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ERIC Number: EJ838300
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
Civil Society, State, and Institutions for Young Children in Modern Japan: The Initial Years
Uno, Kathleen
History of Education Quarterly, v49 n2 p170-181 May 2009
Research on the history of children and childhood in modern Japan (1868-1945) reveals that issues related to civil society, state, and the establishment of institutions for young children can be explored beyond the transatlantic world. In this essay, after briefly surveying historiography, a few basic terms, and earlier patterns of state and private involvement in education, the author considers the role of state and nonstate agents in the genesis of institutions for young children in modern Japan. She then proceeds in chronological order, treating first the founding of kindergartens and then day nurseries, focusing on the initial four decades. Since there are no English monographs tracing the history of Japanese younger children's institutions or the history of children in general, the author begins the investigation through the published Japanese language historical works on education, early childhood education, and social welfare and data extracted from English language materials. Here, the author focuses on the initial years of two leading institutions for young children, the kindergarten and day nursery (or day care center) in order to explore how private and public initiatives established modern educational and welfare institutions for young children in Japan. The findings presented here suggest that while nationalism and state initiatives were quite strong, attempting to view the establishment of early childhood institutions in modern Japan from the bottom up, that is, by examining private initiatives, offers an alternative perspective resulting in a more comprehensive view of not only education and relief projects for young children but the larger social and political landscape as well. (Contains 30 footnotes.)
Blackwell Publishing. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8599; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan