The establishment of a national education system soon after the
Meiji Restoration of 1868 is recognized as a significant factor in
Japan's modernization, hence research on education is concentrated
on the state system. However, this development did not mean the
disappearance of the juku, the private academies which were so much
a feature of the Tokugawa period. Indeed, these played a far
greater role than has been appreciated so far and this book aims to
rectify the omission.
This comprehensive study of a little-known but significant area not
only contributes to a better understanding of education in the
Meiji period but is also relevant to the reform of Japan's public
education system today. Education was once viewed and organised
very differently from today, and the modern state-controlled system
we take for granted is just as much a product of historical
circumstances as the juku was; it, too, must therefore be open to
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