How to Research What Japanese Schools Teach

Caution: You need to be able to read Japanese if you really want to act like this.


On English opinions web, there are many big demagogies of what Japanese schools teach, including that we are not taught our war crimes. And very many people insult Japanese education by false accusations without reading real Japanese textbooks and other educational contents. It appears that also Japanologists are so, too. So I create this manual.

In Japan, screened textbooks of primary education and secondary education are highly standardized by Japanese government's course guideline and the government's screening. Primary schools and middle schools mainly use the screened textbooks. (See: Textbooks of Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Technology and 意外と知らない“日本の教科書制度”(1) - 学びの場.com("Japanese Textbook System" that Surprising Many don't Know. - Place for Learning) by Uchida Youkou's Education General Institutie) In addition, we use reference books and kids study books along the guideline. About the case of primary schools and of middle schools, the screened textbooks are bought to each pupils by the government every year, after the adoptions of municipalities, of national schools, and of private schools.(Source) And about the case of senior schools, each pupils have to buy the textbooks selected by the schools. So the textbooks used in any schools are up-to-date in Japan. "Japan’s History Textbook System: Creation, Screening, and Selection |" can be also used as the explanation of all subjects in Japanese primary and secondary schools.

In such a situation, what Japanese schools teach is very easy to research, different from what other countries do.

Contents of this page.

You can check it roughly by reading Wikibooks.

Wikibooks is a sister project of Wikipedia by Wikimedia Foundation. And its Japanese version has a project of Japanese schools' educational contents including textbooks by neutralizing real screened ones.

Such textbooks aren't used in actual classes. But you can check what Japanese schools teach roughly by that. And reading it makes your research much easier since you can find which grade's textbooks to check by the net.

Where you can find the screened textbooks

Textbooks | Reference Guide | National Diet Library shows which library keeps the old textbooks. You can check the latest textbooks in Textbook Centers, in the libraries of national universities with education schools, and so on.

List of the Books in the Library of Osaka Prefectual Education Center is convenient to find the title of the screened textbooks since it's listed by subjects on the net.

And you can find the additional knowledges based on the screened textbooks by their publishers' websites.

Big Libraries where you can check the textbooks

Interenational Library of Children's Literature
An institution of National Diet Library. It collects primary and middle school textbooks from 2002, senior school textbooks from 2003.
Hiroshima University Library
The library of Hiroshima University. Its education school is the biggest teacher education school of the West Japan. And its collection covers all the modern era. It has Textbooks Collection from the soon after the WW II.
Tokyo Gakugei University Library
The library of Tokyo Gagugei University. In Kanto Region, it's a national center of textbooks collection covering the past to the modern era.
Hokkaido University of Education Library
The Libraries of Hokkaido University of Education in some places. You can check the textbooks from 1950s.
Ehime University Library(Ehime University)
It's a textbook center of Ehime Prefecture. So almost all the screened textbooks after the WW II are collected, according to the source)
Fukui University Library(Fukui University)
The net reference is poor. But it has the textbooks with Lingchi Propaganda Wall Painting. Perhaps, you can find the textbooks that you can't do on the net.
Miyagi University of Education Library(Miyagi University of Education)
Aichi University of Education Library(Aichi University of Education)
Nara University of Education(Nara University of Education)
Kyoto University of Education Library(Kyoto University of Education)
Osaka Kyoiku University Library(Osaka Kyoiku University)
Hyogo University of Teacher Education Library(Hyogo University of Teacher Education)
A national education university's library. You can find the textbooks from 1950s, 1960s, or so.
University of Teacher Education Fukuoka Library(University of Teacher Education Fukuoka)
It holds textbooks from early age of Meiji to the era after WW II. In addition, they collect the world's textbooks from 1986 and it holds the textbooks from more than 30 countries.(Textbooks | Reference Guide | National Diet Library.)
Naruto University of Education Library(Naruto University of Education)
It's collected the screened textbooks from 1980s.
Utsunomiya University Library(Utsunomiya University)
It's systematically collected the screened textbooks from 1980s. You can see the list(Dead link. Internet Archive) on the source(Dead link. Internet Archive)
Tosho Bunko Library
The library that Tokyo Shoseki operate. By appoinments only. And no copy allowed.
LibraryOsaka Prefectual Education Center
It's convenient since you can check the general list by subjects about textbooks for primary schools, middle schools, and senior schools. No copy allowed.
Gifu Prefectural General Education Center
The official PDF says that the center saves all the textbooks from 1965 or 1970s.
Japan Textbook Research Center Library
Library of Japan Textbook Research Center. You can search the list from Textbook Library OPAC Page.
National Institude for Education Policy Research Education Library
Library of National Institude for Education Policy Research.

To read the screened textbooks isn't enough. Read also the reference books and so on.

In Japan, the textbooks are center of the educational contents. But they are often very rough. It doesn't mean that our primary and secondary education is so poor. You need to read also the reference books used with the textbooks and kids study books along the governmental guideline.

The contents of such books and of the web contents for pupils are written for the advantage of the entrance exams to middle schools, to senior schools, and to colleges. So their views are standardized although they tend to be leftistic.

You can find the most popular kids study books in the kids corner of public libraries.

There are some big kids learning manga series

There are some big kids learning manga series including ones with Doraemon, with Detective Conan, and with Crayon Shinchan. They teach various things to children in Japanese.

Created by Emmanuel Chanel