Series editor(s): Emily Hannum
Subject Area: Education
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|Title:||The twisted, unintended impacts of globalization on Japanese education|
|Author(s):||Takehiko Kariya, Jeremy Rappleye|
|Volume:||17 Editor(s): Emily Hannum, Hyunjoon Park, Yuko Goto Butler ISBN: 978-1-84950-976-3 eISBN: 978-1-84950-977-0|
|Citation:||Takehiko Kariya, Jeremy Rappleye (2010), The twisted, unintended impacts of globalization on Japanese education, in Emily Hannum, Hyunjoon Park, Yuko Goto Butler (ed.) Globalization, Changing Demographics, and Educational Challenges in East Asia (Research in the Sociology of Education, Volume 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.17-63|
|DOI:||10.1108/S1479-3539(2010)0000017004 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Article type:||Chapter Item|
Japan has long occupied a unique place in East Asia and continues to do so in an era of increased global interconnectivity. Beginning with the Meiji Restoration (1868), it became the first in the region to make a decisive, sustained, and highly successful attempt to “modernize” its political, economic, and social structures, thereby largely avoiding Western domination. This particular historical trajectory built directly on social foundations laid during the prolonged closure of the Tokugawa period and largely allowed Japan free reign to craft its own version of modernity, educational and otherwise. One result of this conscious, directed process of “catch-up” was an impressive “compression” of the transition to modernity – a phenomenon that had stretched out over hundreds of years in most Western countries – to little more than a half century (Kariya, 2010); a feat unmatched by any country in the first half of the twentieth century. Following the devastation of the Second World War, Japan redoubled its efforts to “catch-up” and through a combination of high birth rates following the war, export-driven economic growth leading to an explosion of manufacturing jobs, a commitment to egalitarian growth and full employment, and the creation of an educational meritocracy that meticulously selected the country's best and brightest, the country quickly moved up the value-added chain until, by the early 1980s, the Japanese economy was globally dominant (Katz, 1998; Okita, 1992). As such, by the 1980s, Japan became unique, first, in being the only country in the region whose social conditions facilitated genuine comparison with the “advanced” countries of the West and, second, a model for “modernization” that other countries in the region could emulate, first the four Asian Tigers and then (although rarely explicitly) China in the post-Mao “Reform and Opening” period (Rappleye, 2007; Kojima, 2000).
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