No. 202.
Mr. Bingham to Mr. Fish.

No. 443.]

Sir: The Japanese department of education has furnished me copies of the second annual report of the minister of education, duplicates of which I have the honor to inclose herewith.

I have, &c.,


Second annual report of the Minister of Education for the seventh year of Meidi.

May it please your Majesty:

I, the acting minister of education, humbly submit to your Majesty the following second annual report of the proceedings relating to education during the seventh year of Meidi, (1874.)

The gradual influence of western civilization on this country and, at the same time, the event of the imperial restoration led to the improvement of the long-standing national institutions, and, first of all, to the enactment and promulgation of an educational code; consequent on this, educational activity prevailed throughout the country, and the people have already begun to appreciate the real value of education; and if it be thus supported and fostered, and, at the same time, in a manner still more adequate to the degree of its progress and still more suitable to the circumstances, there is no doubt that educational prosperity will ere long be attained.

elementary schools.

The number of elementary schools in all the seven grand school-districts was 20,017, which, as compared with that in the preceding year, shows an increase of 7,459. The whole population of the country is estimated at 33,579,909, (according to the educational reports of the fu and ken,) out of which there were 4,923,272 children of school-age of both sexes. The children of school-age who received education during the year were 1,590,115 in number, and those not of school-age who also received education were 146,452 in number; the total number of the scholars and teachers of both public and private schools was 1,714,768 and 36,866, respectively, which, as compared with that in the preceding year, shows an increase of 568,966 scholars and 11,334 teachers. On an average, there will be 1 elementary school to every 1,677 of the population, 1 scholar to every 20 of the population, and 1 teacher to every 910 of the population.

As to the number of school attendance, according to the educational reports of the fu and ken, the first and second grand school-districts are first in order, the third and sixth grand school-districts are second in order, the fourth and seventh grand school-districts come next, and the fifth grand school-district comes last in order.

In the second grand school-district, the 5 ken of Chikuma, Gifu, Shidzuoka, Hama-matsu, and Tsuruga are the first in point of school attendance; in the first grand school-district, the fu of Tokio and the ken of Yamanashi are the first; in the third grand school-district, the fu of Kioto and the ken of Shikama; in the sixth grand school-district, the 2 ken of Nagano and Wakamatsu; in the fourth grand school-district, the ken of Oda; in the seventh grand school-district, the ken of Fukushima; and in the fifth grand school-district, the ken of Kokura is somewhat superior to the other ken in the same district in point of school attendance. It will, however, be observed that the above is only to serve for inferring the educational condition of the whole country from the number of the school attendance just mentioned.

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middle school.

In the seven grand school-districts there were 32 middle schools, which, as compared with those in the preceding year, shows an increase of 10; the number of scholars was 3,153, which also shows an increase of 1,386, and the number of teachers was 174, which also shows an increase of 49. The number of middle schools, however, being very small, a larger increase could hardly be expected. There are many of the scholars in the seven grand school-districts who have already finished the higher elementary course of studies and now wish to pursue the middle-school course; but it is to be regretted that, as there is not as yet a regular establishment of middle schools throughout the country, and as also the educational system is not yet complete, the most ardent and zealous scholars are unable to accomplish their object; middle schools, therefore, should henceforth be organized in each fu and ken, so as to open the way to learning and to induce such scholars to pursue their studies profitably.

normal schools.

In the seven grand school-districts there were 53 normal schools, of which 7 belong to the government under the direct control of the educational department, and 45 of which were established at the public expense under the control of their respective fu and ken. As to the proportion of the number of normal schools in each fu and ken, it is here remarked that there were in some cases 6 or 7 normal schools in 1 ken, and in others only 3 or 4 in 1 grand school-district. The total number of students was 5,072, of which 4,998 were males and 74 females; the number of teachers was 292; and since the establishment of the normal schools there have been 1,743 graduates. As the government normal schools have been supported by an appropriation aid from the educational department, everything in them was tolerably well provided; but in regard to the normal schools established at the public expense, they were sometimes connected with foreign-language schools and sometimes with elementary schools; and also on account of the scarcity of teachers at the time of their organization, the course of studies was very simply arranged and the subjects of teaching were confined to the rudiments only, even the school-term being of but a few months’ duration. Though the rules and regulations were not complete on account of their being but recently introduced, still it is chiefly the efficiency of the normal school that has imparted to elementary education its prosperous condition. As elementary education has already advanced up to this point, the further progress must be secured by the middle-school education, and therefore, taking this view into consideration, the fu and ken authorities ought to endeavor to institute normal courses for the middle-school education, in connection with the local normal schools, thus making teachers’ institutes for the middle-school education. It is perhaps superfluous to say that women are proper educators for children, and that therefore they should also be educated as teachers by providing for them separate departments within the same normal schools. These two subjects are absolutely necessary for laying a sound foundation of education.

colleges for special sciences.

In the Tokio Kaiseigakko (Imperial University) there are several branches of science taught, such as law, chemistry, engineering, &c. The students belonging to the principal course were 24 in number and those of the preparatory course 267, which, as compared with those in the preceding year, shows an increase of 60. The instructors were 28 in number, of whom 8 were native instructors and 20 foreign. Besides those above mentioned, there were 40 students belonging to the industrial school connected with the same college.

As to the Tokio Igakko, (medical college,) the regulations were recently improved, and several instructors have been invited to give instruction to the students by establishing various departments according to the branches to be taught, such as anatomy, physiology, medicine, and surgery. The students in the first principal class were 32 in number, in the second principal class 33, in the first preparatory class 45, and in the second preparatory class 107. The number of patients treated in the hospital of the college during the seventh year was 2,272, and the number of bodies subjected to anatomical operations was 90. Medical science having advanced up to this point, it is very likely that the students will make rapid progress in the future.

As to the language employed as a vehicle for instructing in special sciences, the English is principally used in the Kaiseigakko. The English language is universally used in oriental countries, and has early beeu introduced into this country. As the study of this language is quite easy at the beginning and it is not difficult to be mastered, so when students are once collected and teachers appointed, very proficient students can soon be found. But in regard to the medical science, the German language has hitherto been used for instruction, and as the German is exclusively used even at present, the students entering the college must first be taught the German language, and therefore [Page 384] the students of the Kaiseigakko and those of the Igakko will not advance at the same pace. But it has been already generally admitted that the English language will in future be used as the medium for studying any of the special sciences.

gaikoku gogakko.

(Foreign-language schools).

In the Tokio Gaikokugokakko, four languages, French, German, Russian, and Chinese, are taught. There were 19 native and 10 foreign teachers, and the total number of scholars was 423. The condition of the school is generally progressive, and there are many scholars who will soon complete their studies and will then pursue some one of the higher branches of learning.

The Eigogakko (English-language schools) of the government establishment were and are seven in number; the number of scholars was 1,005; the native teachers were 37 and the foreign teachers 23 in number. As to their condition, those of Tokio and Osaka were the most flourishing, as they were established somewhat earlier than the others; those of Aichi and Hiroshima were next in order, and those of Miyagi, Nagasaki, and Niigata were behind all the others. In the sixth year of Meidi the Osaka and Nagasaki schools counted not more than 749 scholars and 46 teachers; of the latter 25 were native and 21 foreign, including those of the Tokio Gaikokugogakko. But since the establishment of the other five schools in the seventh year the numbers have rapidly increased during the year, as has already been mentioned. Besides the schools above mentioned, there were 82 language schools, both public and private, 69 of which were English-language schools, 7 French-language schools, 1 a German-language school, 3 English and German language schools, 1 an English, French, and German language school, and 1 an English, French, German, and Dutch language school. The number of scholars, both male and female, was 5,122, and that of teachers, both native and foreign, was 248. The number of schools and scholars, as compared with that in the preceding year, shows an increase of 63 of the former and 2,321 of the latter.

tokio jogakko.

(The Tokio female school.)

In this school the common elementary branches, the English language, and manual work are taught. There were 6 native teachers and 1 foreign teacher. The scholars were 78 in number, the principal class numbering 71 and the preparatory class 7; which, as compared with those in the preceding year, shows an increase of 40, and is may be fairly said that since the establishment of this school the system of female education has been initiated.

public-school fund.

The amount of the income of the public schools of the fu and ken was 4,363,233 yen, and the expenditure was 3,195,278 yen, which, as compared with the preceding year, shows an increase of income of 2,424,135 yen, the average expense for each scholar amounting to 2 yen, 10 sen, and 5 rin. The school-fund now amounts to 3,794,736 yen which, as compared with that in the preceding year, shows an increase of 1,934,775 yen


The whole country was and still is divided into seven grand school-districts, and in these seven grand school-districts there were 246 middle-school districts and 46,115 elementary-school districts. The number of the elementary-school districts, as compared with that of the preceding year, shows an increase of 160 in the first grand school-district, of 686 in the third grand school-district, of 33 in the fifth grand school-district, of 328 in the sixth grand school-district, and of 851 in the seventh grand school-district; but in the second grand school-district the number has decreased by 90, and in the fourth grand school-district by 117. This is owing to the irregularity with which the division had been previously made. On the whole, however, the number of elementary-school districts, as compared with that in the preceding year, shows an increase of 1,851 in all the seven grand school-districts.

inspectors’ visitation.

It is almost superfluous to say that the visitations of the inspectors exert a beneficial influence on the state of education; for the mere reports sent up by the local authorities show but faintly the general features of the local education, and though careful [Page 385] and accurate accounts are given in the reports, still there always seem to occur some defective points in the subjects desired to be known; but when the inspectors are sent on visitation, the most accurate information can be gathered directly from their mouth, in accordance with what they have actually seen, and thus the most important subjects, otherwise difficult to be ascertained, can be clearly known.

As the condition of the educational progress of one fu and nine ken has been clearly set forth by the reports of the inspectors sent out during the seventh year of Meidi, so in the future they will be successively sent out on visitation, so as to use their reports as references for transacting the business of the department. The details connected with the inspectors’ visitations during the seventh year of Meidi are mentioned in the report of the inspectors’ office,

government aid for the elementary education.

The government aid for the elementary education in the fu and ken is a certain amount of money intrusted to each of the local authorities for assisting their several school-districts in providing their children with the means of education. In the fifth year of Meidi, when the educational code was first promulgated, the total amount was fixed at 300,000 yen and granted from the first month of the sixth year of Meidi, in the following manner: namely, the whole amount for one year was granted to those of the fu and ken where the general educational systems had already been determined on, and to those of the ken where the determinations had not as yet been arrived at only a part of the whole amount was granted, counting from the month when such determinations were arrived at. From the first month of the seventh year of Meidi to the third month of the same year, the amount was issued by the inspectors’ office, and from the fourth month to the twelfth month of the same year it was paid directly by the educational department. Now the total amount of the government aid during the seventh year of Meidi was 414,226 yen, including the balance from the preceding year as well as the amount for the seventh year of Meidi; and the amount of the expenditure was 75,863 yen for teachers’ salaries, 30,802yen for other salaries, 40,901 yen for books and apparatus, 5,913 yen for building and repairs, 1,997 yen for rents, and 49,029 yen for miscellaneous expenses, making a total of 204,505 yen. However, the various fu and ken use different ways of disbursement, and the amounts of the expenditure are also different, some of them paying out the whole amount of the government aid, while others disburse only a part of the whole and accumulate the balance as funds. This is owing to the fact that at the time of the first promulgation of the educational code the appropriation system was not yet clearly defined and was entirely left to the conveniences of place and time; and though it is out of place here to say much about the amounts of disbursement on the part of the local authorities, which matter is more expediently left to them, still as the government aid is derived from the public revenue to supply the deficiencies on the part of the people, none should, therefore, be justified either to expend or to accumulate it to no purpose, and therefore such systems of disbursement should gradually be improved according to the progress of the local education.

Education is a great work to develop and cultivate man’s intellectual and moral capacities, so as to secure his highest well-being; and if education be generally diffused among the masses of a nation, the national spirit will be raised and the general welfare and comfort of the community secured. As all these benefits can ultimately be traced to no other cause than education, it seems very clear that the sphere of education is very wide and important; therefore, the degree of civilization of a nation, can be ascertained by her educational progress. Now in estimating the educational progress of foreign countries, it will be seen that there are great diversities in the degree of this progress. For instance, in the United States of America there are 20 pupils to every 100 of the population; in Switzerland and Germany the ratio is the same; in Holland, Denmark, Sweden, England, France, Belgium and others, there are over 13 pupils to every 100 of the population; but in this country there are not more than 5 pupils to every 100 of the population, which fact shows that many people grow up uneducated in this country. If, therefore, it is desirable that the people of the whole country do not grow up uneducated, the law of compulsory education must be established; for it is traceable to no other cause but compulsory education that in Europe and America there are scarcely any children who do not attend schools. In recent times, all governments have taken to themselves the power of education from the hands of the clergy, and have determined that it is one of their duties to encourage children to enter schools and to give them instruction in the most important branches of human knowledge, and it has also since been decided by those governments to put the law of compulsory education into operation. Now, though it is not impracticable to adopt this law in this country, still the feelings of the people ought first to be taken into consideration, and a favorable opportunity will be an essential requisite for its adoption. Before concluding this report, there is another subject which ought to be noticed here, namely, the educational census, which should be taken at seated intervals [Page 386] of time and by means of which the proportions of the sexes and ages of the educated and uneducated can be ascertained at once, and consequently the extent and progress of the local education clearly appreciated.

The two subjects above mentioned, therefore, together with the statistical tables, as well as the reports from the several fu and ken and from the other colleges and schools, are humbly submitted.

Acting Minister of Education, Tokio, Japan.