Vocational Education

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Vocational Education

Vocational Education in the Industrialization of Japan

Title: Part II. Case Studies of Vocational Schools: Chap. 8. Bamboo Working: The Beppu Technical Apprentice School/ Commerce: The Miyakonojo Commercial Continuation School
Author: Yamagishi, Haruo
Publisher: United Nations University Press
Published Year: 1987
Table of ContentsMain Text (PDF version)

Part II. Case Studies of Vocational Schools: Chap. 8. Bamboo Working: The Beppu Technical Apprentice School/ Commerce: The Miyakonojo Commercial Continuation School

Through a summary of the establishment and the development of the Miyakonojo Commercial School in Miyazaki Prefecture and the Beppu Technical Apprentice School in Oita Prefecture, this chapter aims to grasp the characteristics regarding the developmental process of modern vocational schools in the eastern region of Kyushu. Although four years separate the founding of the two schools, both schools were founded as vocational educational institutions at the elementary level in the late 1890s, which was a demarcation point in Japan's modern history, and both were quite similar in their subsequent development.
Kyushu was one of the areas from which Japanese culture originated and it was the center of power in early Japanese history. As the center of Japanese culture moved more and more to the east, Kyushu was relatively distant from the central culture. In the developmental process of modern history, the eastern region of Kyushu, such as Miyazaki Prefecture and Oita Prefecture, was becoming an "underdeveloped area" in danger of being left behind in the process of modernization.
During this period, the so-called local traditional industries which were regionally fairly stable were still in existence. Institutions of modern vocational education in the eastern region of Kyushu developed to help various local industries grow further. This chapter sums up and points out several characteristics regarding the establishment process at both schools over a thirty-year period from their founding in the latter half of the Meiji period to the early Showa period (1926 to present) when both schools continued to exist as stable vocational schools. The contents of the chapter are as follows: (1) the establishment process, (2) changes of the school system, (3) actual conditions of the schools and their transformation, and (4) the mutual relationship between each of the schools and the local community.

Ⅰ. The Establishment Process at Both Schools

1. An Outline of the Establishment Process

The Miyakonojo Commercial School was opened on 7 February 1898 in Miyakonojo Town, Kitamorogata County, Miyazaki Prefecture as a town-run vocational continuation school. The town of Miyakonojo, a castle town located in the Miyakonojo basin, played a central role in distribution and in the economic activities of the southeastern region of Kyushu, centering in the Osumi region. Although the town was placed under the control of the Shimazu clan of Kagoshima during the period of the fief governments, the Shimazu family of Miyakonojo was so powerful that it was able to maintain a semi-independent status. The neighboring city of Miyazaki had been no more than a small rural town prior to its becoming the prefectural capital. Therefore, Miyakonojo which had maintained neutrality vis-a-vis Kagoshima and Miyazaki treaded an independent path.
The economic activities of Miyakonojo developed in relation to agriculture pursued in the fertile basin. The Miyakonojo basin was so fertile that farmers whose crops were in the neighboring volcanic ash plateau often looked at the basin with envy. The fertility was revealed even more dramatically in the production increase to be seen from the latter half of the modern period. The merchants of Miyakonojo sold fertilizer and farm tools to rice-growing farmers in this basin. All agricultural products such as harvested rice were handled and distributed by merchants. Farmers who were unable to repay their debts began to emerge, causing farm land to be concentrated in the hands of powerful merchants. The latter half of the Meiji period was the time when such a trend gradually progressed. Although limited to the Miyakonojo region, influential merchants came to be involved in every aspect of the people's lives ranging from production and distribution to consumption. This emergence of commerce as a local industry was the prime reason for the establishment of a commercial educational institution in Miyakonojo. Another condition which should not be overlooked was that the cultural climate of this area emphasized education. This ideology was said to be maintained primarily by the former samurai class. Miyakonojo was said to be an area in which the three social strata―the former samurai class, the merchant class, and the farmer class―were clearly discernible in the patterns of their social life. Each of these three strata was concerned with the founding of the commercial school for its own reasons.
At the opening of the school, the school was able to receive a national subsidy of ¥300. Since the total expenditure of this school in 1899, for example, was ¥ 550, this subsidy was quite sizable. This school was the seventh commercial continuation school to have been opened in Kyushu. Five years had passed since the enactment of the Regulations for Vocational Continuation Schools, and the number of schools established nationwide by this year had reached 113 schools. Compared with the nationwide standard, this school had not been opened at an early stage. Nevertheless, as for Miyazaki Prefecture where the spread of vocational continuation schools was delayed, this school was not only the third to be opened in the prefecture' but the harbinger of modern vocational educational institutions in the eastern region of Kyushu.
The Beppu Technical Apprentice School was opened in February 1902 in Hamawaki Town, Hayami County, Oita Prefecture as the Beppu Technical Apprentice School managed by the Schools' Association of Beppu and Hamawaki towns. The urban areas of both towns almost adjoined each other, and both had geographically formed a series of urban areas since the Tokugawa period. In 1906 both towns were amalgamated into one which was newly named Beppu. Consequently, this school was also renamed the Town-run Beppu Technical Apprentice School.
Beppu had been famous since olden days as a hot-spring site. It was after the Meiji period, however, that the hot springs were developed for the tourist industry. Prior to that, the hot springs were frequented by the farmers living in the nearby villages for spa treatment rather than as sightseeing spots. A large number of farmers visited Beppu, spending several weeks to several months there and taking along only simple daily essentials. At the spa, visitors used such utensils as bamboo baskets to scoop up rice, baskets for preserving rice, and miso strainers. The production technology of such utensils had been passed on from olden times as bamboo-working technology in the local community around the town of Beppu.
From the Meiji period, the function of the hot springs was gradually changed to cater to tourism. Beppu was gradually being transformed into a sightseeing spot. Accordingly, the number and quality of visitors also changed and there was regional expansion as well because visitors came not only from Kyushu alone but also from as far away as the Kansai region. In 1884 the Beppu Branch Office of the Osaka Merchant Marine Company was established, and a regular line between Beppu, Osaka, and Kobe was started in 1923. The change in the use of the hot-spring resource transformed both the towns of Beppu and Hamawaki from mere rural towns with hot springs into modern sightseeing cities. Signs of such transformation began to emerge in the late 1890s which happened to be the period demarcating the era of Beppu's new image.
The number of visitors to Beppu increased. The hot spring visitors numbered about four hundred thousand in 1906 and grew to nearly five hundred and fifty thousand in 1911: an increase of 38 % in five years. On the other hand, the population of Beppu town also increased in the same interim from 12,000 persons to 16,000 persons, an increase of 33 %. Thus, the latter part of the Meiji period was a time of rapid growth and transformation for Beppu. Additionally, there arose a new need to supply souvenirs to the hot spring visitors who came for the purpose of sightseeing. This situation would have been unthinkable during the era when the hot spring visitors had come with the objective of spa treatment. Most of the souvenirs consisted of bamboo products. Despite the fact that its simple technology had been deep rooted as a traditional craft, conventional bamboo working which had mostly been developed for the production of utensils used by spa visitors was not necessarily appropriate for the purpose of producing souvenirs. To measure up to souvenir use, there had to be the kind of bamboo-working technology that could produce artistic products such as vases.2
Those who first brought this technology to Beppu were the bamboo workers from Matsuyama in Ehime Prefecture and Arima in Hyogo Prefecture. Nevertheless, to raise the standard of technology whereby high quality artistic craft could be produced, apprentices, to some extent, had to be trained systematically. The Prefectural Craft Testing Center, the City Craft Research Center and the long-established workshops of bamboo craft exist at present. However, the prior conditions were not yet ripe for these to exist in Beppu. Thus a town-run apprentice school, initially managed by the association, was founded eight years after the enactment of the Regulations for Apprentice Schools as an institute to train apprentices systematically.
The School was able to receive various subsidies such as national funds (¥367 in 1901, ¥1,550 in 1902, ¥1,300 in 1903, and ¥1,300 in 1904), prefectural funds (¥800 in 1902, ¥1,000 in 1903, and ¥1,000 in 1904), and county funds (¥500 in 1902, ¥500 in 1903, and ¥500 in 1904). Apart from these, each of the two towns of Beppu and Hamawaki shared the expenses equally and paid about ¥ 764 in 1901, ¥952 in 1902, ¥791 in 1903, and ¥816 in 1904. Although the first technical educational institution in Oita Prefecture was established in this manner, its educational content was far from that of modern technical education. However, it was a forerunner of modern technical education, and it cannot be overlooked that it laid the foundation for the settlement and development of traditional craftwork, particularly
bamboo work, in Oita Prefecture.

2. Common Characteristics in the Establishment Process

The first of the common characteristics of both schools is that the time of their founding for both fell in the latter half of the Meiji period (1890s). This was the period between the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese wars. According to studies made in economic history, Japan laid the basis for her transformation from an agricultural to an industrial nation through these two wars.3 Both schools were established in the midst of this period of historical change in the eastern region of Kyushu, which tended to lag slightly behind in modernization. Thus, from the beginning both schools had to contend with the problem of how to develop their schools as they coped with the rapidly changing situation of the entire nation.
The second is that the founding bodies were the towns which were weak local administrative units. (Although the Beppu Technical Apprentice School was initially founded by the association, it became town-run in 1906 when the towns of Beppu and Hamawaki were merged.) There were some schools throughout Japan established by the state and prefectures which played leading roles in the promotion of vocational education as model vacational schools. These two schools which were founded without relying upon the so-called powerful leadership from the top were inevitably strongly influenced by the local community. However, even though the schools were confronted with financial difficulties as a result, there was the advantage that the local autonomies could adopt independent management policies for the schools. At the same time, whether the school was to be continued in the future or discontinued in the interim was left entirely to the discretion of the local community.
The third is that both schools were able to receive national subsidies from the beginning. In spite of the circumstances in which both schools were placed, that is, the demands made upon them by the local community, the fact that they were able to receive national subsidies gave vitality to their subsequent development.
The fourth pertains to the relationship with local industries. The establishment of the commercial continuation school and the technical apprentice school was triggered primarily by a thriving economy and the formation of a merchant-landowning group in the case of Miyakonojo and by the existence of the traditional bamboo-working technology and the development of Beppu as a sightseeing city. The nature of both schools diverged from those schools which, with hardly any correlation to local industries, were created on the basis of demand and leadership from the top.
The fifth is the fact that both schools were started offering an educational standard equal to elementary school. Consequently, both schools made an effort to admit young men who had graduated only from elementary school. They also made room for students who had never really had a proper school education.4 This policy can be said to be one of the important characteristics of both schools which were established at the demand of the local community at a time when school education could not have been said to be sufficiently deep rooted.
The above five characteristics illustrate the common points of both schools at the time of their founding. The subsequent development of these schools and the kind of characteristics these schools exhibit later on will be discussed next.

Ⅱ. The Development of the Schools

1. The Development of the Miyakonojo Commercial School

The following summarizes the major changes in status of this school.5 First, Miyakonojo submitted a request for the establishment of a vocational continuation school on 23 December 1896. According to the content of the request, the length of study was for three years with the establishment of an agricultural course and a commercial course. The request was approved on 26 August 1897. At the same time, it was stipulated that the school be granted a national subsidy of ¥300. On the basis of the above preparation, the Miyakonojo Vocational Continuation School was opened on 7 February 1898 with an enrollment of 13 students. Initially classes were held in the evenings because a meeting hall for the merchants in town was used as a provisional school building. Soon daytime classes were carried out as the school rented a warehouse belonging to a charitable person. The school kept moving from one building to another until 8 June 1899 when the school moved to its own building for the first time. In September 1901, the unpopular agriculture course was abolished, and the school was renamed the Town-run Miyakonojo Commercial Continuation School.
It was gradually becoming difficult, however, for the educational curriculum of the continuation school to train manpower that was good enough to carry out practical business which was becoming more complex and extensive. Due to the efforts made by the town, influential merchants, and the alumni, the school submitted a request to be upgraded to an ordinary commercial school in April 1904. The request was approved on 13 June of the same year, and the school made a fresh start as the Town-run Miyakonojo Commercial School with a total of 150 students (50 students per grade). From this point onwards, various school regulations were modernized and a set number of students was maintained. The most difficult problem for school management was securing financial sources. After the construction of the school building, it was equipped by donations given by charitable influential merchants, and a request to transfer its management to the county was submitted. The managing body was finally transferred in April 1908 from the town of Miyakonojo to Kitamorogata County.
Incidentally, about 15 years after its upgrading to an ordinary school, this school came to submit a request for another status change. During the latter period of this school's existence as an ordinary school, students came from not only the town of Miyakonojo but also from other prefectures. Moreover, the family background of the students was no longer limited to those whose families were engaged in business; students from rural villages and working families gradually increased. There was an awareness among these students that the content of education provided by an ordinary school was not necessarily advantageous for the selection of a future career after graduation. Therefore, part of the graduates willingly transferred to advanced commercial schools such as the one in Kagoshima. In view of such circumstances, the county requested the reclassification of this school to that of an advanced commercial school on 6 February 1920. The approval was granted on 23 March of the same year and the transfer to an advanced level school materialized starting from April 1920. Concurrently, the school needed a transition in its financial backing. As a measure to cope with this matter, the managing body of the school was transferred from the county to the prefecture in 1921. Due to its transition to an advanced school, the school became increasingly more popular with students, and there arose a situation in which the number of applicants soared. Entrance examinations became difficult and highly competitive examinations began to be administered. The total student enrollment was increased to 500 students (100 students per grade) to rectify the situation. The school maintained a stable condition henceforward until the early Showa period.

2. The Development of the Beppu Technical Apprentice School

This school was opened in February 1902 with the use of the former site of the Hamawaki Town Office as its school building.6 At first five courses were established consisting of bamboo basketry, joinery, lathe work, lacquering, and gold lacquering, with a capacity of 33 students per grade. The period of study was one year only for the bamboo basketry course, whereas the others entailed three years of study. An architecture course was additionally established in 1906. The school rules were revised in 1902. The total capacity was changed to 100 students, and eight courses on joinery, architecture, Western furniture, painting, gold lacquering, sheet-metal processing, bamboo basketry, and bambooware were established.
In the academic year 1910 the managing body of the school was transferred to the prefecture. The school building also was moved from Beppu to Oita City (the site of the prefectural office) in 1915, and the school was renamed the Oita Prefectural Technical Apprentice School. In conjunction with the move, the new equipment and buildings were added to the school, and the total number of students was increased to 150. The school increasingly resembled a modern technical school. Triggered by this move, the school revealed its intention to be transformed from an apprentice school to a technical school.
After having gone through the above-mentioned changes, in 1918 this school accomplished a status transfer to a technical school based upon the Regulations for Technical Schools. Although the transformation took place somewhat later than the nationwide trend of time, it was an important regional transformation in the eastern region of Kyushu. One of the causes for the delay compared with the nationwide standard was that the local industries remained within the limits of traditional craft.7 The fact that the furniture course, which had been within the tradition of the apprentice school period, was maintained by this school as a special course even after the transformation into a technical school seemed to derive from the same reason.
A transfer to an ordinary technical school (a three-year course after graduating from a six-year elementary school) signified a great change in the content of education offered by the school. The name of the school was also changed to the Oita Prefectural Technical School. The school established three regular courses : the regular machinery course, the electric machinery course, architecture course, and the furniture course as a special course. The special furniture course was continued until 1925 and then abolished. There was another revision of the school rules in 1927. As a result, the school was upgraded to an advanced technical school (a five-year course after graduating from a six-year elementary school). At that time, the total enrollment was set at 550 students, and the school came to offer an education of the highest standard among secondary technical educational institutions based upon the prewar school system in Japan.

3. Common Characteristics in the Transformation of the Schools

The following common characteristics can be found in the status change of both schools. First, there was an upgrading of their standard from elementary level vocational schools to ordinary level secondary vocational schools and then to advanced level secondary vocational schools. Second, the managing bodies of the schools which were established by the small local administrative units of the towns were transferred to the county (the Beppu Technical Apprentice School was never under county management) and to the respective prefectures. Third, there was an increase in the number of students and staff while the curriculum became better organized through the upgrading of equipment and buildings.
The upward mobility of both schools, from a general point of view, was an outcome induced by the development of industry and economy in Japan. The Miyakonojo Commercial School was transformed into an ordinary vocational school from the 1904 school year while the Beppu Technical Apprentice School was transformed into the same from 1918. Moreover, they were designated advanced vocational schools in 1920 and 1927 respectively. These changes occurred simultaneously with the growth of the heavy and chemical industries at the end of the Meiji period. By the early stage of the Showa period, complicated and advanced circulation and economic organizations were thus implemented.8 In comparison with the pace made nationwide, these schools lagged behind somewhat. The delay was a reflection of a regional characteristic which pertained to the eastern region of Kyushu.
On the other hand, viewed in detail, the upward mobility of both schools was clearly based upon the independent selection process pursued by such managing bodies as the towns and the county. Both schools were not created in accordance with the strong leadership exhibited by the state and the prefectures. Consequently, the local communities which had managed these schools had the exclusive choice regarding the schools future and thus the future of their communities. Without the above, both schools might have remained unchanged without accomplishing a status transformation. Therefore, the leaders of the local communities who made such a choice and the support given to them by a wide range of people in the local communities must be taken into consideration when discussing the upgrading which both schools underwent despite a slight delay. (These schools were indeed the forerunners of such schools in the eastern region of Kyushu.)
Simultaneously with their status change, their buildings and equipment were improved. The educational plans of both schools at the time of their founding had been extremely inferior. Neither of the schools had buildings for their own exclusive use. The Miyakonojo Commercial School, in particular, had moved as many as five times in the short period of ten years since its founding. The Beppu Technical Apprentice School used a former town office building as its provisional school building. Although a structure was built for its exclusive use, it did not have adequate space.
The extent of the buildings and equipment provided were strongly influenced by the financial conditions of the managing bodies. It was concurrently affected by the educational standard and curriculum of the school. In the case of vocational schools, the minimum buildings and equipment which met the required educational standard were bare necessities for the function of a school. In this sense, it is certain that both schools subsequently provided buildings and equipment which met the necessary standard despite their initial inferiority. The budget for books, however, at the Beppu Technical Apprentice School was less than the budgets of other secondary vocational schools in Oita Prefecture. In the case of the Miyakonojo Commercial School, it was apparently after its transformation into an ordinary commercial school that the number of books reached a satisfactory level. Thus, the systematic upgrading of the schools also played a role in setting an objective so that both schools could make efforts to improve.

Ⅲ. The Schools and Their Transformation

The content to be studied in an examination of the actual conditions of the schools is the quality of the teachers and students, the interaction between them and the "school culture" created as a result of this interaction, faculty organization and student organization, the school management organization, curriculum, and school spirit and tradition. It should be pointed out that the qualifications of the students changed every time both schools underwent upgrading: (1) academically stronger students entered, (2) those who had completed regular elementary education entered, (3) gradually students of the same age entered the same class, (4) students gradually came from more diversified occupational backgrounds, and (5) students gradually came from more extensive regions. Simultaneously, there was an increasingly greater number of teachers with school degrees. Thus, a more organized "school culture" was engendered and in a relative sense there was the formation of a highly independent "school culture" apart from the outside world. The following section is a separate examination in this regard.

1. The Teachers and Transformation of Qualifications

Due to the paucity of data to substantiate the quality and attributes of the teachers, conclusive statements cannot be made. However, the following is a summary synthesized on the basis of some records and accounts given by alumni.
First, together with the improved conditions of the schools, the so-called high-calibered teachers who were able to exert a strong influence on students began to take up positions at these schools. In the case of the Beppu Technical Apprentice School which emphasized the transmission of traditional craft technology, the faculty, before anything else, consisted of superior artisans who excelled in their specialized technology. In the sense that they tried to form the students' character through technological training, they were different from the instructors of the so-called teacher type. One graduate stated as follows:
Mr. Yamaguchi was the teacher for practical training in architecture, and despite being 70 years old, he was so physically fit that he apparently got up at six o'clock even in winter. Because he was a resident of Oita where his son lived, he boarded at the school by himself. He apparently slept only for about three hours when he was young. As a shrine carpenter, he was said to be either number one or two in all of Kyushu. (Imoto Teizo, graduated from the architecture course in 1913.)
Another graduate stated as follows :
The principal was Takagi Hidetaro who was very strict, and we respected him because he set an example as a man of deeds and character. Mr. Yoshida who taught English ... was a graduate of a technical school in Kyoto and also took charge of drawing. It was not I alone who was attracted by his new designs, but all the students respected him. On the whole, I remember that there were many teachers at this school who were not only noble minded but also amiable. (Kuroya Toshita, graduated from the joinery course in 1919.)9
In the case of the Miyakonojo Commercial School, the nature of the faculty was slightly different from that of the Beppu Technical Apprentice School, as it pursued commercial education. However, it is certain that there were many teachers who exerted a strong influence upon the students; in particular, these teachers affected the students greatly in the transitional period when this school was in the process of being systematically upgraded. For example, one alumnus stated as follows :
It was truly fortunate that Ikebukuro Haruki, a noble-minded faithful Christian, was appointed our homeroom teacher when we were in the fifth year. I still cannot forget how well-learned he was and how clear and interesting his lectures were when he taught us Japanese and Chinese writing. (Oyama Kyuhei, graduated in 1923.)10
The role played by successive principals should be pointed out. One of the reasons for both schools to be steadily upgraded was because successive principals managed the school to that end. For example, school-related people commented on the Miyakonojo Commercial School as follows:
During the four years when Mr. Ishikawa was principal, the Miyakonojo Commercial achieved remarkable progress. He was not only superior in diplomatic skills but also skillful in clerical work. (Murata Takashi, graduated in 1918.)
Although the principal's speech given at the graduation ceremony was usually written in a hackneyed literary style on a sheet of thick Japanese paper, Mr. Hayashi's graduation speech was different. Speaking in colloquial language, he urged the graduates to cultivate a frame of mind which was necessary for them in the world, and his speech was written in his beautiful calligraphy on a roll of thick Japanese paper which was about ten meters long." (Hatano Kunio, graduated in 1924.)
Mr. Gamo's achievement was really great. The school in its studies, sports, and martial arts became widely known in and out of the prefecture and excellent students from all over began to enter the school as it became one of the most reputable schools in the prefecture.... He always expressed righteous and honest opinions to the authorities with a strong belief.... (Oyama Kyuhei, graduated in 1923.)
As for the Beppu Technical Apprentice School, Taihei Miyaji (former principal) stated as follows:
The first principal, Nagao Kaoru (January 1902 to November 1907), was an excellent man with creativity who graduated from the Technical Teacher Training Center of the Kuramae Higher Technical School. Moreover, he was a man of belief who thoroughly insisted upon the importance of practical education.... When the techniques of Wajima lacquering were needed, he himself went to Wajima and brought back to Beppu a first-rate artisan as a teacher. Five to six students made a circle with this man at the center and improved their skills from early in the morning until late at night. Although ethics, Japanese, and mathematics were taught in between, the core consisted of work and practicals. After completing three years of such training, students graduated from the school as fully independent skilled workers.
The second principal was Hirao Hideomi (December 1907 to March 1916). It was rather during this period that Mr. Nagao's beliefs were actuated.... Mr. Hirao, a graduate of the Technical Teacher Training Center of the Kuramae Higher Technical, was conscientious and strict. It seemed that he devoted himself primarily to improving the school. His accomplishment, compounded finally by the move of the school from Beppu to Oita, was significant. The third principal was Takagi Hidetaro (May 1916 to April 1930). Like his predecessor, Mr. Takagi also wore work clothes and while sharing in the joys and sorrows of the faculty and students, he maintained the founding spirit of this school. He kept the school's traditions and attained results steadily. Because he was a graduate of the machinery course of the Kuramae Higher Technical, he was well versed in machinery as well as in math and physics, and he also taught some classes himself.12
It can be seen from the above accounts that the principals were not mere administrators and that they themselves pursued actual teaching and searched for the future image of the school through their teaching.

2. The Change in Caliber of the Students

Both schools were in such a state at the time of their founding that they could not recruit enough students to fill their schools. However, for the Beppu Technical Apprentice School, there were already more applicants than places by the second year (45 applicants for 33 places). In the third year, the number of applicants was over double that of places; thus, the school, out of necessity, administered a selection examination. As for the Miyakonojo Commercial School, for the first six years when the school had been governed by the Regulations for Vocational Continuation Schools, the enrollment did not reach capacity and often there were less than ten graduates. After being placed under the control of the Regulations for Commercial Schools, the school more or less was filled to capacity. From 1920 onwards when the school was upgraded to an advanced school, it was able to gather 1.5 to 3 times more applicants than the number of places.
Together with the increase in the number of applicants, there were also changes in the caliber of the type of student: (1) academic ability, (2) educational background, (3) age at the time of entering the school, (4) parental occupation, and (5) place of origin. There seem to be slight differences between the Miyakonojo Commercial School and the Beppu Technical Apprentice School in the underlying factors behind the changes.
Table 8.1. Future Course of Miyakonojo School Graduates, 1899-1929
The trend regarding the qualitative and attributable changes which occurred with the students of the Miyakonojo Commercial School strongly correlated to the future course of the students after graduation. As shown in Table 8.1, the ratio of graduates employed in the business-related sector gradually decreased as the school was systematically upgraded. There was an increase in the ratio of those engaged as company workers, civil servants and teachers which constituted modern occupations. In other words, up to the first half of the period when the school was classified as an ordinary-level school, it was directly engaged in the training of those employed in commerce. The school concurrently functioned as an institution which gave an academic background to those who did not go directly into business. Thus, it was natural that the quality and attributes of the students were different, dependent upon the phase of the school when it had pursued the training of those employed in business and when it came to provide an academic background (functioning as a middle school substitute). Figure 8.1 shows the transition in the areas of origin for the students enrolled in this school, and it can be seen that the areas gradually extended further into the rural regions. Those who came from rural families (mainly the second and third sons) considered this school to be one of the places from which to acquire an academic background, thus helping in the disintegration of the farming class; to prove this point, many graduates went into higher schools (primarily special, higher commercial schools) after the period when this school was transformed into an advanced school. Among those who aspired to continue studying at a higher level, many came from the rural sector. While the students until the end of the period when the school was designated as an ordinary school anticipated employment in business (at first as apprentices), there were quite a number of students in the period when the school was designated an advanced school who had never envisioned being employed in business. The fact that such students who had entered reluctantly became socially successful after their graduation added a unique coloration to this school.13
The students of the Beppu Technical Apprentice School were quite different from those of the Miyakonojo School. The students of the former were aware from the beginning that they were to become craftsmen. The graduates of the commercial school had to serve initially as apprentices even though they might become shop managers later on, but the students of the apprentice school were able to run independent businesses as long as their technical expertise was advanced. It was also evident that the years of enrollment at an apprentice school did not provide them with any advantage if they were unable to attain a certain technical standard. The students who entered the Beppu Technical Apprentice School with the intention of becoming artisans pursued technical training under a faculty who were very much the artisans in a method which prevailed in the world of artisans. The quality and attributes that the students were expected to have in this case were not general educational abilities. Rather, they were expected to have a positive life attitude, an artisan's temperament, manners, ethics, and manual skills. As shown in Table 8.2, the students of the Beppu Technical Apprentice School also came from quite an extensive area. The extension, however, was not due to the students' wish to acquire an academic background. It is more accurate to state that ambitious students from all over the country gathered at this school because they had heard of its reputation. There were cases where the county granted scholarships to students to study at this school so that the industries in the county could be promoted.14 Consequently, the graduates could also use the technology acquired at the school in their work after graduation. The data to prove this point are given in Table 8.3.15 More than 90 % of the alumni immediately after graduation, or more than 80 % of the graduates for half their career (or for their entire career), were able to use the technology acquired at this school directly in their careers.
Fig. 8.1. Hometown Origin of Miyakonojo School Graduates during the Ordinary-Level Period, 1907-17
Table 8.2. Beppu Technical Apprentice School Students by Home Prefecture and Out-of-prefecture Students by Year
Table 8.3. Correlation between Specialization at Beppu School and Work Pursued
Table 8.4. Course List for Miyakonojo Commercial School: Ordinary-Level School
Table 8.5. Curriculum for Beppu Technical Apprentice School, 1904

3. Curricula

The Regulations for Vocational Continuation Schools required that ethics, reading, calligraphy, arithmetic, and commercial subjects be taught. Furthermore, in commercial schools, the following were required: business correspondence, commercial math, commodities, commercial geography, bookkeeping, business law and practice, commercial economics, and foreign languages.16 Sample curricula of the Miyakonojo Commercial School and Beppu Technical Apprentice School are shown in Tables 8.4 and 8.5.17 In the Miyakonojo Commercial School not only general educational subjects but also specialized subjects were mainly taught in classrooms based on the lecture method. There is little trace of reliance upon training that emphasized practical skills. On the other hand, the majority of classes at the Beppu Technical Apprentice School emphasized practical skills and training. The Miyakonojo curriculum centered on "contextual comprehension" by the students while the Beppu curriculum centered on "acquisition of manual skills." Furthermore, as shown in Table 8.6, greater weight was placed on general educational subjects at the Miyakonojo Commercial School when it underwent a transition from an ordinary to an advanced school. In contrast, the Beppu Technical Apprentice School throughout the Meiji and the Taisho periods continued to emphasize practical training over general education. This practical education exerted quite an influence on the academic quality and character molding of the students and assisted them in their future plans after graduation. It cannot be denied that the Beppu Technical Apprentice School underwent similar curricula changes as was the case with the Miyakonojo Commercial School during the process of its move to Oita City. A systematic change came about for the school governed by the Regulations for Technical Schools and caused it to be upgraded to an advanced technical school. It is assumed that these changes would have taken place anyway when the school's contacts with the society at large were furthered. A comparison of both schools reveals that the Miyakonojo Commercial School developed one step ahead of the Beppu Technical Apprentice School because the former was located in a distribution center with an advanced economy whereas the latter found itself connected to a community that was involved in traditional craft technology.
Table 8.6. Comparison of Curricula at Miyakonojo Commercial School, 1917 and 1929 (Annual average of number of periods per week)

4. The School Administration and Its Transformation

The administrative characteristics of both schools, together with their curricula, must have exerted a strong influence on the character building and socialization of the students. First, the characteristics of the Miyakonojo Commercial School are represented by the following: (1) complete guidance regarding the students' life-style in the latter half of the period when the school was designated as an ordinary school, (2) practical training in selling commodities, (3) complete academic guidance during the period when the school was designated an advanced school, (4) complete extra-curricular guidance, and (5) organization of field trips abroad (Manchuria and Korea). The complete guidance regarding the students' life-style was actualized in such systems as the adoption of the weekly duty system and the establishment of student regulations. When all the accounts given by the alumni are put together, it shows that guidance was carried out as a preparation for the school to become more organized in its system and regulations. The guidance thus was coherent with the subsequent academic guidance and the extra-curricular activities which were pursued. Behind this developmental trend, there were devoted teachers who saw the
excellent potential that the students had and who worked on the students to help materialize their latent abilities.
The practical training in sales which was continued until about 1935 was one of the major programs of this school. Students tended to concentrate on theoretical studies in the classroom, and the sales practical gave them opportunities to come in contact with the outside world. The students went by foot with their products in a cart to as far as the Kagoshima region. It appears that the sales tour is well remembered as a common experience by the alumni of this school.
The overseas field trip became an annual school event from about 1922 when a number of alumni began to find employment in Manchuria and Korea. Table 8.7 shows the number of graduates for each year employed in China and Korea. Subchapters of the alumni association were founded there and the employment opportunities of graduates were further increased through these.
Second, the characteristics of the Beppu Technical Apprentice School were as follows: (1) thorough implementation of the labor first policy (practical training), (2) permission given to students to be engaged in practical training on extra-curricular production, and (3) the sale of works produced by students on the general market.
Table 8.7. Miyakonojo School Graduates Going to Manchuria by Graduation Year
The complete implementation of the labor first policy was the school motto which the school had consistently pursued since its founding.18 The spirit upheld by the first principal, Nagao Kaoru, that the quintessence of vocational education lies in the act of labor itself was carried out in the labor first policy. Despite the fact that this school had initially admitted students whose living habits were not necessarily satisfactory, the students aquired good living habits after six months of schooling and they began to make efforts to improve their technology based upon the spirit of the labor first policy which improved their morale. This spirit was actualized concretely by lending tools to the students during extra-curricular hours (beyond regular class hours) so that they could pursue practical training. Furthermore, products made by the students during the extra-curricular hours and during class hours were sold publicly, and after subtracting the material costs the remaining income was given to the students. The public sale of products contributed to the improvement of the students' technology and their will to study for two reasons. One was that there was the direct benefit of gaining an income from public sale. The other was an internalized awareness that the students had to produce works worthy of public sale. The influence exerted by sales upon the character building and socialization was great.
Each of the two schools independently handled its relations between faculty and students, the problems within its own system, the conditions of its facilities and equipment, and the demands from the local community as well as from the society as a whole.

Ⅳ. The Mutual Relationship with the Local Community

The developmental processes at both schools can be restated to mean processes of mutual interaction between the schools and the surrounding society and systems which related to the schools. In this regard, the historical trend of the entire society, the school system as a social system and the developmental trend of the local community were the three points which were of particular importance. While the first two points interacted with the overt aspects of each of the schools, the developmental trend of the local community affected the schools in a covert but concrete way.
The development of the Miyakonojo Commercial School corresponded generally with the modernization of Japan, which was part of the historical trend of the entire society, and its curricula were organized in accordance with the regulations stipulated by the school system of the time. When examined concretely in detail, however, each "upgrading" of the school was constantly backed up by the local community. Moreover, the changes of the local community itself induced the systematic transformation of the school.
As for the Beppu Technical Apprentice School, the relationship with the local community was more direct because the school had been started on the basis of the traditional bamboo-working technology. Even at the time of its transformation into a technical school, the school kept the special course for a long time to meet the direct demands of the local community. The school's move to Oita City was actualized finally when it was ascertained that high standard traditional craft technology had taken root among private artisans and could be maintained by them.
On the basis of the above, the common characteristics of both schools can be summarized as follows :
(1) As the schools were based on the local community, they intended to respond fully to the demands of the community.
(2) It was not as if the schools thoughtlessly aspired to be upgraded, but the upgrading was actualized only after ascertaining that the function of the schools prior to their upgrading had been fulfilled.
(3) Consequently, the function of the schools was transformed from that which met the demands of the local industries directly to that which provided a preparatory education to the people selected from the local community prior to their entrance to society.
It took about thirty years for this chain of events in the transformational process to occur.


1. For this reason, in 1906 the prefecture issued a notice recommending the opening of vocational continuation schools in towns and villages. Refer to Miyazaki-ken sangyo kyoiku no ayumi [The Growth of Industrial Education in Miyazaki Prefecture], Miyazaki Prefecture Education Board, March 1966.
2. Refer to Korenaga Tsutomu, Beppu konjaku [Past and Present of Beppu], Oita Godo Newspaper Company, 1966.
3. Although there are many studies on economic history in this period, in this case refer to Nippon kindaiho hattatsushi dai nikan nogyo kankeiho [A Developmental History of Japanese Modern Law, Vol. 2, Related Laws on Agriculture], Watanabe YoZo, March 1958, Keiso Shobo.
4. It is a fact to be especially noted that schools which aimed at becoming leading model schools were fairly strict regarding the educational background of the students admitted whereas schools established in response to local demand made room for those without specific formal education. Therefore, such courses as a special course, an intensive course, and a supplementary course were established to accomodate these students.
5. Refer to "Kitamorogata gunritsu Miyakonojo Shogyo Gakko ichiran" [A Catalogue of Kitamorogata County-Run Miyakonojo Commercial School], January 1912 and "Miyazaki kenritsu Miyakonojo Shogyo Koto Gakko soritsu 70 shunen kinenshi" [A Commemorative Issue on the 70th Anniversary of the Miyazaki Prefectural Miyakonojo Commercial High School], The To-sho Alumni Association, September 1974.
6. Refer to Oita-ken Kyoiku 100 nen shi [A Hundred-Year History of Education in Oita Prefecture], Oita Prefectural Education Board, March 1976.
7. It was said that Beppu at that time stood at the so-called crossroads of having to make a choice between becoming an industrial city or developing into a tourist city. Dependent upon the choice, the future of bamboo working as a local industry was also affected. (An account by a local historian, Abe Iwao.)
8. In the case of Miyakonojo Town, various trade unions had been formed successively by about 1921. Furthermore, banks had also been opened one after another. Refer to Miyakonojo-shi shi [Miyakonojo City History].
9. Excepts from the letters written by the alumni of this school in reply to this writer's questions.
10. An excerpt from Miyazaki kenritsu Miyakonojo Shogyo Gakko soritsu 70 shunen kinenshi [A Commemorative Issue on the 70th Anniversary of the Prefectural Miyakonojo Commercial High School].
11. Ibid.
12. An excerpt from Soritsu 70 shunen kinenshi [A Commemorative Issue on the 70th Anniversary], Oita Technical High School, 1971.
13. For example, there is mention of graduates pursuing careers in such sectors as law, journalism, and the civil service. Refer to Miyazaki kenritsu Miyakonojo Shogyo Koto Gakko soritsu 70 shunen kinenshi, pp. 102-3.
14. For example, Goto Hideo who graduated from the sheet-metal course in 1915 came from Miyazaki Prefecture and received a scholarship of ¥2 a month from the county budget (according to a letter written by his wife in reply to this writer).
15. These data are based upon an analysis of 35 responses to a questionnaire sent by this writer to the alumni of this school (from the period when it was an apprentice school). Incidentally, the response rate and others were as follows : The questionnaire sheets were sent to 94 alumni whose addresses had been ascertained by the Hokokai (Alumni Association) Directory. Three sheets were returned without replies owing to the deaths of the respondents. Thirty sheets were returned due to changes of address. Twenty-six sheets were not returned. Thirty-five sheets were returned with replies. 'The rate of effective responses was 54.7 %.
16. Miyazaki-ken sangyo kyoiku no ayumi [A History of Miyazaki Prefecture Commercial Education], Miyazaki Prefectural Education Board, 1966; Meiji 33 nendo Miyazaki-ken gakuji nempo [Miyazaki Prefectural Education Calendar, 1900].
17. Kitamorogata gunritsu Miyakonojo Shogyo Gakkd ichiran; Miyazaki kenritsu Miyakonojo Shogyo Gakko ichiran, November 1929; Oita-ken kyoiku 100 nen shi.
18. According to the school report dated 15 April 1904, the five points itemized in the school constitution as the school's ideal were (1) a school which resembles a work place, (2) artisan-like students, (3) the aspiration to become artisans, (4) the spirit of diligence and (5) the spirit of labor. The reference is based upon Oita kyoiku 100 nen shi.