Japanization Education (皇民化教育)

Japanization education is defined as an edification policy in territories under the governance of the Empire of Japan, requesting fealty toward the Empire of Japan led by its ruler, the Emperor. It is said to be an edification policy for the Japanese race as well as a mandatory assimilationism and edification policy for peoples within the territories as shown in the figure (residents in foreign parts such as Koreans, Taiwanese, and the South Sea Islands residents as well as aboriginal people in South East Asia who lived in territories during the Greater East Asian War, and in rare cases, the Ainu tribe and Ryukyu [currently known as Okinawa], who lived within Japan). It is also called Japanization policy.

Specific contents

Language control, making standard Japanese as the official language, prohibition against the use of dialects and ethnic languages. Standard language was recommended to be used also at home.

Japanese consciousness was indoctrinated such as worshipping the Emperor by 'reverentially reading' ordinance on Education and setting hoanden (premises where an imperial portrait and the Imperial Rescript on Education are housed before and during the war) as well as hoisting Hinomaru (national flag of Japan) and singing Kimigayo (Japan's national anthem).

Promotion of the State Shinto and religions policies (refer to Japan's religion) such as the enforced establishment of Taiwan-jinja Shrine and Chosen-jingu Shrine. In addition, saluting military men and worshipping the Emperor were part of the policy.


Opposition group
It was a policy with a purpose of conscription and reinforcement of colonial occupation.

Japanization education neglected and sometimes destroyed the tradition and culture in foreign parts and occupied areas in particular. There is a tone that doubt the policy to be undertaken subjectively as an ethnic cleansing policy. Influenced by the education of this period, some people have suffered from the aftermath, such as not being able to have their ethnic language and their ethnic and cultural identities being jeopardized.

There is a theory that advocates it as a 'policy treating them equally to the Japanese' but the concept of Japanization itself considers Japanese being superior, presenting an evidence of discrimination.

Affirmative group
It was done in order to produce people useful to the nation.

It deserves criticizm by current standards, but at the time, it was common to achieve national integration by assimilationism.

Different from the way of Western powers' governing colonies and treating their local residents, the Japanization policy was to Japanize other ethnic groups by integrating thoughts and the language, and treating Japanese and the residents in colonies equally. In fact, the impartiality was their slogan. This is a thought leading to the Great East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere which was Japan's concept at the time.

Effects on postwar policies

The General Headquarters of the Allied Powers (GHQ) which occupied Japan after the Second World War worked on education reform, thinking that Japanization education, which promoted sacrificing oneself for the nation, played a big role in forming the militarism nation. The Imperial Rescript on Education was removed from educational sites and the Fundamental Law of Education was set as the fundamental law for education. However, the use of standard language was proactively promoted continuously afterward.

(For educational policies, refer to the movement of the Fundamental Law of Education)

[Original Japanese]