Overview of the Private Sector
As we observed in Chapter 1, Tokugawa Japan was feudal, with each feudal chief running (government) schools to train the sons of samurai families and local leaders in administrative and military skills. Basic literacy and numerical skills were provided to merchant families and some farmers by (non-government) temple schools, locally supported. The modern educational system began in the Meiji Period, when the feudal system was overthrown and a national government instituted, with the major goal of modernising Japan. Education was viewed as an important tool for catching up with the West, both economically and militarily.
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