1st Edition

English Language Teaching during Japan's Post-war Occupation Politics and Pedagogy

By Mayumi Ohara, John Buchanan Copyright 2018
    292 Pages
    by Routledge

    292 Pages 39 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In 1945 Japan had to adjust very rapidly to sudden defeat, to the arrival of the American Occupation and to the encounter with the English language, together with a different outlook on many aspects of society and government. This scholarly book is based on in-depth interviews with people, now aged, who were school students at the time of the Occupation and who experienced first-hand this immense cultural change. The book considers the nature of the changing outlook, including democratization, the new role for the Japanese Emperor and all this represented for the place of tradition in Japanese life and the growing emphasis on individualism away from collectivism. It discusses the changing system of education itself, including new structures and new textbooks, and relates the feelings of the participants as they came to terms with defeat and the language and culture of the former enemy. Overall, the book provides a fascinating insight into a key period of Japanese history.

    List of Tables

    List of Figures


    PART 1: Context

    Chapter 1 The Scope of this Book

    Chapter 2 Setting the Scene

    PART 2: Historical Background

    Chapter 3 History of Foreign Language Education in Japan

    Chapter 4 Exploring the Historical Literature (1)

    Chapter 5 Exploring the Historical Literature (2)

    Chapter 6 Data Sources, Collection and Analysis

    PART 3: Interviews and Their Implications

    Chapter 7 The Interviews: What We Learned

    Chapter 8 Concluding Thoughts

    Appendix A Examples of Publications

    Appendix B School Systems

    Appendix C Lists of Japanese Names Translated into English

    Appendix D The Locations of the Middle Level Schools Attended by Participants (Except for Yoko) as well as Other Places Referred in the Book.

    Appendix E Summary of Warfare Between the Manchurian Incident and the Pacific War

    Appendix F Political Occurrences and the Periods of the Participants’ Middle-level Schooling

    Appendix G The Numbers of English Majors in Hiroshima Arts and Sciences University and Hiroshima Higher Normal School

    Appendix H Employment of Foreign Teachers

    Appendix I Information on the Participants (Age Order)

    Appendix J Sample Interview Questions

    Appendix K The Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan






    Mayumi Ohara obtained her doctorate at the University of Technology Sydney.


    John Buchanan is an Associate Professor of Education at the University of Technology Sydney.