Internationalization Of Japanese Education Essay

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3.2 Internationalization of Education in Japan: Great Education Reforms

Japan has long been influenced by foreign education systems such as Chinese Confucianism and Buddhism since the 6th century and Dutch studies in the Edo period (1603–1868). In that context, it can be said that the internationalization of Japanese education proceeded with influences from the outside world. This was especially true in the Meiji era (1868–1912), when Japan’s internationalization was identical with the modernization of the country.

The modernization of Japanese education started with the Meiji Restoration in the 1860s, when more than 250 years of feudal military government (the Edo period) came to an end and imperial rule was restored. Rappleye and Kariya (2011, p.53) point out that since the Meiji Restoration, Japan experienced three ‘Great Education Reforms’, namely the reform in the early Meiji era (1868–1890), during World War II and its aftermath (1937–1955), and the reform initiated under Prime Minister Nakasone’s Ad Hoc Council for Education (1983–1987).

3.2.1 Reforms in the Meiji Era

Many scholars of Japanese education including Lincicome (1993, p.148) consider the first wave of reform to have
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However, Japanese reformers have never simply borrowed, rather “they have always ‘reworked’ imports in accordance with domestic debates and dynamics” (Rappleye and Kariya 2011, p.52). Japan digested imports from the outside world and made them Japan’s own. Referring to Japanese adaptability, some suggest that Japanese leaders very much valued their national identity and took pride in Japanese culture and history, even as they adopted and adapted to imports from advanced Western countries. Thus, the Japanese remained eager to preserve their culture and history. This inclination, which is considered characteristic of Japan, sometimes evokes Japan’s nationalistic

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