© 2018

Shadow Education and Social Inequalities in Japan

Evolving Patterns and Conceptual Implications


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Steve R. Entrich
    Pages 1-23
  3. Part I

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 25-25
    2. Steve R. Entrich
      Pages 27-72
    3. Steve R. Entrich
      Pages 73-88
    4. Steve R. Entrich
      Pages 89-124
  4. Part II

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 125-125
    2. Steve R. Entrich
      Pages 127-153
    3. Steve R. Entrich
      Pages 155-184
    4. Steve R. Entrich
      Pages 185-214
    5. Steve R. Entrich
      Pages 215-256
    6. Steve R. Entrich
      Pages 257-274
    7. Steve R. Entrich
      Pages 275-305
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 307-309

About this book


This book examines why Japan has one of the highest enrolment rates in cram schools and private tutoring worldwide. It sheds light on the causes of this high dependence on ‘shadow education’ and its implications for social inequalities. The book provides a deep and extensive understanding of the role of this kind of education in Japan. It shows new ways to theoretically and empirically address this issue, and offers a comprehensive perspective on the impact of shadow education on social inequality formation that is based on reliable and convincing empirical analyses.

Contrary to earlier studies, the book shows that shadow education does not inevitably result in increasing or persisting inequalities, but also inherits the potential to let students overcome their status-specific disadvantages and contributes to more opportunities in education. Against the background of the continuous expansion and the convergence of shadow education systems across the globe, the findings of this book call for similar works in other national contexts, particularly Western societies without traditional large-scale shadow education markets. The book emphasizes the importance and urgency to deal with the modern excesses of educational expansion and education as an institution, in which the shadow education industry has made itself (seemingly) indispensable.


shadow education Juku private tutoring supplementary education equality in educational opportunities educational competition educational opportunities for disadvantaged families shadow education in Western societies educational reproduction credentialist society schooled society yutori education demographic change educational decision-making rational choice theory new institutionalism

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department for Education, Social Science Educational ResearchUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

Bibliographic information


“Shadow Education and Social Inequalities in Japan, Entrich presents the findings of work he conducted in Japan over a six-year period. As the title implies, the author is particularly interested in the effects of shadow education on students from different socio-economic backgrounds. … Shadow Education and Social Inequalities in Japan explores changes in the juku industry in more detail than any other study of this topic that I have read.” (Christopher Bjork, Pacific Affairs, Vol. 92 (1), March 2019)