Change of Shadow Education

Diversity in Supply: How Shadow Education Remains Strong


This chapter analyzes the Change dimension outlined in the Shadow-Education-Inequality-Impact (SEII) Frame, specifically addressing the question how Japanese shadow education managed to maintain strong despite unfavorable changes which were believed to make this industry superfluous until 2009 and how this affects educational opportunities for disadvantaged educational strata. Since the implications of a high dependence on shadow education for a national system of education regarding educational opportunities and social inequality issues are hardly overestimated, following a neo-institutionalist approach, the ongoing success of the juku-industry is explored. Applying a mixed-method approach basing my calculations on data of the 2013 Juku Student and Teacher Survey (JSTS), the following main findings are presented:
  1. (1)

    Due to decreasing student populations, the reformation of the mainstream schooling system, and changed educational demands of families, the originally highly specialized juku have expanded their range of supply. Juku increasingly take on functions outside their original purview such as care, counseling, and guidance and thus achieve many of the yutori education goals that regular schools struggle to accomplish.

  2. (2)

    Due to continuous changes, new types of juku have evolved particularly focusing on individual tutoring.

  3. (3)

    This industry shows continuous efforts to increase opportunities for socioeconomically disadvantaged students to participate in various types of lessons in the shadow and thus gain benefits from juku-lessons also.

  4. (4)

    Families increasingly rely on juku as their primary contact in educational matters, wherefore these schools gain further importance as educational gap-closer and authority in educational and social matters.



Shadow education Juku Private tutoring Supplementary education Social inequality Educational opportunities Yutori education Education policy Demographic change Educational demands Educational change Educational reform New institutionalism SEII Frame Benesse Gakkōgaikyōikukatsudō ni kansuru Chōsa 2013 JSTS 2013 Japan 


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Authors and Affiliations

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

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