATTEMPTS AT REFORMBy the Taisho period, apart from middle schools,institutions in the other two tracks of secondary education -the vocational schools and girls' high schools - employedentrance examinations as well. 54 Use of the examinationswent beyond the elite girls' high schools attached tonational normal schools. For example, in a 1914 instructionalguide to prospective applicants to a prefectural girls' highschool in Iwate, the entrance examination requirement ismentioned as a matter of course. 55 Even the private girlsschools, generally less prestigious than local or nationalgovernment schools, selected entrants by an examination. Atone private academy in Kyoto, the success rate was one in two54 See "Chtlgaku, jogakke5 no nytlgaku shiken: tatakedomohirakanu sono^mongai ni wa shOnen shOjo gun o nasu"(Middle and girls' high school entrance examinations: thosegates do not open even if you knock, and there are crowds ofboys and girls outside the gates), Yomiuri shimbun, 23February, 1915, in Shimbun shOroku Taisho shi, v. 3, p. 81.55 Iwate kenritsu kyOiku senta, ed., Iwate ken kyOlkushi shizyo 1914 (Morioka, 1989), v. 45, p. 123. For avocational school reporting the use of entrance examinations,see Iwate...1911, v. 42, p. 207.38by the end of the Taisho period. 56 At a public girls' highschool, it was one in almost four in 1933. 57 At the topranking Cchanomizu Girls' High School the number ofapplicants routinely exceeded ten times the number of spacesavailable. 58The influence of competitive secondary school entranceexaminations on the formal education and the lives ofelementary school students was extensive. Preparatoryeducation (jumbi kyeiiku) - education aimed at preparation forentrance examinations - at the elementary level was perhapsthe most pervasive consequence of entrance examinations. Aswe will see, preparatory education was not merely limited toa select few. In fact it came to characterize generalelementary instruction, particularly at the sixth grade, inprewar Japan.The existence of preparatory education from prewar Japanis also another aspect in the long continuity of theconsequences of entrance examinations. In postwar Japan,preparatory education at the elementary level is not an issuebecause junior high schools are compulsory. However, junior56 Kyoto Joshi Gakuen, ed., Kyoto Joshi Gakuen sOritsugojusshOnen kinen shi (Kyoto, 1960), p. 58.57 Showa niman nichi no zen kiroku, v. 3 (Kodansha,1989), p. 147.58^bai no nytigaku shigan - Ochanomizu kOjokOu(Over ten times more applicants than spaces available -Cchanomizu Girls' High), Yomiuri shimbun, 14 February, 1916,in Shimbun shOroku Taisho shi, v. 4, p. 62. Cchanomizu wasattached to the Higher Normal School for Women in Tokyo.39high and high schools are concerned about preparing theirgraduates for entrance examinations to the next level. Inthe final year at these schools, there is immense pressure onteachers to prepare the students well. Students often wantto know if a certain topic is commonly tested on entranceexaminations. "Do you want to enter that useless X school!"is often all the teacher needs to tell final year studentsmisbehaving in class. 59The content of Secondary School Entrance Examinations In order to appreciate fully the influence of secondaryschool entrance examinations upon the education and lives ofprewar elementary school students, an idea of the actualcontent of those examinations is essential. We need to befamiliar with the subject material that was covered, the typeof questions that were asked and the skills that were tested.We can examine the content of the tests through a prewar59 Thomas P. Bohlen has correctly argued that not allhigh schools in postwar Japan are concerned with entranceexamination preparation. Education is fairly uniform untilthe junior high level where preparatory education affectsalmost all students. However, a de facto sorting occurswhile entering high schools. Vocational and night highschools are the lowest ranked. Those students who can onlypass the easy entrance examinations of these schools usuallygive up hope to enter a university. Therefore, thesecategory of high schools do not engage in preparatoryeducation. T. P. Bohlen, Japan's High Schools (Berkeley,University of California Press, 1983).40study-guide for middle and girls' high school entranceexaminations. 60 This comprehensive study aid provides manysample questions and advises on effective study techniques.It is a reliable source for our purpose, for it often citesactual questions from previous examinations at accreditedsecondary schools. ShOgakusei shimbun, the newspaper aimedat elementary school students, regularly provided practicequestions, mock tests, and actual entrance examinationquestions. These questions are very similar in nature tothose cited in the study-guide. 61The subjects tested were those covered in elementaryschool: Japanese (kokugo), geography, history (mostlyJapanese), mathematics, and science. The study-guide givesextensive treatment to each subject. Rather than analyzingthe various kinds of questions in each subject, for us itsufficient to note some common characteristics. Thequestions largely required remembering and recalling detailsand larger issues from the material covered in the prescribedelementary school curriculum. In history, for instance,multiple choice, matching, rearranging into chronologicalorder, filling in the blanks, and reproducing shortdescriptions of issues described in the textbooks were the60 Washio Tomoharu et al., Saikin mondai no kelke5 tochtigakkO jogakkO juken hiketsu (Kyodo sha, 1931).61 This newspaper is discussed in Chapter 2. SeeShogakusei shimbun ni miru, v. 1, pp. 14-15, 74-74, and 206-207.41most common type of questions. 62 For most of them, thecompiler of the guidebook is able to give exact reference toa standard school text. 63 Of greater significance, is theguide's section on how to study. 64 Out of the necessity tochoose from an excess of applicants, most schools asked muchmore than the students could remember. Entrance examinationsof popular schools also had some very difficult questionsthat required much time to answer. Consequently, the studymethods section of the guide stresses remembering as much ofthe vast material as possible and reviewing it many times tobe able to answer quickly the maximum number of questions onthe test. It tells of effective ways to memorize some of theplethora of material the students were held responsible for.Advice from a middle school superintendent in 1924 tothose recent graduates of elementary school preparing forsecondary school entrance examinations provides furtherevidence regarding the type of questions and skills tested.The superintendent contends that the tests were changing innature to those intended to gauge not only the students'memorization capability, but also their ability to imagine,think about and apply what they had learnt. Not "rote62 Washio, Saikin mondai, pp. 90-107.63 Though this study-guide does not address itself tovocational school students, the text of an Iwate vocationalschool entrance examination depicts an almost completesimilarity. See: Iwate ken kycliku shi shiry6 1911, v. 42, p.207-208. Moreover, it suggests that the pattern existed frommuch earlier than the year the guide appeared.64 Washio, Saikin mondai, pp. 125-135.42memorization" (anki) but "remembering the material in one'sheart" (kokoro ni oboeru) was necessary to be able to answerthe questions that were out of the ordinary. As an exampleof such a question that required application of what thestudent had memorized, the superintendent gave the case of aquestion in history which asked the examinees to rearrangethree or four names of individuals in chronological order,for even if the textbook did not list them in that order, astudent who really knew his material had to be able to answerit. 65 Though the superintendent tries to present it in amore sophisticated manner, he only ends up underscoring thefactual memorization orientation of secondary school entranceexaminations. The example he gives required exactmemorization of the dates of historical figures. He makesone wonder about the nature of questions in earlier years ifwhat he meant by a trend towards application orientedquestions was questions like the one mentioned above.Perhaps the strongest evidence of the amount and detailthat the examinations required one to memorize is Mbmbusho'sguidelines in 1929 concerning the content of secondary schoolentrance tests. The Ministry advised that the questions bemade easier and "not be based merely on rote memorization,but rather on the understanding and imagination ability" of65 7Nyugaku shiken to katei e no chui" (Entranceexaminations and advice to families),YOmiuri shimbun, 5January, 1924, in Shimbun sharoku Taisho shi, v. 12, p. 8.43applicants- 66 The superintendent's comments and Manbusho'sguidelines not only testify that the examinations testedmemorized knowledge but also indicate that such testing wasperceived as a problem. A certain amount of such testing isnot an unusual feature of examinations. The fact that it wascausing alarm, however, suggests that an extraordinary amountof memorization was required to prepare for secondary schoolentrance examinations. Thus, the advice of the study guideto remember as much as possible was not an exceptionalcounsel.The excessive amount of material and details within itthe students had to study and memorize in preparation, andits direct relation to the elementary school syllabus ishighly significant in understanding the influence entranceexaminations had on elementary education.Preparatory Education Preparatory education at the elementary level and itseffects on the lives of young students haunted theeducational scene in prewar Japan from the early Taishoperiod. The elementary level is especially significantconsidering the virtually universal rate of attendance by the66 Nbobusho, Meiji 116' kydau seido hattatsu shi(Ambush°, 1939), v. 7, p. 230.44late Meiji period. 67 Preparatory education at the middlelevel was also widespread, but it will only receive verylimited attention in this chapter. Middle schools were anelite track; therefore, preparatory education at this levelis less significant than at the elementary level in showingthe prevalence of the influence of entrance examinations. 68Preparatory education at the elementary level and thegovernment's reform efforts are the focus of the remainder ofthis chapter. Through official and media criticism, I willdiscuss the nature of preparatory education and will showthat it was widespread and routinized despite criticism. Iwill also examine the crucial question of why preparatoryeducation and its hazards persisted despite that criticismand bureaucratic efforts to end them. I will argue that itpersisted because, until the late 1930s, the schools and thestudents' families were capable of defying Mombusho's reformefforts. Though Mombusho vigorously tried to abolishpreparatory education and simplify entrance examinations, itsreforms stopped short of abolishing the tests. As we willsee, the examinations served a purpose for the government.67 Attendance rates for school age children are noted inChapter 1. For boys and girls respectively, in 1904, thatrate was 97.16% and 91.46%; in 1912, 98.80% and 97.62%; andin 1921, 99.30% and 99.03%. Mombusho, Gakusei RachijOnen shi,pp. 1036-1039.68 Since middle schools were an very elite group,preparatory education at these schools was not as widelycriticized as a social problem as it was at the elementaryschools.45It did try to abolish written tests once, but wasunsuccessful. The schools and parents defied the reformsbecause the examinations served a purpose for them as well.Difficult examinations and preparatory education continueddespite all the bureaucratic efforts to stop them. Thissuccessful tenacity is highly suggestive of certain aspectsin the government-society relationship in the realm ofeducation that seem to have to been neglected until now. 69The phenomena of formal education becoming orientedtowards entrance examination preparation first occurred inthe mid le schools. In 1905, an editorial of Eyeliku Jironnoted that all the post-secondary public educationalinstitutions were using selection examinations (sembatsushiken) to determine who entered their school, and anincrease in the number of middle school graduates hadresulted in more competition and tougher examinations. Thenumber of graduates successful in proceeding to a higherinstitution had come to be associated with the prestige of aschool; therefore, the editorial continues, "it seems to have69 In my own case, while building my hypothesis for thefactors behind the routinization of the consequences ofentrance examinations, due to a preconception of a highdegree of control the Mombusho exercised over the nation'seducational affairs, I was inclined to credit it with a muchgreater role for that routinization than it actually played.46become the preoccupation of many middle schools to emphasizepreparatory education for the selection examinations." 70Such preoccupation with the preparatory education andthe school's reputation came to characterize the elementaryschools in the Taisho period. As early as 1915, a newspapercautioned against the harmful effects of preparatoryeducation: Every year graduates of elementary school takecompetitive examinations to enter middle and girls' highschools. As soon as the students enter sixth grade, theybegin preparing for entrance examinations at and outsideschool. At each elementary school one or two hour reviewsessions are held after classes for these students. 71 Anelementary school principal explained that the harmfuleffects of review sessions were recognized by schools.However, these sessions were necessary as long as there werecompetitive entrance examinations. Schools, according to theprincipal, could not abolish these sessions, but should limit70 Kyoiku Jiron, 5 June, 1905. The text is quoted inIkeda, Aydgaku seido, p. 111. In 1909 the same journal alsocomplained about the inappropriate difficulty of thequestions examinees have to face at higher schools entranceexaminations. It suggested the use of an applicants middleschool academic and behavioral record as partial criteria fordetermining entrance. no. 865, 1909, p. 42, quoted in Ikeda,p. 112-113.71 "ShOgaku sotsugy6 no oriyowai danjo o tsaildome suruzankoku na sekisho - kOjo chilgaku nyilgaku no kyOsO shiken"(Girls' high and middle school entrance examinations - acruel barrier for delicate elementary school graduates).Ybmiuri shimbun, in Shimbun shOroku Taisho shi, v. 3, p. 81.47them to avoid any harmful consequences. 72 One senses aninteresting tension in the principal's comments - reviewsession are harmful, but necessary, so they should belimited. However, it is not very easy to limit somethingwhose purpose is to achieve an edge in a competition. Thus,the newspaper is skeptical about these sessions beinglimited, and it ominously warns that because the examinationquestions are difficult, preparatory education and itshazards are likely to continue. 73 That they did continue isaffirmed by media accounts in subsequent years.In 1916, a critic argued that difficult entranceexaminations could "fundamentally destroy the spirit" ofyoung students. 74 Especially worse off was the majority thatdid not pass despite excessive preparation, for failureruined their pride and self confidence. Two years later, aneducator bemoaned that all day long the children werepressured to study hard for the examinations. Not allstudents applied to the most difficult schools. Parents,however, naturally wanted their children to enter as good andhighly ranked a school as possible. 75 Thus, extra72 Ibid.73 Ibid.74 Chfigaku nytigaku shiken - yuyushiki daimondai:seishinteki ni shOnen o korosu mono da" (Middle schoolentrance examinations - a serious problem: they kill thespirit of young students), Abkumin shimbun, 31 March, 1916,in Shimbun shOroku Taisho shi, v. 4, p. 114.75 "Shiken benky6 wa oyoshi nasai - fukei ya shOnen eosusume suru" (Stop studying for examinations - advice to48preparation was required to increase the chances of enteringa school even slightly more prestigious than what a child wascapable of.A newspaper in February 1920 described the situationregarding preparatory education at elementary schools asfollows: "With the new school term approaching, over amillion students (and not just the 122,935 that took the boysmiddle school examination that year) who will have finishedthe sixth year of elementary school will engage in fierceentrance examination competition to enter secondary schools.The tests are the first step of the torython. 76 ...Eachelementary school is conducting special preparatory educationafter school for those who wish to enter a secondary levelinstitution. It seems that as the examination timeapproaches, more than the students, the teachers and parentsare becoming frantic as if they were the ones sitting for thetests."77 The newspaper reports an elementary schoolprincipal's comments on the issue. He indicates thatparents and children), C7206 shimbun, 8 March, 1918, inShimbun shilroku TaishO shi, v. 6, p. 94.76 "Dragon Gate"--a metaphor for a gateway to success.For a brief discussion of itoryOmon' in English, see R. M.Spaulding, Japan's Higher Civil Service Examinations(Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1967), p. 3.77 "Shogaku jido no ichidai nankan: chugaku juken nojumbi kyaku de gekiretsu na shinkei suijaku ni ochiru"Severe nervous breakdowns from middle school entranceexaminations, the biggest barrier in front of elementaryschool students): h6chi shimbun, 3 February, 1920, in ShimbunshOroku Taisho shi, v. 8, p. 51.49preparatory education was not just the business of a selectfew, but was being demanded by an increasing number and thatwas why elementary schools found it necessary. A precis ofhis remarks follows: From the point of view of spread ofeducation, it is a commendable thing that the number ofstudents wishing to continue their education has increased.Ideally, secondary education ought to be provided to allthose wishing it. But there is a severe lack of suchinstitutions at present, and even those eligible to entersecondary schools are stopped short by examinations. Infact, elementary schools do not wish to engage in suchunnatural instruction as special, after-school preparatoryeducation, but the present situation makes that unavoidable.The fact that all this competition is causing severe nervousbreakdowns among some students is unbearable from the pointof view of a teacher. The lack of secondary schools isindeed deplorable and the authorities should make it theirurgent priority to make up for the shortage. 78This article clearly indicates that preparatoryeducation for entrance examinations extended well beyond theelite that proceeded to middle school. The principal'scriticism also indicates the gap that existed between thesupply and demand. At the same time, however, one senses acertain responsibility on the part of the elementary schoolsas well, since competition among them to have as many78 Ibid.50graduates proceed on as possible and concern with thereputation of each school were also factors behind theseriousness with which jumbi kyOiku (preparatory education)was carried out. As the newspaper appropriately describes,it was as much an examination and competition for theteachers as for the students. It also notes the ill-effects,such as nervous breakdowns, that had come to accompany thepreparation effort at the elementary level.Concerning these health-related hazards, an article thatappeared in 1924 is highly suggestive. A synopsis of itsrelevant contents is as follows: Whether there is adevastating earthquake or not (the reference is to the greatKanto earthquake of 1923), the intense competition to entersecondary schools shows no signs of relaxation. As before,innocent children are suffering from competitive entranceexaminations. Many people have recognized the detrimentaleffects of preparatory education for those examinations onthe growth of young students, and recently the Japan DoctorsAssociation (Nihon Ishi Kai) has undertaken research of thoseeffects from a medical perspective. The association willannounce its warnings to educators and parents as soon as ithas sufficient results. Meanwhile, a Mbmbusho officialdeclared that according to the Ministry's survey of 439recently successful girls' high school entrants, most startedexamination preparation from the first term of their sixthyear at elementary school, while some had already started intheir fifth year. More than half of the students suffered51from one or more emotional or metabolic disorders such asloss of appetite and weight, insomnia, headaches, depression,near-sightedness and so on. 79This article indicates that Mbmbusho became concernedabout the consequences of preparatory education for secondaryschool entrance examination by the late Taisho period. Thesurvey cited was for girls, which is highly significant forour argument about the pervasiveness of the examinations'influence. One suspects, moreover, that the boys probablystarted preparing even earlier than the girls and sufferedfrom more disorders than them.Another account in 1925 not only provides furtherevidence for the prevalence of preparatory education but alsofurther illustrates the fact that, along with the students'desire to succeed in secondary school entrance examinations,the schools' preoccupation with ensuring that success for asmany of its graduates as possible was a strong factor behindthat education. It reports that although "it has beendecided that this year the middle schools entranceexaminations will be made easier, and it is said that thecustanary preparatory education is not required," each79 "Chagaku nyagaku no yosha wa jadai na shakai mondaito shite ishi kai ga chOsa" (The Doctors Association toexamine the review sessions for middle school entrance as aserious social problem), YOmiuri shimbun, 29 April, 1924, inaimbun sharoku Taisho shi, v. 12, p. 172. See also, "Jidikno juken yosha de isha no dai ronsen" (Doctors debate reviewsessions for entrance examinations), Miyako shimbun, 25February, 1923, in almbun shOroku Taisho shi, v. 11, p. 497.52elementary school was busy providing such education forstudents in the higher grades. It gives the example of aTokyo elementary school where 82% of the boys and girls inthe sixth grade were staying after school three or four daysa week for extra jumbi kyOiku. 80 In an attempt to distanceits school from the "unnatural preparatory education," theprincipal of this school says, "at his school no specialnyilgaku shiken jumbi kyOlku is held." Rather, he declares,all year round such extra review classes are held for thebenefit of the students. Success rates of this school, it isnoted, are high, and one of its teacher boasts that thethoroughness of the school's education and the "realunderstanding" that results enable students to tackle anysort of question. 81This school, owing to its location in Tokyo, may notrepresent the average situation at elementary schools allover Japan. However, its case does indicate a sense of"entrance examination-performance competition" among theschools which resulted in the paradoxical situation wherecriticism of nyOshi jumbi kyOlku on the part of the schoolswas not accompanied by its reconsideration, but rather byits intensification. Even though the Tokyo school mentioned80 "Sora mata hajimatta: nyilgaku jumbi no inokori yosha- kaku shOgakk8 mo yakki" (There they go again: after-schoolreviews for entrance examination preparation - eachelementary school is frantic), Yomiuri shimbun, 12 January,1925, in Shimbun shOroku Taisho shi, v. 13, p. 20.81 ibid.53above tries to present its extra review sessions in a morepalatable tone, their being held all year round suggestsnothing but the routinization and intensification ofpreparatory education.An official history of education in Kumamoto prefecture(in Kyushu) compiled in 1931 indicates that the problem ofpreparatory education at the elementary level was not limitedto urban areas such as Tokyo. The section on elementaryeducation of this three-volume history notes that competitionto enter secondary schools had become tougher than before.Preparatory education at the prefecture's elementary schoolshad existed in earlier years, "but now it exhausted thestudents more and more. The preparatory nature of schoolinstruction had become so intense that it threatened themaintenance of elementary education." 82 This sentiment showsthat the influence of entrance examinations indeed extendedbeyond those actually preparing to take the tests. The wayin which all students were educated at the elementary levelwas dictated by entrance examinations.Without student demand and the competition resultingfrom lack of supply, the jumbi kyOlku consequence of middle,girls' high, and vocational school entrance examinations isinconceivable. Equally important, however, was a willingnesson the part of the elementary schools to get actively andsolidly involved in preparatory education, and thus nurture82 Kumamoto kyaku kai, Kumamoto ken kyOiku shi, v. 3(Kumamoto ken kyOiku kai, 1931), pp. 640 -641.54and intensify the resultant reputation-related, inter-schoolcompetition. In the process, the schools were adding to theload born by the preparing students by establishing the extrainstruction as an unavoidable step to entrance examinations.From 1927, Mombusho issued a series of directives toreform the problems of preparatory education and entranceexaminations. This reform effort not only provides us withmuch official evidence regarding the problems, but it is alsosignificant in showing the persistence of the influence ofsecondary school entrance examinations. Tracing the reformsalso reveals the tenacity on the part of the people andelementary schools to continue preparatory education andmiddle schools to carry on giving difficult entranceexaminations despite Mombusho efforts to prohibit both. To besure, with regard to entrance examinations, we see a morelenient attitude suggestive of a utility they possessed forMombusho. I will first examine the efforts to enforce simplerentrance examinations, and then return to preparatoryeducation.Mombusho and Entrance Examinations Even before Mombusho embarked on its reform efforts in1927, a few secondary schools experimented with new types ofentrance examinations. These schools attempted to replaceacademic examinations with intelligence tests (ffentazutesuto) and to use an applicant's elementary school report55card as criteria for selection. By doing this, they hoped toend excessive preparatory education at the elementary level.Instead, they created further problems because preparationfor the examinations had to be diversified and adapted to thedifferent types of tests given by different schools. 83 Hadthese schools been a majority, they may have succeeded inrelaxing the extent of preparatory education. However,according to a Nbmbusho survey in 1925, only 20% of theschools surveyed used an intelligence test. 84 In fact, mostof these schools combined it with an academic examination andgave more weight to the latter. An exceptional school drewcomplaints from the parents when it tried using elementaryschool report cards to preselect the students allowed to takeits examination. The parents felt that it was unfair not toallow all students to sit for the examinations. 85 Thisindicates that entrance examinations were regarded by thepublic as a very fair way of selection. Their unwholesomeeffects aside, they did serve a purpose for the people. This83 Ibid. See also Shimbun shOroku Taisho shi, v. 10, p.119; v. 13, p. 37 and v. 14, p. 420. The experimental"mental tests" varied in nature and did not become a regularfeature of entrance examinations.84 "Nyngaku shiken no mentaru testo o Mbmbusho dekenkyll" (Morribusho researches mental tests), hOchi shimbun, 19April, 1925, in Shimbun sharoku Taisho shi, v. 13, p. 180.85 "Atarashii nyfigaku shiken no hOshin ni nemoto no se:A"(Fundamental disagreement over a new entrance examinationpolicy), Tokyo Asahi shimbun, 10 February, 1926, in ShimbunshOroku Taisho shi, v. 14, p. 53.56is also evident from the people's response to Mbmbusho ordersin 1939 and 1940. 86Government reforms of entrance examinations began earlyin the Showa period. On 22 November, 1927 Mombusho issued areport regarding the Ministry's intention to reform theparticulars of the Middle School Order (originally issued in1886). It expressed concern over the effects of entranceexaminations on primary school education. It bemoaned thatthe excessive preparatory education at the elementary levelwas unhealthy for even those who wished to proceed to middleschool, for it hindered the original motives of elementaryeducation. These aims were to provide moral and "citizenoriented education" (kokumin kycliku), along with a programthat ensured healthy physical development of the students. 87Accordingly, in the same year, Mbmbusho revised theprovisions for the selection of entrants in the Middle SchoolOrder by replacing the use of "entrance examinations" with"appropriate selection methods" (tekite3 naru senbatsu 12610).From 1928, selection was to be based on an applicant'seducational record submitted by the principal of hiselementary school, a "personal character test" (jinbutsukOsa), and a physical examination. The jinbutsu kOsaincluded an oral examination (Mt -6 shimon), but there was no86 These reactions are discussed later in this chapter.87 MbMbusho, Abiji ik63, v. 7, p. 77 and 196.57provision for a written test. 88 This meant that the writtentest was abolished and the media hailed the move as one thatwould end examination he11. 89At many schools, however, difficult written entranceexaminations were held as usual in 1928. They were given aspart of the oral test; the questions were asked orally andthe students had to write out the answers! 90 It was the samestory the next year. 91 One is almost surprised at theingenuity of the schools in finding ways of defyinggovernment orders. From their point of view, written testswere necessary to select from an excess of applicants, forentrance competition was not reduced by the reforms. At theGirls' High School attached to Japan Women's College, the88 Ibid . , v. 7, P. 193 and 197. Similar directives werealso given to the higher schools in order to rectifyexcessive preparatory education at the preceding middleschool level. Mbmbusho, Abiji ikc5, v. 7, p. 194 and 200.89 "Chugakko no shiken jigoku o kyusai suru Nbmbushogawa no shin an" (MaMbusho's new plan to resolve middleschool-entrance examination hell) ,Tokyo Asahi shimbun, 20Sept., 1927, in Shimbun shOsei Showa shi no sholgen, v. 1, p.364; "Chugakko e susumu kanmon wa tada koto shimon" (Only anoral examination to enter middle schools),Tokyo Nichinichishimbun, 7 Dec., 1927, in Shimbun shOsei Showa shi no shOgen,v. 1,p. 444.90 "Shiken Jigoku no gyaku modori" (Back to examinationhell), Tokyo Nichinichi shimbun, 3 January, 1928, in ShimbunshOsei Showa shi no shOgen, v. 2,p. 14.91 "Kaisei no nyagaku shiken ho wa hatashite kotoshi wakanzen ni okonawarareru ka" (Will the reformed entranceexamination method be followed fully this year), Miyakoshimbun, 20 January, 1929, in Shimbun shOsei Showa shi noshOgen, v. 3, p. 31.58number of applicants was ten times the available spaces in1928. Moreover, 50% of the applicants had the highestaverage mark for six years of elementary school. Thenewspaper that reported this was understandably doubtfulwhether examination hell would be resolved by the newselection methods. 92At a general meeting in 1929, middle school principalsdecided that the new entrance examinations were unfair andunacceptable. Elementary school marks and oral interviewswere too subjective as criteria for selection. A certainmark could mean different things depending on the teacher andthe school, and interviews could not be held equally for allcandidates, since one interviewer could not conduct them all.Thus the principals decided to ask Mombusho to allow the useof written entrance examinations. 93Nbmbusho's response came within the year. In November1929, the Ministry allowed the use of a written examinationin "cases deemed necessary." It stipulated, however, thatthe questions be based on the prescribed elementarycurriculum. They also had to be simple questions not92 "Sukuwarenu chu jo gakkO no shiken jigoku" (Theunresolved examination hell to enter middle and girls highschools), Tokyo Nichinichi shimbun, 1 February, 1928, inShimbun shOsei Showa shi no shOgen, v. 2, p. 45.93 "Gyaku modori suru nyilgaku seido" (Return to the oldexamination system?), Tokyo Asahi shimbun, 29 October, 1929,in Shimbun shOsei Showa shi no sholgen, v. 3, p. 347. Asimilar decision was made at a meeting of higher schoolprincipals.59requiring rote memorization. 94 In effect, Nbmbusho submittedto the schools' demands and tenacity to continue entranceexaminations. The "cases deemed necessary" clause did notdeter the secondary schools. All the schools in Tokyo, forinstance, declared that they would use a written entranceexamination in the coming year within a day after Mombusho'scapitulation. 95Despite repeated directives, the stipulation that theexamination questions be easy had no affect on secondaryschools either. In 1935, Yomiuri shimbun reported that someschools had ignored repeated directives and continued to usevery difficult questions, some of which were not even in theprimary school syllabus. 96 This, according to Nbmbusho,perpetuated preparatory education at elementary schools.Thus the Ministry decided to strictly enforce the regulationthat questions be from the prescribed syllabus by requiringall secondary schools to submit their examination questionsto regional government offices, where they would be closelyinspected. Schools that gave questions from outside the94 Nbmbusho, Abiji ikO, v. 7, p. 230.95 "Issei ni hikki shiken fukkatsu" (Unanimousresumption of written examinations), Tokyo Asahi shimbun, 30November, 1929, in Shimbun shOsei Showa shi no shOgen, v. 3,p. 399.96 "Shiken mondai o kenetsu: jumbi kyOiku no heigaikaish8 - Nbmbusho zenkoku e tsutatsu" (Mombusho's circular toall secondary schools - Inspection of examination questionsin order to end the harms of preparatory education), Ybmiurishimbun, evening edition, 5 February, 1935, in ShimbunShowa shi no shOgen, v. 9, p. 63.60elementary school syllabus were to be penalized. This, it washoped, "would finally end the ills of elementary levelpreparatory education that has been a social problem for manyyears." 97The necessity of such a severe measure indicates thatmiddle schools had not felt bound by bureaucrats and hadcontinued as before with difficult entrance examinations.Moreover, even after the 1935 directive, secondary schoolsstill gave difficult questions from the elementary schoolsubjects. This is evident from the steps Mombusho had totake in 1940. Realizing that written entrance examinationsexisted as before, it had to abolish the use of entranceexamination based on academic subjects (gakka shiken). Itenforced the use of previous school records and oralinterviews as the selection criteria. 98 Secondary schools'long defiance of government orders until 1940 suggests thatgovernment control in prewar Japan was not as complete as wetend to think it was. (In the next section, we will see thatelementary schools and parents were not always obedienteither).Mbmbusho's reforms indicate that the Ministry wasgenuinely sensitive to the problems created by overlydifficult entrance examinations. However, it only enforced97 Ibid.98 "ChfigakkO nyashi gakka shiken haishi" (Middle schoolwritten entrance test abolished), Asahi Nenkan, 1941, p. 420;"KOtO gakkO nylashi hOhO henshin" (Changing the higher schoolentrance examination procedures),Asahi Nenkan, 1942, p. 397.61the abolition of entrance examinations in 1940. That move,though, was temporarily necessitated by the war emergency.The emergency required schools to become a part of the wareffort by emphasizing physical and military training. Untilthen, however, schools were not reprimanded for using toughentrance examinations. All this suggests that theexaminations had some utility for the bureaucracy. Evidencefor this utility, which may otherwise seem obvious, is hardto come by since Mombusho's main thrust from the late 1920swas to reform the ills of entrance examinations. A commentof a Mombusho official responsible for social education in1929 is, however, revealing. He stated that providingknowledge-oriented education to more than is necessary causesunemployment, "which has led to deterioration of thought"(shisO no akka). 99 One gets the impression, after all, thatentrance examinations were efficient as a tool inpurposefully narrowing the number of students proceeding tothe elite tracks. Expanding these channels would have been afinancial drain on the government. It may also haveincreased the risk of intellectual qualms with officialideology. If we compare post-elementary higher education99 "NijUyon man nin no tame ni hyaku rokujU man nin gagisei: jOkyUk6 shibesha henjU no shOgakkO kyOiku ni shokugyO,ryOdo chishiki o kuwau" (1,600,000 suffer [sacrificed] for240,000: vocational and community knowledge to be added toelementary education baised towards those wishing to continuetheir education) , Yorniuri shimbun, 26 February, 1929, inShimbun shOsei Showa shi no shOgen, v. 3, p. 391.62institutions to bridges, each having the narrow gate ofentrance examinations, Mbmbusho was concerned about too manyflocking to the gates of the few bridges that led to theworld across the river because in the process they wereneglecting their appropriate duties. However, the Ministrydid not wish to expand drastically the number of bridges orto remove the existing narrow gates, for there was anacceptable number the other side could accommodate for the"health" of the nation. This, it seems, was the reason whyMbmbusho did not completely abolish entrance examinationsuntil national priorities absolutely dictated so. That waswhen the nation was at war, which necessitated physical andmilitary training. Hence, any preoccupation on the part ofschools or the youth with examination preparation becameuseless, even an obstacle, in the war effort.Mbmbusho efforts to curb preparatory education, however,were more serious. Perhaps they were in accordance with theabove mentioned mentality, for the same 1929 article thatquoted the social education official, also mentioned Mombushodirectives for decreasing preparatory education andincreasing community centered and vocational education atelementary school to create "nationally useful resources"(kokumin ytyo no zaisan) . 100 Due to the economic depressionat this time, unemployment of graduates from higher100 Ibid.63institutions was a problem. 101 Thus, instead of a largenumber of highly educated youths, from the government's pointof view, it was probably safer to produce elementarygraduates with basic community service and vocational skills.Nevertheless, Mombusho was truly concerned about theharmful effects of preparatory education on children. Thefollowing chronological discussion of the vigorous efforts bythe Ministry to abolish preparatory education indicates notonly its widespread influence, but also the tenacity of thestudents' families and elementary schools to carry on withit. To be sure, the above mentioned failure to completelyabolish entrance examinations until 1940 was what made thispersistence feasible. Disregard of repeated directivesagainst preparatory education further indicates that peopleand institutions could defy government efforts in prewarJapan.Mombusho and Preparatory Education Local authorities attempted to prohibit preparatoryeducation at the elementary level before Mombusho tried to dothe same at the national level from the late 1920s. In June1920, Kumamoto prefectural authorities ordered that101 "Shashokunan kara jitsugy6 gakke5 oo mote"(Vocational schools become highly attractive due to highunemployment), Tokyo Asahi shimbun, 3 April, 1929, in ShimbunshOsei Showa shi no shOgen, v. 3, p. 114.64preparatory education at elementary schools be completelystopped. They soon realized, however, that preparatoryeducation "could not be prohibited just by an order. Even ifa school wished to stop that education, complaints fromparents flooded in. "102 Thus, most schools in the prefecturecontinued it. Some tried to limit it to a certain time inthe afternoon, but found it difficult to follow suchlimitations. 103 As I noted earlier in this chapter, afterall, it was not easy to limit something designed to providean advantage in a competition.Since Mbmbusho's attempt in 1927 to abolish writtenentrance examinations was unsuccessful, 104 preparatoryeducation did not disappear either. Mbmbusho was concernedand issued repeated directives against such education at theelementary level. On the evening of 8 January, 1929 itbroadcast a radio address consisting of several cautions toelementary schools and parents. To the latter, it advised:"keep preparatory education injurious to health withinlimits; do not make the children cram everything; and allowthe children to proceed in fields they wish to." To theelementary schools it cautioned "not to be engrossed in102 Kumamoto kyOiku kai, Kumamoto ken kycliku shi, v. 3,p. 641.103 Ibid.104 See preceding section.65preparatory education and neglect the nurturing of the realability (jitsu ryoku) of the vulnerable students." 105According to the results of a Mbmbusho survey releasedin 1929, only 13% of the fresh ordinary six-year elementaryschool graduates proceeded on to secondary schools. The restwent on to higher elementary school, miscellaneous schools,or started work. Mbmbusho criticized the fact that for thesake of 13%, "the other 87% are also subjected to aneducation with a deep preparatory color (jumbi teki shikisaino neke3 na kydiku) .11106This, however, does not present a correct pictureregarding the nature of the demand for secondary education.Even if only a total of 13% proceeded to it successfully,that figure does not account for the many more who tried butfailed and those who tried again from higher elementary orother miscellaneous schools. Nevertheless, the aboveofficial sentiment shows the prevalent influence ofpreparatory education at elementary schools. It is strongtestimony for the contention that directly or indirectly, themajority of youngsters were being affected by entranceexaminations in the sense that the elementary education they105 "Mata kuru shiken jigoku: senbatsu seido ni kanshizenkoku ni tsOtatsu,"(Examination hell approaches again: Acircular regarding the selection system), Tokyo Asahishimbun, 9 January, 1929, in Shimbun shOsei Showa shi noshOgen, v. 3, p. 9.106 "NijOyon man nin no tame ni hyaku rokujil man nin gagisei."66received was colored by preparation for the tests even ifthey did not plan to take them.Parents' and teachers' tenacity to continue preparatoryeducation in one form or another despite official efforts tostop it, is evident from a newspaper article in 1930. Itreported that since the authorities had circulated a noticeto all elementary schools strictly forbidding any preparatoryeducation, many worried parents were sending their childrento the homes of the homeroam teachers and paying money forextra preparatory lessons. In some cases, it was rumoredthat teachers themselves told students to come to their homesfor such lessons. 107 This shows that both the schools andthe pupils and their parents were willing to disobeygovernment directives to do what each felt was necessary toincrease the chances of passing entrance examinations.This story of defiance against government efforts doesnot end here, however. In fact in 1930 preparatory educationat school was not seen. This may have been because theYbmbusho had just issued the prohibition. But, as we willsee, even that was temporary compliance at best, which itselfwas meaningless with regard to any significant curtailment ofpreparatory education, for extra lessons just seem to haveshifted from the school building to the teachers' homes. The107 "Eyan jitaku jumbi kyaku o genkin" (Prohibition onpreparatory education at teachers' homes),Yomiuri shimbun, 11February, 1930, in Shimbun shOsei Showa hennen shi, v. 5, p.96-97.67prohibition seems to have created further problems, since thestudents had to commute to the teachers' homes and pay forpreparatory education. The 1930 article mentioned that theauthorities were soon going to issue an order prohibitingschool teachers from having private classes at home for thesake of examination preparation and were intending tostrictly enforce that order. 108 Their directives, however,were not successful in actually curbing preparatory educationin the future.In October 1933, a newspaper reported that, as a resultof pleas from parents, at each elementary school groups ofboys and girls were already staying after school for two tothree hours, and in some cases until late at night, toprepare for entrance examinations. Many students were alsogoing to the homes of teachers to get special preparation.On Saturdays and Sundays, special "ability testing" (chikaradameshi) sessions were held where they took mock entranceexaminations. 109 Clearly the government directives werebeing ignored or circumvented. The schools and anxiousstudents and parents were continuing preparatory education108 Ibid.109 "Chtte5kO nyilgaku jumbi de kodomo o korashimeru na:shiken no yarikata mo kOryo shite...to fu gakumu tOkyoku no owatashi" (A circular from the prefectural educationalauthorities: Do not "punish" the children with secondaryschool entrance examination preparation; give considerationto the nature of examinations.), Tokyo Nichinichi shimbun, 19October, 1933, in Shimbun shOsei Showa shi no shOgen, v. 7,p. 444.68under some pretext or other at school and at the teachers'hares.Realizing that the intensity of jumbi kyeaku was evenstronger than in previous years, the educational authoritiesagain circulated some cautions to elementary schools. Thisdirective prohibited the following: "1) conducting extrareview sessions outside of the prescribed school hours or onschool holidays, 2) altering the hours prescribed for eachsubject, 3) school teachers holding classes at home, and 4)sending students to private preparatory schools (shijuku) orto mock tests for the purpose of entrance examinationspreparation.n 110 This official directive again indicates thatdespite previous prohibitions, preparatory education on thepart of students and schools continued unabated. In fact,the new restrictions suggest that it had intensified. Thesecond prohibition was aimed at the "tendency of schools toreplace music, physical education and other nonacademicclasses by preparatory education as the entrance examinationsseason approached. " 111 This tendency again shows theinfluence of entrance examinations on the education of eventhose students not aiming to enter competitive secondaryschools. This was in addition to the preparatory education110 Ibid. This article also noted that, according togovernment observer, there were many students who harmedtheir health so much while preparing for middle schoolentrance examinations that, after they finally passed, theirbodies failed them and they had to drop out.111 mid .69bias of the usual elementary education that they received.The fourth point in the directive indicates that an entrance-examination related phenomena, the attending of privatepreparatory schools, which had been previously limited tomiddle school students or rOnin, had extended to some of theeager elementary school students as well. This was probablylimited to an anxious few, though, since there is no repeatedmention of it in Mbmbusho criticism or the extensive presscoverage of elementary level preparatory education.Despite these repeated efforts by the bureaucrats toorder elementary schools to quit preparatory education, in1938 the elementary schools were still continuing it indefiance of all previous directives. 112 Thus, Ambush°decided to ask regional governments to take further steps toend preparatory education. The Tokyo Educational Sectionconvened a meeting after which it issued a statement and yetanother notice to the elementary schools. These are highlyillustrative of the continued disobedience on the part ofelementary schools. The statement noted that despitecontinuous efforts by the government, "recently, instead ofeasing, preparatory education at Tokyo's elementary schoolshas further intensified. Lessons at home, excessive homework, and alteration of prescribed school and subject hourscontinue without any regard to those students not seeking to112 "Jumbi kyaku tori shimari" (Crackdown onpreparatory education), 28 December, 1938, Kokumin shimbun,in Shimbun shOsei Showa shi no shOgen, v. 12, p. 529.70proceed to secondary institutions." 113 It declared that theharmful effects on education continue, and in some cases, asat a Setagaya school, the situation had deteriorated to thepoint where several students were suffering from nervousbreakdowns.The circular to the schools repeated the previousprohibitions against changing the hours allotted to eachsubject, excessive homework, teachers holding sessions attheir homes, and students' participation in mock tests orprivate school lessons. Concerning after school and weekendpreparatory education sessions, however, contrary to previousprohibitions, it allowed "review sessions" on weekdays untilfour o'clock in the afternoon, and on holidays for two orthree hours per day. Moreover, the government decided todesignate 606 observers who would travel to schools and homesto see whether the conditions of the notice were beingfollowed, and in case of an allegation, to suspend orotherwise punish the principal after investigation. 114By virtue of repeating previous prohibitions andoutright acknowledgement that preparatory education had onlyintensified despite government efforts, the above statementand circular testify to the fact that the schools and parentshad defied the authorities all the while. Though the lastpart of the circular suggests an ever stricter attitude in113 Ibid.114 Ibid .71the implementation of the directive, the recognition oflimited review sessions means that, more than a threat, thesedirectives were a capitulation on the part of the governmentto the tenacity of elementary schools and parents.The secondary schools had defied the simplification ofentrance examinations; it seems that in this case, theelementary schools were in fact even able to "manipulate" thebureaucracy to a certain degree by resisting policy. From theperspective of elementary schools, the pupils and theirparents, as long as there were difficult secondary schoolentrance examinations, and lack of supply made themcompetitive, prohibition of preparatory education was not intheir interest. In fact, schools and the students and theirfamilies were not merely responding helplessly to theexistence of entrance examinations. The examinations served apurpose for them. Elementary schools could improve theirreputation by increasing the number of graduates they managedto get into secondary schools. For the people, though themental and physical hazards were there, there was also asense of positive satisfaction with the tests. This isevident in the negative response to the abolition of entranceexaminations in 1940. People regarded the examinations asthe most meritocratic way of advancing to secondary andhigher education. They were worried that replacement ofentrance examination based on elementary school report cards72would create a worse "favoritism hell" (jOjitsu jigoku). 115The secondary schools worried that they would lose anobjective and standard criteria to control the selection ofentrants. 116 For schools, the exact same entrance examinationgiven to all applicants was the best way to ensure that theentering students were of a certain calibre or more.In this chapter we saw that preparatory education forthe secondary school entrance examinations became aroutinized feature of elementary education in prewar Japan.We examined the harmful influence of preparatory education onthe lives of elementary school students, who were not sparedfrom "examination hell." Moreover, we discovered that theinfluence of entrance examinations reached even thosestudents who did not plan to enter competitive secondaryschools, for the elementary education they received wasgeared towards preparation for the tests. Critics andMombusho bemoaned this fact, but it did not seem to botherthose parents who could only afford to send their children tohigher elementary school. This, however, is not surprising115 "Gakka shiken fukkatsu no koe" (Voices for therevival of written entrance examinations), 31 January, 1940,in Shimbun shOsei Showa shi no shOgen, v. 14, p. 56.116 "Ntshiken shiken ni mo heigai ari: chilt8 gakkO notachiba kara" (Non examination method has evils as well:From the point of view of secondary schools), Tokyo Asahishimbun, 16, September, 1939, in Shimbun shOsei Showa shi nosholgen, v. 13, p. 374. There were many other such articlesat the time as well.73because no parents would have wanted any "less education" fortheir offspring than that available to the neighbour'schildren.The fact that difficult entrance examinations were of somuch concern to Mombusho that it repeatedly issued directivesprohibiting them indicates that their consequences werewidespread, indeed. If preparatory education had only beenlimited to the minority that proceeded to prestigioussecondary schools, it is doubtful that Nombusho would havebeen as concerned as it was. The high degree of officialconcern and critici sm are perhaps the strongest evidenceshowing that the influence of entrance examinations on formaleducation was extensive.Entrance examinations testing the sort of skillsdescribed in this chapter do explain the need for preparatoryeducation, but by themselves, they do not account for theintensity with which it was carried out, the vast numbers itaffected, and the reasons why it persisted despite criticismand attempted reform. They are as follows: the heightenedpopular demand for secondary education; the preoccupation onthe part of elementary schools to improve their reputation bysending as many graduates on to secondary schools aspossible; both the schools' and the people's disregard ofYbmbusho directives in order to preserve their interests; thegovernment's reluctance to satiate the popular demand byadequately expanding the nation's capacity of reputablesecondary education institutions; the persistent74unwillingness of each secondary school to alter significantlythe nature of the easily administrable yet powerful andefficient tool they possessed to select incoming students inthe face of high demand; a similar realization on the part ofthe government of the obvious utility of entrance examinationin controlling the number of elite the education systemproduced, a realization evident in reforms amounting toserious concern and vociferous prohibition of jumbi kyalkubut tacit approval of entrance examinations until the nationfaced an emergency. It is all these factors that explain why,from the late Meiji period to the end of the 1930s, theexcessive entrance examination competition at both thesecondary and higher level and its associated insidiousphenomena, though criticized, was routinized and was anchoredso firmly in the education system that it took a war totemporarily detach the anchor.75CHAPTER 4SUPPLY AND DEMAND: RISSHIN SHUSSE AND GARLRERI smurThe gap between the demand for and supply of "desirable"post-elementary education is the fundamental reason behindthe extensive effects of entrance examinations, the continuednecessity of the tests, and the routinization of theireffects in prewar Japan. The issue of demand is alsosignificant in explaining the people's opposition to theabolition of entrance examinations; for in a situation wheredemand exceeded supply, an objective and meritocraticselection method was deemed necessary. Schools also feltthat they required the tests to select efficiently from anexcess of applicants. The increase in demand from the lateMeiji period and the imbalance between supply and demandthereafter is evident from statistics. It was also frequentlynoted by contemporary observers. Why demand increased andremained high, is an issue that has to be examined in lightof risshin shusse (rise in the world ) and gakureki shugi(educational credentialism). In this chapter, I will firstdiscuss the high demand and then return to the reasons forit.The entrance rate statistics for prewar higher schoolsshow that these institutions did not come close to76accommodating the demand to enter them. (See Table 1 at theend of this chapter). The rate was still high around theturn of the century, for middle school education was still inits infancy. The demand increased rapidly, however, from thelate Meiji period, and the schools could never accommodatemore than 20% of the students that applied. 117By the end of the Meiji era, nearly all students werereceiving elementary education and completing the full sixyears. According to a contemporary account, from the mid-Taisho period the majority of elementary school graduateswere not satisfied with a primary education, and the parentswere trying as well to put their children into some secondaryschoo1. 118 The preferred options were the boys' middleschools and the girls' high schools. The demand for boys'education did not seem to surprise Taisho observers as muchas the desire for girls' education. It was widely reportedby the media that women seeking knowledge were increasing,girls leaving rural areas to enter city schools were on therise, and the girls' schools were all full. 119117 See also "Shakai no hanei to naru 10(8 shibOshashily6 nOryoku no zatto jilbai" (Society is reflected in thenumber of students aiming for higher schools; that number isten times what the schools can admit), 116chi shimbun, 16June, 1918, in Shimbun shOroku Taisho shi, v. 6, p. 208.118 "Shitei o doko e" (Where to put the children),Kokumin shimbun, 7 March, 1917, in Shimbun shOroku Taishoshi, v. 5, pp. 90-91.119 "Jo gakke) wa mina manin" (Girls' schools are allfull), HOchi shimbun, 16 April, 1918, in Shimbun shOrokuTaisho shi, v. 6, p. 134; "Chihel kara kuru jo gakusei -77The gap between supply and demand of secondary educationbecame a permanent problem in prewar Japan. In the previouschapter, we noted an elementary school principal's commentsin 1920 concerning the severe lack of secondary schools andthe unavailability of secondary education for many competentstudents. 120 The secondary schools, on the other hand, werefinding it impossible to accommodate the increasing number ofapplicants. 121The disparity between supply and demand is alsoillustrated by middle school entrance rates (Table 1). Fromthe Taisho period the number of applicants always exceededthose accepted by around 100%. There was also a generalincrease in the number of applicants itself. As in the caseof the higher schools, the number did fall in the late 1920sand early 1930s. This was accompanied by higher entrancerates, but the decrease in applicants did not render demandfor these schools at parity with supply. Moreover, the dropin this track did not mean a general decline in the demandsakunen yori nyagaku shigansha ga ooi" (Female studentscoming from rural areas - more applicants than last year),Ybmiuri shimbun, 6 February, 1919, Ibid., v. 7, p. 35;"Chishiki o motomeru josei zOka - nyagaku gansha no kazu wasakunen no bai" (Increase in the number of women seekingknowledge - the number of applicants twice as last year),ChM shimbun, 12 March, 1919, Ibid., p. 99.120 see "Preparatory Education" section in Chapter 3.121 "Chagaku no nyagakunan - manin de shay6 shikirenu"(The difficulty of entering middle schools - the schools arefull and cannot accommodate the demand), Tokyo Nichinichishimbun, 5 March, 1920, in Shimbun shOroku Taisho shi, v. 8,p. 91.78for post-elementary education. Unemployment of higher schoolgraduates had become a problem in those years, and thedecrease in applicants to the elite track was accompanied byan increase in students applying to vocational schools. 2^2This suggests that overall demand for post secondaryeducation did not fall sharply despite harsh economic times.The entrance rates for girls' high schools was similarto the middle schools' rate - usually in the range of 40 to50%. 123 These rates indicate that the demand for middle andgirls' high school education was generally twice the supply.The demand for "more desirable" schools within these trackswas even more disproportionate with supply. Public schools(those run by the local governments) were preferred overprivate institutions. 124 The entrance rates cited above arethe aggregate for public and private schools. The rate for122 "Shilshokunan kara jitsugy6 gakke) oo mote"(Vocational schools become highly attractive due to highunemployment), Tokyo Asahi shimbun, 3 April, 1929, in aimbunshOsei Showa shi no shOgen, v. 3, p. 114.123 See the "High School for Girls" section in theAnnual Report(s) of the Minister of State for Education.124 In 1915, a private school principal laments thisfact and argues that some private schools, such as his, areequally good. He also notes that his school experiences moredemand than it can accomodate. "Chilgaku jogakke) nonyfigakunan" (The difficulty to enter middle and girls' highschools), Yomiuri shimbun, 23 February, 1915, in ShimbunshOrcku Taisho shi, v. 3, p. 81.79public middle and girls' high schools was usually about25%. 125The situation on the entrance application day for publicmiddle and girls' high schools in 1930 is also illustrativeof the high demand for a public education. These schoolsstarted accepting applications on February 10, and within twohours all of them had already received more than the numberof spaces available. The First Prefectural Middle School had230 openings but had already received 800 applications by theend of the first day, and by the deadline it expected toreceive applications from seven to twelve times the number ofstudents it could accommodate. 126 The case is from Tokyo, andtherefore the demand may be higher than elsewhere, but sincethere were fewer schools in other areas, one suspects thatthe situation was not too different. 127 Moreover, even inrural areas, those parents who could afford it were eager toeducate their sons and daughters at city schools.The case of the First Middle school in the above accountpoints to the highly excessive demand for a few elite schoolswithin the government schools category. Nbmbusho's annual125 "ChiltO gakkO no nyfigakunan - nyfigaku ritsu wa wazukani niwari nanabun" (The difficulty to enter [public]secondary schools - entrance rates are only 27%), 14 April,1923, Shimbun shOroku Taisho shi, v. 11, p. 137.126 Yomiuri Shimbun, 11 February, 1930, in ShimbunshOsei Showa hennen shi, v. 5, p. 96-97.127 In Sapporo, for instance, nyOgakunan for middleschools was a problem. Sapporo shi kyOiku iinkai, BylseichOgaku monogatari, Sapporo city, 1984, p. 300.80report provides separate entrance rates for the two middleand girls' high schools each that were attached to the highernormal schools. At these "national" schools the rate was ameager 10% to 15% on average. Ochanomizu Girls' High Schoolwas one of these schools. The demand for this elite schoolseems to have received separate media coverage. 128In the preceding section we have seen that the demandfor post-elementary education was high and always exceededthe supply in prewar Japan. 129 The difference between thedemand for and supply of "more desirable" education wasparticularly great. The social reasons for this high demandlie in the popular ideology of risshin shusse and in gakurekishugi. These phenomena are extensive subjects in themselves128 See "Ochanomizu hajimatte irai no nytigaku shibOst"(Highest number of applicants ever in the history ofCchanomizu), Ybmiuri shimbun, 9 December, 1922, in ShimbunshOroku Taisho shi, v. 4, p. 62; and "Jilsa bai no nyllgakushigan - Ochananizu kOjokO" (Over ten times more applicantsthan spaces available - Ochanomizu Girls' High), Yaniurishimbun, 14 February, 1916, Ibid., v. 4, p. 62.129 The number of secondary schools did increase fromthe early Taisho period. (Mbmbusho, Gakusei kyujunen shi,1964, pp. 604, 606, and 608.) It seems, though, that the near100% spread of elementary education produced more aspirantsthan the increase could accommodate. Competition to entersecondary schools remained high till the late 1930s. See,"ShOgakusei no juken sense)" (The examination war ofelementary school students), ShOgakusei shimbun ni mini, v.1, p. 68.81and have been insightfully discussed by some scholars. 130Their origins in the Meiji period have been particularly welltreated. I will limit my analysis to a brief explanation,and stress that from the early 1900s, as almost all began toreceive elementary education, the concept of "rising in theworld" appealed to considerably more youths than in earlieryears-The idea of rising and succeeding in the world (risshinshusse) became popular in the early Meiji era. Compared tothe Tokugawa period, anyone with ability could, in theory,prosper and rise to a position of prominence. As in anysociety, limiting factors such as financial resources andone's sex still existed. The school system, however, wasopen to all; and any person, regardless of social status,could proceed to the imperial university and compete in thehigher civil service examinations. 131 Self-improvementthrough studying privately or at a school was considered tobe most essential in achieving risshin shusse. FukuzawaYukichi's Gakumon no susume (An encouragement of learning)130 See, for example: FUkaya, Gakureki;Shimbori,Gakureki: Jitsuryoku shugi o habamu mono (Daiyamondosha, 1966); Amano, Shiken; Takeuchi Yo, Nihonjin no shussekan (Gakubunsha, 1978); Ogawa Taro, Risshin shusse shugi nokyOiku (Nagoya, Reimei shobO, 1957); R.P. Dore, The DiplomaDisease (London, Allen & Unwin, 1976); and Kinmonth, SelfMade Man.131 These examinations are discusses in: R-Spaulding, Japan's higher Civil Service Examinations(Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1967).82and Samuel Smiles's Self Help (Saikoku risshi hen) werehighly popular books at the time.Gakureki shugi (educational credentialism) is the use ofone's academic credentials in determining one's occupationaland social status. 132 As the school system was graduallyconsolidated from the mid-Meiji period, education credentialsbecame the means of success. The roots of this credentialismlie in the 1880s, when the government sector gave preferenceto Imperial University graduates in hiring and promotingofficials. 133 Ronald Dore has argued that "late developing"nations promote the use of credentials more vigorously thanmay be the case in other societies. 134 Amano has also arguedalong the same line. As the modern industrial sectorexpanded from the early 1900s, there was great demand forwhite collar workers. Individuals with experience werescarce, and credentials were the next best thing to relyon. 135The use of credentials by the private sector wasespecially significant in the routinization of gakurekishugi. Most companies sought graduates of secondary orhigher institutions for white-collar jobs. Salaried, white-collar employment in the private sector became the success132 See Fu]caya, Gakureki, p. 15. The last school fromwhich one graduates carries the most weight.133 Amano, Shiken, pp. 161-163.134 Dore, Diploma, p. 44.135 Amano, Shiken, pp. 271-272.83most youth aimed at. 136 Government jobs, after all, werefew. Moreover, top jobs in the bureaucracy required passingthe higher civil service examination after, in most cases,graduating from the Imperial Universities. In the privatesector, though, the companies relied mostly on educationalbackground to recruit employees. 137 The use of companyexaminations started in the early 1920s. However, the lastschool a person had graduated from was the essentialprecondition, as it still is today.From the late Meiji period, as virtually all school agechildren began attending elementary school, risshin shussethrough educational credentials became possible for themajority of the nation's youth. In fact, the abundance ofelementary school graduates rendered an elementary schooldiploma worthless in comparison to a secondary schoolcredential. The latter became the minimum requirement formaintaining or improving one's status. For women, secondaryeducation opened the possibility of a teaching career, andbecame almost essential in marrying into the same or highersocial class. Hence, the general increase in demand forpost-elementary education was directly related to the popularideology of self-advancement, and to the indispensability of136 The change in the meaning for success from the Meijito the Taisho period is discussed extensively by Kinmonth inSelf Made Man.137 Amano, Shiken, pp. 293-296.84a secondary or higher school diploma for that self-improvement.Risshin shusse and gakureki shugi also explain thehigher demand for the more desirable secondary schools. Theuse of credentials to hire and promote employees, or todetermine one's social status, was not limited to judgingfrom the general level of education one had completed. Theprestige of the school from which one had graduated made muchdifference. Therefore, students (with pressure from parents)hoped to enter the more prestigious, public schools ratherthan private institutions; in addition, they aimed at ashighly ranked a school as possible. Gakureki shugi, in otherwords, is what gave meaning to the schools being ranked byentrance competition.The desire to risshin shusse and the feasibility of thesame through educational credentials explain the high demandfor desirable post-elementary schools in prewar Japan. Sincedemand did not match supply, and school diplomas were soprecious, a fair and meritocratic method for selecting thoseable to attain the credentials was necessary from theperspective of the people. For them, entrance examinationswere such a method. The tests ensured that establishedgroups and the rich did not monopolize the route to success.In other words, they were the means by which a fair risshinshusse through education was possible for all. Thus, thedemand-supply gap, risshin shusse, and gakureki shugi are85also significant in explaining the utility of entranceexaminations for the people. They opposed the tests'abolition because of this utility. The demand—supplyinequality also accounts for the tests' usefulness forschools in selecting from an excess of applicants; and forthe government in effectively limiting the amount of demandthat was satiated. Moreover, this multiple usefulnessexplains why entrance examinations and their influencepersisted despite the vigorous reform efforts. To summarize,the demand-supply gap in a risshin shusse-gakureki shugisociety was the underlying reason behind the extent, theroutinization, and the persistence of entrance examinations'influence in prewar Japan.86TABLE 1MIDDLE SCHOOL ENTRANCE RATESyear number ofapplicantsnumberacceptedentrancerate1894 12,509 9,074 72.541898 36,296 22,968 63.281902 49,463 28,407 57.731906 55,238 29,746 53.851910 60,595 32,007 52.941914 73,088 35,255 49.591918 85,190 39,844 46.771922 155,566 63,504 40.821926 145,613 76,977 52.861930 108,658 75,078 69.101934 131,093 78,848 60.151938 180.203 89.713 49.78HIGHER SCHOOL ENTRANCE RATES1898 3,178 1,580 49.71902 4,574 1,646 36.01906 5,151 1,475 28.61910 9,278 2,147 23.11914 9,427 2,025 21.51918 11,833 2,675 19.21922 29,715 4,452 15.01926 59,144 6,091 10.31930 37,837 6,685 17.71934 30,038 4,622 15.41938 35.096 4.660 13.3Source: Annual Report for the Minister of State for Education, Tokyo,nos. 28-59, (1900-1932), and Masuda, NyOgaku shiken: kako karagenzai made, Minsh0 kyOiku kyOkai, 1958.87CONCLUSIONI have argued in this thesis that the social andeducational influence of entrance examinations was notlimited in prewar Japan--it was not limited in the sense thatit extended beyond the few that managed to enter the eliteschools, and in the sense that many phenomena thatcharacterize the entrance examination competition today werealready routinized before the Pacific War. The schools wereranked by the difficulty of their entrance examinations andby how well they prepared students for the examination to thenext stage. The competition to enter the most prestigiousschools was excessive. "Escalator" schools that led tohigher education with considerably less effort were in place.Private tutors, juken literature, and yobikO thrived on thecompetition among the jukensei and rOnin. Occasionally,frauds related to entrance examinations also surfaced. Thestudents preparing for the tests suffered from "hellish"emotional and physical anguish. This examination hellextended to fifth and sixth grade elementary students aimingto enter a secondary school.The more significant influence of the prewar entranceexaminations lies in the effect they had on elementary schooleducation. The schools conducted extra review sessions forthe tests after school and on weekends, and sometimes88replaced extracurricular classes with such sessions.Elementary education in general became geared towardsexamination preparation. Thus, preparatory education forsecondary school entrance examinations affected even thosewho did not intend to sit for the tests.The content of the prewar entrance examinations, and thepervasiveness of their social and educational consequences,suggest considerable continuity between the situation beforeand after the Second World. War. The Occupation periodoverhauled the school system but did not put an end toentrance examinations. In fact, in the confusion of thequick transition to a drastically different system, higherinstitutions had to rely on entrance examinations. As wenoted in the Introduction, the tests' influence remainsextensive in the postwar period. Even though the percentageof the nation's students actually taking the examinations ishigher in postwar Japan, in some ways, the impact was harsherbefore the war. Today, preparatory education begins at thesecondary level for the majority of the students as opposedto the elementary level before the war. Moreover, thehensachi (deviation value) system allows todays jukensei toknow their ability, and is a helpful indicator in choosingschools. 138 Prewar students had no such systematizedindicator.138 Private firms conduct mock tests for final yearstudents at the junior and senior high levels. Each studentgets the deviation value of his score. The firms calculate89Our other major concern is why the extensive influenceof entrance examinations was possible, and why it persisteddespite criticism and attempted reform. The essential reasonwas the gap between the demand for and supply of desirablepost-elementary education in a society where success througheducational credentials was accessible to all the youth. Thevast amount of material an examinee had to remember to passthe examinations of preferred schools also explains the extraefforts in and outside school. The tough content of theexaminations was itself a result of severe entrancecompetition generated by the demand-supply difference.The reforms aimed at simplifying entrance examinationsand ending preparatory education failed because theexaminations served some purpose for the bureaucracy on thethe average deviation value of previous students who passedthe entrance examination of each higher-level school. Thejukensei can compare their deviation value with the schoolaverages while selecting where to apply. The relationship ofhensachi with the actual entrance examination of each schoolis indirect, however, the students can get an idea of theirability relative to those who passed the test in the past.These examinations are usually conducted by large yobikO andare open to non-members, since a higher number ofparticipants produces better estimates. For the same reason,students (and rOnin) try to take the mock tests given byyobikei with a nationwide chain, such as Yoyogi Zeminaru(Seminar). Using their hensachi in choosing schools meansthat most students can pass the examination of at least someschool. This does not deter high school graduates from doingrOnin, for the rank of the university they enter and graduatefrom affects the rest of their lives. Thus, many studentsstudy extra year(s) to raise their ability and enter aprestigious school.90one hand and both the educators and those being educated onthe other. For the people, the tests were anondiscriminatory vehicle for achieving economic and socialstatus. To the elementary schools, every examination seasonwas an opportunity to increase prestige. For post-elementaryschools, the examinations were a highly effective instrumentfor selecting from excess demand. Simplifying the content ofthe tests made this instrument less useful or evenineffective. The government saw the tests as valves thatonly "vented" a safe amount of demand for education. Thegovernment was extremely concerned about the negativeconsequences of entrance examinations, but it could not riskremoving the valves. As a result, it attempted to remove theconsequences of the tests without removing the examinationsthemselves, much like trying to blow away nails inseparablystuck to a powerful magnet. This allowed the schools, thestudents and their parents to protect their interests anddefy government reform. The upshot was that the magnetremained powerful and the nails did not budge--theexaminations remained difficult and the consequencespersisted.The story of the routinization of entrance examinationsand the phenomena that accompanied them in prewar Japan isrelevant to the general theme of the state-societyrelationship at the time. It is yet another aspect thatbrings into question the all too common "active director" and"passive responder" characterizations of the state and the91society respectively in the course of the nation's prewarhistory. The issue examined in this paper is evidence of thevibrant and, at times, somewhat autonomously active nature ofsociety as opposed to the view of it being meekly led by thecollar by the state. Society--in our case, the schools, thestudents and their parents--was as important a player in thesituation described here as the government and thebureaucracy, and perhaps even more so. In other words, inthe complex educational drama revolving around entranceexaminations, society was not always the assistant directorworking within the guidelines set by the director. Insteadit often neglected those guidelines and assumed the role ofthe real director in the scene that actually resulted.Similar possibilities of a more active and autonomous role onthe part of the non-governmental sectors, such as scientists,religions, and businesses, have been suggested by somescholars. 1219 Together they point to a need to move away fromoverly state-centered explanations for, if not political, at139 J. Bartholomew, "Science, Bureaucracy and Freedom inMeiji and Taisho Japan," in Conflict in Modern JapaneseHistory: The neglected Tradition, eds. T. Najita and J.V.Koschman (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1982), pp.295-341; S.M. Garon, "State and Religion in Imperial Japan,1912-1945," Journal of Japanese Studies 12:2 (Simmer 1986),pp. 273-302; W.D. Wray, Mitsubishi and the N.Y.K., 1870-1914: Business Strategy in the Japanese Shipping Industry(Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1984); A. Gordon,"Busines and the Corporate State: The Busines Lobby andBureaucrats on Labor, 1911-1941," in Managing IndustrialEnterprise; Cases From Japan's Prewar Experience, ed. W. D.Wray (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1989), pp. 53-85.92least economic and social conditions that characterize"imperial" Japan.The continuity in the influence of entrance examinationsand the failure of reform in prewar Japan are relevant to thecontroversy that surrounds the examination system today.Reform of entrance examinations to reduce some of thenegative consequences is a concern among critics andofficials alike. The criticisms are much the same: educationbeing geared towards examination preparation and the plightof the students. Minor reforms have been attempted, butexamination hell shows no sign of abating. The continuitymeans that the roots of current problems related to entranceexaminations extend further back in time than the postwarera. The same is true of the central position theexaminations occupy in society at large. Thus, the issuesthat contemporary critics and reformers have to address arenot young phenomena that can be removed easily.Perhaps the key point is the other side of thecontroversy: the perceived benefits of the examinationsevident in their long acceptance. Parents and studentsobviously do not relish the anguish caused by examinationhell. As in prewar Japan, however, they accept the tests asa very fair and meritocratic way of selection. People havelearnt to live with evils for the sake of the rewards thatnot all receive but can try for. School administrators mayexpress sympathy for the suffering students, but are not93willing to give up entrance examinations. In their eyes, thetests remain the most objective and effective selectionmethod. With this long history of acceptance by the public,the government cannot risk enforcing radical reform.Moreover, the education system has supposedly served well theeconomic "success" of the nation, and is being studied byoutsiders. The government may not want to attempt radicalreform. It does acknowledge the excesses of the system andhas tried to recommend a standardized test to all nationaluniversities. Sane universities are participating, but theystill conduct their own examinations in addition. The prewarreform experience suggests that any reform (to remove thenegative consequences) that does not enforce the abolition ofseparate examinations for each school is tantamount to noreform. The fact that the tests continue to hold a certainutility for the concerned sectors suggests that the story ofentrance examinations may be a never-ending one.94BIBLIOGRAPHYNote: Unless stated otherwise, all works in Japanese werepublished in Tokyo.Newspaper Article Collections Akiyama Masami, ed. ShOgakusei Shimbun ni miru senjika nokodomotachi. 3 vols. Nihon Tosho Senta, 1991.Araki Masayasu, ed. Shimbun ga kataru Meiji shi. Hara shobie,1976.Asahi shimbunsha. Asahi Nenkan. Asahi shimbunsha, Osaka.Nakajima Kenzo, ed. Shimbun shOroku Taisho shi. 15 vols.Taisho shuppan, 1978Shimbum ShOsei Showa shi no shOgen. 20 vols. (1926-1945)Homp6 shoseki, 1983-1987.Shimbun shOsei Meiji hennenshi hensankai. Shimbun shOseikbiji hennen shi. 15 vols. Zaisei keizai gakkai, 1936.Taisho Showa shinbun kenkyil kai. Shimbun shOsei Showa hennenshi. Shimbunshusei Taisho Showa hennen shi kankOkai,1958.Taisho dai zasshi: fUkuroku ban. Ryudo shuppan, 1978. (Acollection of Taisho period magazine articles.)Japanese 95Amano Ikuo. KyOiku to senbatsu. Dai-ichi hOki shuppan, 1982.Amano Ikuo. Shiken no shakai shi: kindai Nihon no shiken,kyOiku, shakai. Tokyo University Press, 1983; translatedby W.K. Cummings and FUmiko Cummings as Education andExamination in Modern Japan. Tokyo University Press,1990.Anesaki Masaharu. "Genji seinen no kumon ni tsuite," Taiyo9:9 (August 1,1903).Aoyagi Ariyoshi. ChOgaku batO ron. Maruyama sha shoseki bu,1907.Fukaya Masashi. Gakureki shugi no keifu. Reimei shobios, 1969.Hokkaido kyoiku kenkyiljo. Hokkaido kyOiku shi. 2 vols.Hokkaido kyoiku iinkai, Sapporo, 1955.Ikeda Susumu. "Nihon no nytagaku seido no enkaku," KyotoDaigaku kyOlku gakubu kiye3 vol.4 (1958), pp. 96-124.Ishikawa Ken. Nihon gakkO shi. ShOgakkan, 1960.Iwanami Shoten, ed. Ey6iku no Taikei. v. 6. Iwanami shoten,1990. (A collection of educational documents of theMeiji period.)Iwate kenritsu kyOiku senta, ed. Iwate ken kyOlku shi shiry.O.vols. 42-45. Morioka, 1985-1989.Kaigo Tokiami, ed. Nihon kyokasho taikei kindai hen.Kodansha, 1961.Kaigo Tokiomi et al. Aindai kyOlku shi. Volume 3 of Ayakugaku zenshu. ShOgakkan, 1968.Kanda Osamu, Yamazumi Masami et al., eds. Shiry6 Nihon nokyoiku. GakuyO shOloO, 1986.Karasawa Tomitaro. Gakusei no rekishi. Sobunsha, 1955.96Katsuta Shuichi & Nakaucihi Tornio. Nihon no gakko. Iwanamishinsho, 1964.Kawai Akira. Kindai Nihon kydiku he3h6 shi. Aoki shoten,1985.Kimura Shoshu. ShOnen Bungaku shi Meiji hen. Dowa shunju sha,1949.Kindai Nihon ky6iku seido shiry6 hensankai. Kindai NihonKydiku Seido airy(5. 35 vols. Kodansha, 1956-1959.Kinugasa Yasuki, Kyoto fu no RyOiku shi. Kyoto, Shibunkakushuppan, 1983.Kumamoto ky6iku kai. Kumamoto ken kyOlku shi. 3 vols.Kumamoto ken ky6iku kai, 1931.Kuroha Ryoichi. Ayngaku Shiken. Nihon keizai shimbunsha,1978.Kyoto city, ed. Kyoto no rekishi. vol.8. Kyoto shi hensanjo,1968.Kyoto Joshi Gakuen, ed. Kyoto Joshi Gakuen sOritsugojusshOnen kinen shi. Kyoto Joshi Gakuen, 1960.Masuda Koichi. NyCzgaku shiken: kako kara genzai made. Minshuky6iku ky6kai, 1958.Mio Sh6gakk6 kaik6 hyakunen sai jikk6 iinkai henshilbu, ed.Mio ShogakkO hyakunen shi. Mihama, Mio Sh6gakk6, 1977.Miyagi Gakuin, ed. Miyagi Gakuin hachijOnen shOshi. Miyagigakuin, 1966.Mombusho SOmukyoku. 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Waseda Universtiy Press, 1982-1987.Washio Tomoharu, et. al. Saikin Arondai no kelkO to chOgakkOjogakko juken hiketsu. Kyodo sha, 1931.EnglishArase Yutaka. "Mass Communication Between the Two WorldWars," Developing Economies 5:4 (Deck:doer 1967), pp.748-766.Beachamp, E. R. & R. Rubinger. Education in Japan: A SourceBook. New York, Garland, 1989.Beachamp, E. R. "Shiken Jigoku: The Problem of Entrance Examsin Japan," Asian Profile 6:6 (1978), pp. 543-560.Department of Education, Tokyo. A General Survey of Educationin Japan. 1926 and 1933.99Department of Education, Tokyo. Annual Report of the Ministerof State for Education. Nos. 28-59. 1900-1932. (Abridgedtranslation of the Nihon teikoku Mombusho nempo.)Dore, R. P. ed. Aspects of Social Change in Modern Japan.Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1967, pp. 113-150.Dore, R. P. Education in Tokugawa Japan. London, AlthonePress, 1984.Dore, R. P. The Diploma Disease. London, Allen & Unwin, 1976.Hani Mbtoko. "Liberty, Unity and Authority in Education," inEducation in Japan. v. 1. ed. World Conference Committeeof the Japanese Education Association, Tokyo 1938, pp.430-433.Kaigo T. & K. Yoshida. Japanese Education. Tokyo, Kokusaikankei kyOkai,1937.Kaigo Tokiami. Japanese Education: Its Past and Present.Tokyo, Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai, 1965.Keenleyside, H. & A. F. Thomas. History of Japanese Educationand Prsent Education System. Tokyo, Hokuseido Press,1937.Kikuchi Dairoku. Japanese Education. London, Edinburgh Press,1909.Kinmonth, E. H. The Self Made Man in Meiji Japanese Thought:Fran Samurai to Salaryman. Berkeley, University ofCalifornia Press, 1981.Kobayashi, Victor. "Japan's Examination Hell," EducationForum v. 23 (1963), pp. 19-23.Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (Japan). Japan'sModern Education System. Printing Bureau, Ministry ofFinance, 1980.100Nihon Bunka Remmei. Cultural Nippon V.5 (July 1937). (Specialissue on education)Passin, H. Society , and Education in Japan. New York, ColumbiaUniversity Press, 1965.Report of the Second United States Education Mission toJapan. Washington D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office,1950.Bohlen, T. P. Japan's High Schools. Berkeley and Los Angeles,University of California Press, 1983.Shimahara Nobuo. Adaption and Education in Japan. New York,Preager, 1979.Shimizu Yoshihiro. "Entrance Examinations," Journal of Socialand Political Ideas in Japan 1:3 (December 1963), pp.88-93.Simmons, C. Growing op and Going to School in Japan:Tradition and Trends. Philadelphia, Open UniversitiyPress, 1990.Smith, H. D. Japan's First Student Radicals. Cambridge,Harvard University Press, 1972.Spaulding, R. M. Japan's Higher Civil Service Examinations.Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1967.Vogel, Erza F. "The Gateway to Salary: Japan's InfernalEntrance Examinations," in Learning to be Japanese, ed.E. R. Beadhamp, Hamden, Linnet Books, 1978, pp. 213-239.101GLOSSARYNote: In English equivalents "examination" denotes "entranceexamination." The only exception is shiken which meansexamination. Definitions for terms that werepredominantly used in the plural form are in that form.In Japanese the same term is used for the singular form.gakureki shugi. educational credentiali billgakureki. academic credentialsIchikO. First Higher Schooljuken jigoku. examination helljuken zasshi. examination magazinesjuken. to take an examinationjukensei. students preparing to take an examinationjuku. cram schools offering preparatory classes in theevenings and on holidaysjumbi kyaku. preparatory educationjumbi. preparationkatei kyOshi. private tutorsKyaku jiron. Education opinionkyaku. educationMeiji period. 1868-1912Mombusho. Ministry (Department) of Education, Japan102nyiAgaku nan (nyfinan). the difficulty to enter a school, orsevere entrance competitionnyllgaku shiken (nyfishi). entrance examinationsrisshin shusse. rise in the worldrOnin. unaffiliated students studying after graduation forthe entrance examination of the next higher level.shiken jigoku. examination hellshiken. examinationsShowa period. 1926-1989ShOgakusei shimbun. Japan elementary school studentsnewspaperTaisho period. 1912-1926Tokyo yagaku annai. A guide to studying in TokyoyobikO. preparatory schools for rOnin103

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