Taming Japan's democracy: the making of homogeneous Japanese citizens through education.




Oka, Yoko

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Although the significance of education is widely recognized, the content and regimentation of education is not often discussed in contemporary Japan. This thesis analyzed the Japanese education system from Meiji Restoration to today, revealing how the Japanese education system has molded citizens in favor of state power. The persistent system, which has produced citizen conformity, eventually created mindless self-censored citizens. As a result, because of the repeated education dogma, Japanese youths are desperately trying to be ideal Japanese citizens. Nevertheless, the ramifications of the education system in Japanese society, have led to the Hikikomori (or hidden youths) and high suicide rates. The findings of this thesis are based on the education guidelines from the Japanese education ministry and from interviews with various Japanese people. The conclusion is that if the Japanese education system keeps ousting the freedoms of students, the system may once again have a devastating effect on democracy as was seen in Japan in the 1930s.



Democracy, Japanese Education, Meiji Restoratoion, Hidden Youths (Hikikomori), Conformity