Education in Japan since 1945: Equality, Hierarchy, and Competition

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Educational reforms after the Asia-Pacific War brought a strong emphasis on equality into Japanese compulsory education, in terms of provision, pedagogy, and participation. The effects upon post-war Japanese society have been profound, ranging from a dramatic levelling of differences in academic attainment to a sense of national identity as a broadly homogenous society. In contrast, educational structures and policies in post-compulsory education have emphasized differentiation over equality, resulting in fierce competition for educational credentials. This tension between equality during compulsory education and competition in post-compulsory education has been crucial in the shaping of post-war Japanese society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReconsidering Postwar Japanese History
Subtitle of host publicationA Handbook
EditorsSimon Avenell
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9789048559381
ISBN (Print)9789048559374
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2023


  • education, Japan, postwar


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