Vocational Education

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Vocational Education

Vocational Education in the Industrialization of Japan

Title: Part II. Case Studies of Vocational Schools: Chap. 10. Agriculture: The Anjo Agricultural and Forestry School
Author: Yamashita, Eiichi
Publisher: United Nations University Press
Published Year: 1987
Table of ContentsMain Text (PDF version)

Part II. Case Studies of Vocational Schools: Chap. 10. Agriculture: The Anjo Agricultural and Forestry School

This Chapter outlines the correlation in the Meiji and Taisho periods between local industry and the Aichi Agricultural and Forestry School (presently the Aichi Prefectural Anjo Agricultural and Forestry High School) founded in 1901. This school already has a history of over eighty years and has played a major role as a model agricultural school not only in Aichi prefecture but also throughout the country. It was founded in the period between the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War when Japan's modernization was accelerated and when the industrial revolution was under way in every field. Therefore, it is undeniable that the policy to give priority to industry was also reflected in education. The proportion of the agricultural population was large. In 1904 farming households constituted 64.38 % of the total number of households in Japan. Despite the policy of "Enrich the Country and Strengthen the Military," as well as the spread of a commodity economy, the rural communities became more and more destitute. In this state of affairs, whether or not schools based upon modern educational principles could answer the purpose intended was a grave problem, and the school teachers were entrusted with a difficult mission to improve the key industry of agriculture.
This Chapter examines the conditions pertaining to the founding of this school from the viewpoint of its appropriate timing, locality, and human relations.

Ⅰ. Background of the School's Establishment

The educational policy pursued during the initial years of the Meiji period emphasized primary and higher agricultural education. Thus, the adoption of secondary agricultural education did not come about until the second half of the Meiji period. In other words, schools with two to three years of study in accordance with the Regulations for Agricultural Schools promulgated in 1883 were abolished three years later. This abolishment was due to the emphasis on regular education and lack of applicants as a result of the poverty which prevailed in rural communities.
Vocational education in Japan was established after 1893 when Inoue Kowashi became the Minister of Education. Thanks to his efforts, the Regulations for Vocational Continuation Schools, the National Subsidy for Vocational Education Act, the Regulations for Ordinary Agricultural Schools and the Regulations for Apprentice Schools were enacted in succession and the number of various vocational schools increased rapidly. However, these schools lacked clearcut standards regarding the period of study, curriculum content, and the number of periods. Their main function was to supplement elementary schools, and their educational level was low. As shown in Table 10.1, many of the vocational schools which existed in Aichi Prefecture at that time were related to agriculture and their actual conditions varied greatly (Table 10.2).
Table 10.1. Vocational Continuation Schools by Industry in Aichi Prefecture
Table 10.2. Vocational Continuation Schools by Required Length of Study in Aichi Prefecture, 1903 and 1907
The Vocational School Act of 1899 and the Regulations for Agricultural Schools in accordance with the act were promulgated with the objective of rectifying this disregard for vocational education and of promoting secondary level vocational education. Moreover, the National Subsidy for Vocational Education Act already had been enacted previously, and it was decided that subsidies which initially were to be granted only to technical schools would also be granted to agricultural and commercial schools. As seen, the legal promotion of vocational education provided favorable conditions for the establishment of an agricultural and forestry school in Aichi Prefecture.

1. Location

The area surrounding the present urban district of Anjo City, which used to be a wilderness called Anjogahara, is a plateau formed by the accumulation of drifted soil from the Yahagi River and the Sakai River. The productivity of this area was extremely low because irrigation of the fields was dependent upon the excavation of wells and on the use of irrigation ponds.
The pioneer who tried to bring irrigation water to this plateau to expand rice paddies was Tsuzuki Yako. His plan, which had been drafted as early as 1822, initially miscarried and was subsequently completed in 1880; the Meiji Irrigation Canal came to be considered one of the three greatest irrigation canals in Japan. In addition to the main irrigation canals, many branch canals were opened. Around the time when the school was founded, 7,000 hectares of land were brought under cultivation, and what had once been barren land was turned into verdant fertile land. This area later came to be called the "Denmark of Japan."
The development of land transportation is as important as irrigation. In June 1891 Anjo Station was set up and began operating along the Tokaido Line, which had been completely opened in 1889. Although Anjo was so deserted that it was said to have had only several houses in front of the station, a hamlet began to form around the station. About the time when this school was established, there were 100 houses with nearly 600 residents in the vicinity of the station.
The development in irrigation and transportation induced a population influx from other parts of the prefecture as well as from other prefectures and led to the development of Hekkai county centering in Anjo. The fact that a local community was thus formed was also a favorable condition for the agricultural and forestry school. The community was the basis upon which the school became rooted.

2. The Community

The proposal to establish an agricultural and forestry school with the equivalent level of a middle school in Aichi Prefecture was presented to the Prefectural Assembly in December 1899. In December of the following year, a budget proposal for its construction was approved. Although there were some disputes over the location of the school, people such as the chairman of the Prefectural Assembly, Naito Roichi, Hekkai County Head Kosaka Kageaki, and the vice chairman of the Prefectural Assembly, Furuhashi Genrokuro (Yoshizane), supported Anjo. Since the initial proposition for the establishment of the school was presented by the Prefectural Agricultural Association, it was said that Furuhashi exerted great persuasive influence because he was a wealthy farmer. The services rendered by Okada Kikujiro, a member of the Anjo Village Assembly at the time and later village head and a Prefectural Assembly member, should not be forgotten as he made devoted efforts for the development of the community. In this regard, Kichiji Shoichi's book Nippon ichi noson kensetsu monogatari: Okada Kikujiro no shogai [A Tale of No. 1 Rural
Village Construction in Japan - The Life of Okada Kikujiro] relates various episodes.
Despite gaining approval to establish a school, the entire construction cost was not covered through governmental and prefectural funds. The great sum needed to fill up a plot of 8 hectares, to reclaim 30,000 cubic meters, to construct nine new houses for teachers and to construct commuting roads had to be borne by the small local community. The construction was completed with labor provided by two members per household on the average, together with assistance given by neighboring towns and villages. There were underlying reasons for this success. The people of Mikawa Province had a highly cooperative spirit. Moreover, all the virtues of agrarian villages, such as simplicity, frugality, and diligence, were to be found in addition to a manifestation of the pioneer spirit extant in the developing village of Anjo.

3. The First Principal, Yamazaki Nobuyoshi

Education at the Anjo Agricultural and Forestry School cannot be described without mentioning the great leader Yamazaki Nobuyoshi. Many books and theses have already been written on his character, ideology, and accomplishments. The famous book written by him under the pen name of Ganosei is Noson jichi no kenkyu [A Study of Rural Autonomy] and is compiled in volume six of Yamazaki Nobuyoshi zenshu [The Complete Works of Yamazaki Nobuyoshi].
He is a giant without equal and lived 82 years in accordance with the belief that "I, being born a farmer, live for farming and make the most of farming." The keynote of his words and deeds was formulated through an amalgamation of the bushido spirit deriving from his background, farmers' ethics which respected work, and pragmatism deriving from modern science.
As for education at the Anjo School, his educational policy was based on hard work, sociality, and environmental purification. He particularly emphasized discipline and earnestly preached that character building was a path leading to agricultural promotion.
Yamazaki's character and ideology were too dynamic for him to remain the mere principal of an agricultural and forestry school. Apart from being the principal he also had other positions such as director of the Agricultural Testing Center and executive member of the Prefectural Agricultural Association. Later, because he could no longer remain a passive spectator of the destitution of the farmers, he gave up the position of principal and concentrated on an activity called the "rural promotion pilgrimage." He thus became the so-called national leader of farmers, and the number of lectures given by him during his travels to all parts of the country apparently exceeded fifteen thousand. He was like a bulldozer opening up a developing wilderness. His tremendous energy was a driving force for community development and his principle of diversified management brought an abundant harvest to Anjogahara.

Ⅱ. The School's System and Educational Policy

1. The Opening of the School

On 11 October 1901, the Anjo Agricultural and Forestry School was opened with up-and-coming twenty-nine-year-old Yamazaki as its principal. The enrollment was 50 students for the one-year agricultural course, 16 students for the one-year forestry course, and 45 students for the preparatory course. Apart from the principal, the staff comprised nine teachers, three assistant teachers, two secretaries, one secretary who also was an assistant teacher, and one school doctor. One teacher and two assistant teachers were also housemasters. Detailed accounts of the circumstances at the time of the establishment are given in Akebono ki [Accounts of Dawn] published by the school (20 December 1962) and in Aichi kenritsu norm gakko daiichiji nempo [The First Annual Report of the Aichi Prefectural Agricultural and Forestry School] (March 1903).

2. School Rules

The school rules consisted of ten chapters and 46 articles and the opening statement went as follows : "The objective of this school, which is based upon an advanced agricultural school, is to provide essential education to people who intend to be engaged in agriculture and forestry." Initially, the period of study was one year for the preparatory course and three years for the regular course, which was divided into the two sections of agriculture and forestry. The tuition was ¥1 a month for the regular course and 50 sen for the preparatory course. There was a dormitory for the students who came from distant places.
The curricula are shown in Tables 10.3 and 10.4.
On the basis of the school rules, many detailed rules and regulations were established. The major rules and regulations were Detailed Rules for School Affairs of the Aichi Prefectural Agricultural and Forestry School, Detailed Rules for General Affairs, Regulations for Practical Training, Work Regulations for Farming and Forestry Workers, Rules for Literary and Art Activities, and Rules for Sports Activities.
Table 10.3. Preparatory Course Curriculum, Anjo Agricultural and Forestry School
Table 10.4. Agricultural Courses at Anjo Agricultural and Forestry School

3. School Precepts

As stated previously, Principal Yamazaki emphasized discipline. Regarding the educational objective of this school, in addition to the aim spelled out by the school rules, he stood by the principle of "student training" which placed the foremost emphasis on character building, followed by enlightenment and mastery of knowledge and skills.
In December 1903, at a time when a new building was completed for this school, precepts were composed for the students to recite as their life motto. These must have been followed by Yamazaki himself, who came from a samurai family. The precepts were as follows:
1. Cultivate the noble spirit of the samurai through good manners and a keen sense of honor.
2. Those people who aspire to contribute to the nation should train themselves through labor.
3. Benefits should not be neglected, but they should not be gained at the cost of trouble to others.
4. Success lies in cooperation and unity.
The key lies solely in sincerity.
These words were inscribed on a thick board and are still posted at the main entrance of the school as the School Precepts. Nevertheless, the phrase which went "Cultivate ... the samurai" was, not surprisingly, changed to read "Observe fidelity" after World War Ⅱ.

4. The School Grounds

The following constituted the school's land a decade after its founding:
Total area of school land 81,543 m2
School buildings 5,610 m2
Playground 4,950 m2
Practical training farm 47,124 m2
Tenant fields 21,384 m2
Experimental Plantation 142.56 hectares
The experimental plantation was located in Asuke-cho, Higashi-kamo county, Aichi Prefecture, which was about 30 kilometers from the school. The second experimental plantation site (153.02 hectares) was secured at Horaiji Village, Minami Shitara County in 1923. This experimental plantation was located about 60 kilometers from the school. In those days there was no easy transportation, so it took the faculty and students three days to walk in straw sandals to and from the site. The lodging facilities were not at all adequate and their three-day walk certainly reveals the determined efforts made by the teachers and students as they overcame difficulties and trials.
The development of the farm adjoining the school was not easy. It was a wasteland measuring about two hundred and forty meters east-west and about one hundred and eighty meters north-south. It was extremely poor land as the soil consisted of red and white clay with pine groves and a muddy marshland. The development was started in December 1901 and was completed at the end of April in the following year. Both the staff, including the principal, and the students carried straw baskets full of earth every day and, without taking any holidays, provided services which totaled 1,100 mandays. Even though this development was pursued at the time of the school's founding, the task which required a struggle against difficulties became a moving story to be handed down. At the same time, it could be seen that the invincible spirit of the flourishing Meiji period was reflected in school education.

5. Practical Training Curriculum

According to the educational curricula, the practical training periods for both the agriculture course and the forestry course were "not fixed." The approximate range of periods given in a year is not clear. However, Article 5 of the school rules stipulated that "the number of school days a year is to be about forty weeks with about thirty periods a week and apart from these classes, the students attending the regular course must add some periods for practical training." Moreover, the proviso of Article 10 stated that "there may be an extension of up to 30 days in the third term of the forestry course," and the clause on holidays in Article 11 stipulated that "in the regular course, however, the period between 21 July and 31 August will be assigned for practical training only." On the basis of the above, it is presumed that a considerable mumber of periods were spent on practical training.
In the evaluation of students, practical training must have been emphasized quite heavily, for as Article 33 stated that "a common grade for the regular course is obtained by doubling the marks received in academic subjects, adding the marks received in practical training, and dividing the total by three." Table 10.5 shows the practical training curriculum for the agriculture course.
Table 10.5. Practical Training Curriculum for the Agricultural Course, Anjo Agricultural and Forestry School

Ⅲ. The School. Spirit and School Events

School events had been established to enhance the school spirit and the school precepts, and some students' suggestions had been included in the planning of the events. Typical activities included agricultural fairs, natural history day, marches in the snow, arbor day, and navy day. Although the school calendar was eliminated in later years, it is a source which shows the reasons and objective of the school events in the Meiji period. Apart from the above, extracurricular lessons were given in the early morning (7:00-8:00) and one or two hours at night in the dormitory to assist those students who needed extra coaching. Furthermore, staff members gave the students opportunities to study out of school by guiding them on observation tours and natural sample collections. At graduation, the students chose an appropriate topic and submitted a thesis. In this manner they learned to apply the knowledge that they had gained.
To provide practical knowledge, the students were made to hold a fair to which they brought agricultural and forestry products. In 1909, a cooperative store was established in the school and the students were given the actual work of purchasing goods, distribution, storing out, and bookkeeping. This work gave the students the opportunity to learn about the clerical jobs entailed in an agricultural co-op and they participated in a welfare activity that sold inexpensive products to the students.

Ⅳ. The Economic and Social Conditions of the Students

Table 10.6. Anjo School Student Expenses (\)
Table 10.6 summarizes the approximate cost to the students in 1902 and 1916. Apart from the regular expenses there were miscellaneous
expenses, and the cost of attending this school must have been considerable for the average farmer when these school expenses were compared with various commodity prices and wages of the time. According to the alumni, most of the students who attended the school from the Meiji to Taisho periods were the children of the landowning class, and furthermore, the eldest sons. Landlords who owned fields and forests and who held leading positions in respective villages and towns spent large sums on education to train their successors. Table 10.7 shows the parents' occupations of the students enrolled in 1911.
What was the change in the status among the students from entrance to graduation? Figure 10.1 shows the changes that occurred in the Meiji period.
Table 10.8 shows the occupations of the graduates as published in Fifteenth Anniversary Commemoration Bulletin. The figures were based on surveys conducted in 1905 and 1916 and it is presumed that most of the graduates staying at home were self-employed in agriculture or forestry. According to this table, the tendency for salaried men, including such leading people as agricultural and forestry technicians, to increase was apparent in just a ten-year span.
Table 10.7. Occupations of Parents of Anjo School Students, 1911
Table 10.8. The Occupations of Anjo School Graduates
Fig. 10.1. Comparative Chart of Applicants, Incoming Students, Dropouts, and Graduates of Anjo School, 1901-11.

Ⅴ. The School and Society

Principal Yamazaki believed that "education should not be confined to the school but should extend into society." In those days, modern learning and advanced technology were taught primarily in the schools and he endeavored to have this knowledge and technology spread throughout society.
Consequently, this school cooperated with agricultural groups, agricultural lecture centers, and agricultural testing centers. It maintained ties with such varied organizations as trade unions and the Japan Horticultural Association and allowed the school buildings to be used for adult classes sponsored by these organizations. Through these functions, the school was recognized by the public and became characterized as an "open school."
The school kept in touch with people engaged in agriculture and forestry including the parents of the students, and it was mutually beneficial for the school and these people. There were times when staff members and students would visit them during field studies, and the number of these people who visited the school increased. The Calendar to Further Interests and Spirit included days when the school was open to the public. It is recorded that there were around five thousand visitors to the school every year during the Meiji period. Apart from the above, the school was unstinting in its assistance to local youth associations and it helped not only in giving guidance but in their management.
With the help of exemplary agricultural leaders the school made plans to enhance its educational content. Kimbara Meizen, a famous social worker in Shizuoka Prefecture, was one such person. Moreover, scholars, religious leaders and others were invited to give lectures not only on rural problems but also on life and morals. Among the lecturers were such famous persons as Nitobe Inazo, Tomeoka Kosuke, Nasu Shiroshi, Yanagita Kunio, and Mamiya Eizen.

1. The Development of the Community and the Activities of the Graduates

Anjo, a deserted village when the school was founded, surged forward on the waves of modernization. The development of capitalism brought prosperity to various industries and Anjo became the commercial and industrial center of Hekkai county. Upon entering the latter half of the Taisho period, this region came to be called the "Denmark of Japan" due to its excellent agricultural management.
Various types of agricultural organizations, executive unions, and research institutes were founded and model farms were established. Initially, many students studied at this school with the objective of becoming independent farm owners. However, as the modernization of social organizations progressed, many competent persons who had graduated from this school became active in various fields. There was room for them to be active in every field because Japan was a developing country not only in the field of agriculture but also in the world of politics, business, and education. In comparison with the present, it can be said that the agricultural and forestry school of the time was, in a sense, a training organ for the elite.

2. Educational Reform and the School Today

This school underwent many changes from the time of its founding and was renamed the Aichi Prefectural Anjo Agricultural and Forestry High School in 1948 in accordance with educational reform pursued after World War Ⅱ. As of 1982, the school had an 80-year history as a three-year full-time high school with a total of 280 students in one year comprising 120 students in three classes including the agricultural and horticultural courses, 40 students in one class of the livestock course, 40 students in one class of the forestry course, 40 students in one class of the foodstuff chemistry course and 40 students in one class of the home economics course. This school, which used to consist of only male students, has become a coeducational institution. The alumni association, which is called Ryuho Kai, has 13,000 members. In an age of intricate international relations, there may be a time when this school will undergo a change depending on the direction of Japan's agricultural policies, including the problems of food shortage. At such a time, however, it is hoped that the school will live up to the spirit upon which it was founded.


The Anjo Agricultural and Forestry School and Yamazaki Nobuyoshi

Aichi Kenritsu Norin Gakko, Daiichiji nempo [The First Annual Report] (1903).
Aichi Kenritsu Norin Gakko, Sogyo roku [Founding Records] (1911).
Saito Kango, ed., Akebono ki [Accounts of Dawn], Anjo Norin Koto Gakko (1962).
Aichi Kenritsu Anjo Norin Koto Gakko, 80 nen no ayumi [A History of 80 Years], 80th Anniversary Commemoration Committee (1981).
Aichi Kenritsu Anjo Norin Koto Gakko, Chasengaoka monogatari [A Tale of Chasengaoka], 80th Anniversary Commemoration Committee (1981).
Yamazaki Nobuyoshi, Yamazaki Nobuyoshi zenshu [Complete Works of Yamazaki Nobuyoshi] (6 vols.), Yamazaki Nobuyoshi Zenshu Kanko Kai (1935).
Yamazaki Nobuyoshi, Waganoseikatsu 50 nen [50 Years of Life], Tokai Mainichi Shimbunsha (1951).
Ganosei Yamazaki Nobuyoshi Den Kanko Kai, Ganosei Yamazaki Nobuyoshi den [A Biography of Yamazaki Nobuyoshi], Fubaisha (1966).
Aichi Kenritsu Anjo Norin Koto Gakko Alumni Association, Seitan 100 nen Yamazaki Nobuyoshi no shogai [100-Year Commemoration : Life of Yamazaki Nobuyoshi] (1974).
Aichi Kenritsu Norin Koto Gakko Alumni Association. Hida Shichizo, Anjo
norin damashii [The Spirit of the Anjo Agricultural and Forestry School] (1971).
Hamada Yotaro, ed., Kindai Nippon kyoiku no kiroku jo [Records of Modern Japanese Education, Vol. 1], Nippon Hoso Shuppan Kai (1978).

Anjo City and its Region

Anjo City History Compilation committee, Anjo-shi shi [Anjo City History] Anjo City Office (1971).
The Meiji Irrigation Centennial History Compilation Committee, Meiji yosui 100 nen shi [A Centennial History of Meiji Irrigation], The Meiji Irrigation Land Development District (1979).
Mainichi Shimbun, Okazaki Office, Meiji yosui ― chiiki wo hiraite isseiki [The Meiji Irrigation: A Century of Community Development] Mainichi Shimbun Chubu Honsha (1980).
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Aichi-ken Jitsugyo Kyoiku Shinkokai, Aichi-ken tokushu sangyo no yurai, Gekan [The Origin of Special Industries in Aichi Prefecture, Book Ⅱ] (1942).
Aichi-ken Nogyo Kyodo Kumiai Chuokai, Aichi-ken nogyo dantai shi nokai hen [A History of Agrieultural Organizations in Aichi Prefecture, Agricultural Associations Section] (1953).
Aichi-ken Noji Shikenjo, Aichi-ken noji shikenjo 60 nen shi [A 60-year History of Aichi Prefectural Agricultural Testing Center] (1954).
Kichiji Shoichi, Nippon ichi noson kensetsu monogatari: Okada Kikujiro no shogai [A Tale of No. 1 Rural Village Construction in Japan: The Life of Okada Kikujiro] Kodokaku Shuppan Insatsu Kabushikigaisha (1956).

Industrial Education

Kokuritsu Kyoiku Kenkyujo, Nippon kindai kyoiku 100 nen shi dai kyukan sangyo kyoiku 1 [A 100-Year History of Modern Japanese Education, vol. 9, Industrial Education 1 ].
Nippon Kindai Kyoikushi Jiten Henshu Iinkai, Nippon kindai kyoikushi jiten [An Encyclopedia of Modern Japanese Educational History], Heibonsha (1951).
Aichi Prefectural Education Board, Aichi-ken kyoiku shi, daisankan, daiyonkan [Aichi Prefectural Educational History, vols. 3 and 4] (1973, 1975).
The Ministry of Education, Sangyo kyoiku 80 nen shi [An 80-Year History of Industrial Education], Okurasho Insatsu-kyoku (1966).
Uchida Tadashi, Meijiki gakusei kaikaku no kenkyu: Inoue Kowashi bunsho-ki wo chushin toshite [A Study of Educational Reform in the Meiji Period : Centering on the Period of Inoue Kowashi as Education Minister], Chuo Koron Jigyo Shuppan (1968).
Nippon Kindai Kyoikushi Kenkyukai, Inoue Kowashi no kyoiku seisaku [Educational Policies of Inoue Kowashi] (1963).
Hosoya Toshio, ed., Jimbutsu wo chushin toshita sangyo kyoiku shi [A People's History of Industrial Education], Teikoku Chiho Gyoseigaku-kai (1965).