A Historical Perspective of Indigenous Education Policy in Japan: The Case of Ainu Schools

  • Yoko TanabeEmail author


The purpose of this chapter is to give a historical overview of Japan’s Indigenous education policy in the late nineteenth and the mid-twentieth century, with special emphasis on the similarities and differences between the two different education systems: the government Ainu schools and those run by the CMS. At government schools, emperor-centred moral education was an integral part of the curriculum, along with basic subjects. The use of Ainu was discouraged, leading to a sharp decline in the number of those speaking the language. The government Ainu schools were part of Japan’s colonial project and contributed to stripping the Ainu of their traditional culture, language, and way of life. In contrast, at CMS Ainu schools, Christian teaching was the centerpiece although some subjects were taught in Ainu with the Roman alphabet.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCL Institute of EducationLondonUK

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