Does the society have a formal educational system that includes schools and agreed-to curriculum, specific subjects and hired teachers? Is the curriculum the same for all classes of both sexes? Are the schools the same? If the schooling is “informal” – not done by teachers in schools, how are the young people taught the society’s rules and accumulated knowledge? By parents, “initiation” schools, elder storytellers, religious leaders – or even by one’s peers?

The Education of Tsuda Umeko of Japan

photo of Tsuda Umeko

On November 10, 1871, five girls were presented to the Empress of Japan and given the charge of going to the United States to learn how women were educated there.

Yoshimatsu Ryoko—15 years
Ueda Sadako—15 years
Yamakawa Sutematsu—12 years
Nagai Shigeko—9 years
Tsuda Umeko—8 years

The Empress instructed them:
“I congratulate your willingness to study abroad. Study hard in order to be able to become the models for Japanese women upon your return from the completion of your study abroad.”

Copyright © The Clio Project 2005 

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Photo Credit:
Eunson, Roby. 100 Years: The Amazing Development of Japan Since 1860. Tokyo: Kodansha International Ltd., 1965.

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