Talk:Education in Japan

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Template:Education infobox[edit]

I created a template, Template:Education infobox which can give a quick at a glance demographics table for education articles. See its implementation at Education in the United States and feel free to help improve the template.--naryathegreat | (talk) 01:00, August 7, 2005 (UTC)

Standarization of educational career presentation in form of

Education in Japan
Post Doctorate PD
Doctorate Q4
Master's Degree G2
Bachelor's Degree T4
Associate's Degree T2
High School
Ages 15-18
Middle School
Ages 12-15
Elementrary School
Ages 6-12
Kindergarten K
Preschool or Early Primary School P/P0

Should be added, Education in Sweden and Education in the United States already has this. I don't know how the educational layout looks like in Japan though. Lord Metroid 23:24, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Japanese Education is almost same, except that Elementary school is 1-6, JHS 7-9, and SHS 10-12. Also, there should be a division made for Associates degrees, as many of the women in Japan only get AA or AS degree's from Colleges (not Universities) much much more frequently in the USA. AA/AS degree's have more value in Japan than the USA, from my experience. I think this should be reflected in the template. I kept the T designation however for the male counterparts (who usually do 4 years). Template Updated, comments? -- Nictius 14:54, 5 January 2007 (UTC)


I think that someone who knows about it (i.e. not me), should write about more closely what grades correspond to what ages. For example, do pupils begin elementary school the same year they turn 6, or the same year they turn 7, or the year that will ensure that they turn 7 during the first school year, or any other scheme?

Analysis and Perspective[edit]

The following text was put in the article by User:David Fuchs. There are some problems with the text, I'll explain below. (text in italics is quote, the rest is my comment) -- Mkill 02:15, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

While to Americans and Europeans the Japanese education system might seem strange, long, and overly rigorous, Japanese students are known for their high efficiency, teamwork, and commitment to excellence. Japanese culture has a large pressure to be part of the group (wearing uniforms, etc.) as opposed to individualism in teaching and interaction. This method has several downsides. One is that the immense pressure to get into high schools (which largely determines what jobs you will be able to have in your future) has a negative effect of the emotional health of some kids.

It may not surprise that some elements of European school system appear strange to Japanese, too. Actually, some elements of American school system appear strange to Europeans, like the cheerleaders going out with the football players (yes, cliché). Do schools in the United Kingdom supress individualism? They have uniforms too... In Germany, the school type (we have three different) will decide if you can enter university and have a career later. This is decided at age 10. There is also extreme pressure about this choice in some families... In Japan, students regularly sleep in class. In Germany, your results will be downgraded for that, in Japan, the teacher doesn't care. Tell Japanese you can't sleep in class elsewhere and they will be surprised. The point I want to make here is: Yes, there is a high pressure on Japanese kids in Japan. Yes, your future career depends on the university you attend, and yes, kids have to learn hard for entrance exams. But: Don't talk about "exotic" and "strange" in an encyclopedia and avoid general statements where you don't have statistics to prove.
Sleeping in japanese classrooms is not a matter of being allowed to do so or not, the pupils are so tired from excessive cram school and homework load their body simply turns off to prevent organic damage from sleep deprivation. Binbou Shimai Monogetari, hope you watch next time! (talk) 16:52, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Japan's suicide rate is one of the highest in the world, especially for developed nations, with the rate for women the highest in the world. The majority of those commiting suicides are under 30. [ Asian Times story on Japanese suicide.]

Yes, Japan has a high suicide rate. No, Japan does not have the worlds highest. Your claim that Japan has the highest suicide rate for women is not even backed by the links you give. Check:
Note that Japan has the third highest suicide rate for women in this text. But suicide rates for women are higher in a number of Asian countries compared to European countries or the US. A lot of Asian countries with high suicide rates for women are missing in the list that I gave, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia... Maybe Japan would even rank lower than third. Just counting developed nations to make Japan does not work: Where is the borderline between developed and undeveloped societies in a globalized world?
Second comment: You did not come up with evidence that high suicide rates amoung school-age kids are linked to the education system. I don't want to say there are no links, but Wikipedia collects established facts and not speculation.

In addition, the Japanese tradition of adhering to rules would appear horribly restrictive to many American high schoolers today. Students must raise their hands at the right angle as prescribed in their handbook, arms fully extended. In elementary, middle, and even some high schools, students are to go straight home after school unless your teacher approves an alternate route and stops (a parent's note will not weigh the decision; the teachers control a large part of the students live's even out of school). "Students are NOT to go into coffeeshops", one handbook directs. Walking routes to and from school must be approved.

This is evidence based on anecdotes. If you can't come up with proper statistics like 30% of all elementary school kids have prescribed ways home, leave it out. I don't even think it's unusual that parents and teachers want kids to have a direct and safe way home; the difference is rather that Japanese schools don't have so many school busses and "soccer moms" that pick up the kids by car, so they need to teach the kids to walk home safely on their own.

All in all, the Japanese education system is a highly organized, efficient, competitive, and group-oriented method to the teaching of youth. Japanese tradition stresses respect for society and the established order and prizes group goals above individual interests, and is reflected throughout Japanese education.

This text could be used as an introductive text, but not as a summary. There are still inefficiencies in the Japanese education system, for example (just think of English teaching!) There is also some question marks behind the group orientation. As for respect for society: This is a no-brainer, I don't think there is any school system that teaches disrespect for society. -- Mkill 02:40, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
I'd just like to agree with Mkill about this. A lot of the contents are controversial enough that they need to be supported, especially the suicide figure. I was also concerned about the 70-80% male teachers number, which needs verification. It contradicts my own (limited) experience. A lot of the material also contradicts what I hear from people I know, including several high school students and their parents. In general I think Mkill was right to remove this material from the article pending verification/rewriting for neutral point of view. --DannyWilde 05:07, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

compulsory education[edit]

The article states that education in Japan is compulsory up to ... Is it compulsory for ALL children in Japan, or only those of Japanese parentage? Are children of guest workers, for example, also obliged to attend school?

unclear paragraph[edit]

>In primary school up to high school the students stay in their same homeroom groups every year, meaning they are interacting with the same students in their homerooms for their entire formative year. Teamwork and pride in their school is taught by the homerooms and the curriculum. Japanese schools have very few janitors as each class is responsible for the cleanliness of their room.

This paragraph seems a bit unclear to me. "...their entire formative year"? What does that mean? Should it read "years"? Or "...the entire year"? Or something else?

Also, in many of the schools I have taught at/work at, students DO indeed move around, classes of students of varying abilities are combined for certain lessons: math and English, for example. So, the meaning I draw from this paragraph is not completely accurate as well. DDD DDD 08:56, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

a bit unclear[edit]

This is from the structure section. Maybe it's late, but that last sentence, beginning with Schools used to have... seems a bit unclear to me. Can someone else give that paragraph a reading and... Yoroshiku.

One of the important points from the recent reforms is that in the past, the MEXT set the maximum of information to be included in a textbook. But today, the MEXT sets the minimum amount of information to be included in a textbook. Schools used to have textbooks and supplementary textbooks not checked by the MEXT because the textbooks contained minimal information that made teaching difficult as the textbooks lacked information that would help develop a deeper understanding of the subject.

Issues facing non-ethnically Japanese students[edit]

I noticed a section devoted to discussing the issues facing such students. The article claimed that non-ethnically Japanese students--regardless of nationality--are barred from participating in speech contests or foreign exchange programs. I don't know where the author of that information obtained it, but I know for a fact that it is not true. I am an English teacher in Kyoto prefecture at two public prefectural high schools. At one high school, there is a substantial population of ethnically Korean and Chinese students. One ethnically Korean student is--at this very moment--participating in a foreign exchange program in America. Other ethnically Korean and Chinese students are now working on their speeches for the upcoming speech contest, and others have achieved substantial success in past speech contests. I have only taught in Kyoto, so the change I made specifies "at least in Kyoto", but I suspect the same is true for all of Japan.

If you know that any statement in the article is untrue, and that statement is itself unsourced then please remove and/or change it! If possible, please provide a reliable source yourself. Bobo12345 07:37, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

vandalism to be fixed[edit] no time to do it myself greets --Saibo (Δ) 13:26, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

done --Saibo (Δ) 22:45, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

There were some other vandalism/corruption in the article itself (mostly spelling). I fixed them but it'd be nice if someone can just cross-check it. --Uruz7 01:50, 9 October 2007 (UTC)


"Critical thinking is not a concept that is valued in the Japanese education system"

This would be disputed by the authors of The Learning Gap at least for some values of "critical thinking." In their elementary schools frequently questions revolve around "how many ways can you think of to solve this problem" rather than rote memorization. --Nachtrabe 16:25, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

"Well Paid" and "Compares Favourably"[edit]

Wouldn't it be bettere to give an approx salary, then copare it directly with the salary of other jobs. "Well paid," is in itself, a value judgement.

Excuase my anal retention btw. Jubeanation 04:05, 28 March 2007 (UTC)


Why is there a link to education in Vietnam in the list of Japanese education?Tourskin 00:28, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Chinese, japanese and vietnamese languages and culture are closely related. (talk) 16:45, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
No, not really (talk) 19:04, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Poor phrasing[edit]

Japanese high school students have a very difficult and unusual life according to the rest of the world. The daily routine of a Japanese student is very different and consists of many terms. Most students in Japan have private tutoring or cram school which is night school in English. This helps them to get ahead in their school work and most students are participating in these schools to improve their learning and is a vital aspect to getting a higher income job. Japanese kids are pushed very hard from a young age and by age 12 they will know over 2000 Japanese characters. Students in Japan study harder but they also do not have as much leisure time since most of their time is spent studying, doing school work and participating in club activities. As well as having school and other tutoring Japan is known for its sporting clubs, but the most popular sport in Japan is baseball. Japan is known for its harder studying habits and has been recorded as having the highest TER ever seen.

This paragraph reads extremely unnaturally and is slightly redundant; can someone improve upon it, or possibly siphon off any relevant information and then delete it?? NoirCat 17:12, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Looking at the Japanese Version[edit]

I looked at the Japanese Wikipedia article on education linked to this article and, although the information seems reasonable (I work at a Japanese high school), I can't see what there sources are. --Mbowden (talk) 13:06, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Well, what about School Uniform[edit]

May I suggest or actually change this article to have an extra header about the Japanese School Uniform; I have quite abit of Info. thanks, Akira-otomo (talk) 09:56, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Very much unbalanced article[edit]

This article lacks a criticism section, which is badly needed, as there are a lot of negatives about the Japanese educational system. First of all, those who make it to university are already so tired from constant learning and homework treadmill of the pre-primary, primary, secondary and cram school years, they will essentially sleep through all their university years.

The requirements to get into any decent Japanese university are truly frightening, e.g. senior secondary school students are required to solve genuine general relativity problems for exam. (Consider that in the 1920's only three people, Einstein and Eddington were supposed to be able to understand general relativity and nobody knows who the third person was). The amount of learning-treadmill takes its toll on the pupils.

As they have no motivation left after being lucky enough to get into a prestigious university and they are already so much burnt out, they will not be creative and competitive enough compared to their British and American counterparts. The Anglo-Saxon have significantly less skills in their heads when they start university, but they have a lot of accumulated energy because of their lazy primary and secondary school years, so they blossom in college and university.

This is why Japan failed so miserably during the late 1980's and early '90s period, because the new post-Cold-War economy is based on inventiveness and resourcefulness, rather than sheer amount of knowledge. All this is omitted from the current article. (talk) 16:44, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Even the opening about being the "top in mathematics" seemed biased towards making the Japanese education system seem like the best in the world, even though it's just one section of it. I will move it lower to a more relevant position as it does not make a good general unbiased introduction towards the education system as a whole.

Well, if you want a criticism section, find some reliable sources on the issue and cite them when you create the section. Be bold! --V2Blast (talk) 21:24, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Out of date data[edit]

Why is all the data from the late 1980's? Would it be possible to get some numbers from less than twenty years ago? 09:28, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

School Year[edit]

Shouldn't the article when generally schools end and when they have breaks such as summer and winter breaks? It does however say that Japanese schools begin in April under Structure. There is a small note on this in the School holiday article though. AngelFire3423 (talk) 21:27, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

I would also like more precise information on this (in fact, this is what I came to the article hoping to find) as I am writing a novel set in Japan. (talk) 23:24, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Lead section?[edit]

As the template states, the article doesn't have a lead section. Anyone want to whip one up or at least get it started? To whoever does, consider including Template:Education infobox if you can find the info (or at least some of it). This article needs some work. --V2Blast (talk) 21:22, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

about the school bags used in many different media[edit]

what kinds of carry cases are used by school kids today?

I ask because the ones I see referenced in every school related manga seem rather useful and we would benefit from the information about them. Murakumo-Elite (talk) 05:11, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Randoseru. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 18:15, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
Thank you, and is this bag in this image: also classified by the same name or are there more specifics?(just wondering) Murakumo-Elite (talk) 06:52, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
That one is called "kaban". ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 07:49, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Suggested merger of Literacy in Japan into Education in Japan[edit]

The brief new article Literacy in Japan covers some of the topics in Education in Japan, but presently no more. I suggest merging it into Education in Japan. Fg2 (talk) 21:40, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Merged and redirected. -- (talk) 04:57, 18 October 2009 (UTC)
I am the above. Forgot to login! --Woodelf 04:58, 18 October 2009 (UTC)


08:54, 19 July 2010に投稿した図表が削除されましたが、どうすればいいでしょうか?--Tourist (talk) 08:05, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Elementary school missing. Also, should mention Day Care (hoikuen) vs. Kindergarten (yochien)[edit]

1. Why is elementary / primary school missing from the detailed analysis of each division? 2. Many children attend day care (hoikuen) from ages 2-6 instead of kindergarten (yochien). This should be mentioned somewhere.

Nasukaren (talk) 18:13, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

School day?[edit]

What time does the school day start and finish? (talk) 15:18, 1 October 2011 (UTC)

4th grade and Tetraphobia[edit]

I have heared that japanese had fear of 4 and many apartment houses and parking lots skip 4, so does it also affects the school too? more like skipping the 4th grade, making the children instant promoting them from 3th to 5th grades. (talk) 12:23, 9 November 2012 (UTC)


How can the total literacy rate be lower than the lowest per-sex literacy rate? If they are from different sources/years, then why not calculate the total based on the percentage of males and females in that year? (talk) 11:42, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Missing note[edit]

There's a note [d] in the infobox which doesn't seem to point anywhere. I assume it got deleted in a past revision, but I don't see anything recent. Does anyone want to dig through the log and find it, or shall we remove the reference? --Naleh (talk) 00:33, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

The note probably explains why the literacy is lower than both of the sexes' literacy rate (talk) 16:15, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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