Editorial | Published:

Japanese Education


    THE Japanese Government, having decided to take a more prominent part in the Health Exhibition than they did last year in the Fisheries—due, we believe, in the latter instance to the fact that they had a Fisheries Exhibition of their own in Tokio at the same time—have appointed a Commission to superintend the Japanese Section, among the members of which is Mr. S. Tegima, the Curator of the Tokio Educational Museum, who has been specially appointed to superintend the Educational Section. To accompany the exhibits in this Section the Government have published a little hand-book, which has been reproduced in the China Telegraph, and which contains the most exhaustive account of modern Japanese education, its system, and results, that we have seen in any European language. The Annual Report of the Minister of Education is little more than a mass of statistics; the number of children attending primary, secondary, &c., schools for some years past is carefully given, but we are left to guess at the subjects taught and the course of instruction in these establishments. We are not grumbling at the Report on this ground; it is what it professes to be; we merely desire to point out the special interest of the present little work. The Japanese can look back with pride on a large—a very large—portion of the national work of the past fifteen years; and in education, whatever it may have been in other departments, there has never been the slightest faltering or doubt as to the wisdom of extending the benefits of an improved system to every village and hamlet in the Empire. And perhaps the statesmen who have steadily pursued their policy in this respect when the cry for economy, even at the expense of efficiency, was rising round them, have their reward even now. A Minister of State who recently visited Europe, talking to an English friend of the future of his country, stated that in Japan they trusted to their system of popular education acting on the intelligence of their people to prevent the spread of revolutionary doctrines; the schoolmaster was abroad in the land, and its rulers could rest safe from that danger at least.

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