Chargé Wilson to the Secretary of State.

No. 364.]

Sir: I have the honor to bring to your notice the education of Chinese in Japan, which is now on so large a scale as to promise to have some effect upon the relations of these two peoples, and also upon Chinese administration, now that the ancient official examinations have been abolished in China and men of modern education are beginning to be found in office.

During the past year Chinese students have come to this country in continually increasing numbers. Last summer the number was estimated at 5,000., of whom 2,000 had been sent at the expense of the Chinese Government. In November the number is said to have reached 8,000. In addition to the supervision of the Chinese legation the students are looked after by eight superintendents sent to reside here by their Government.

Until recently the Japanese authorities seem to have done nothing in this matter, but the magnitude of the number of Chinese students finally made a certain degree of supervision on their part seem wise. Accordingly, regulations for controlling schools open to the Chinese were promulgated by the minister for education on November 2, to go into effect from the 1st instant.

These regulations require each student to present with his application for admission to a school a letter of recommendation from the Chinese minister, consul, or other representative. The public and private schools which Chinese may attend are limited to those selected by the Japanese Government after an investigation of the teaching staff, curriculum, text-books, and buildings of each school. The regulations are not applicable to elementary (childrens’) schools.

From among these schools allowed to admit Chinese, the Government will especially select certain ones and will report them to the Chinese Government as most suitable. The students of these chosen institutions will be required to live in lodging houses approved by the authorities; a careful detailed record of each student will be kept; students expelled from one school will not be allowed to become scholars at another; and an official of the ministry of education may be present at and supervise the examinations of the Chinese students.

The publication of these regulations was greeted by a storm of protest. Bodies of Chinese students passed indignant resolutions, saying that their liberty was being assailed and seemed to find in the new rules an indignity to their nationality. The restriction in choosing schools and lodgings and the need of a letter of recommendation annoyed them most. The agitation was so great that over a thousand students returned to China; and no more have been coming since the trouble.

In the middle of December an official explanation from the department of education was given currency through the schools and published in the newspapers. The statement points out that the object of the regulations is merely to protect the students themselves against attending inferior schools, and to insure their living in respectable surroundings.

[Page 1073]

In view of the fact that the Chinese students in Japan are generally young men of a very good class, it is surprising that this misunderstanding went so far as it did. Apparently the trouble was stirred up by a small group of agitators. As a phenomenon, it is interesting as a minor manifestation of the new spirit that is now observable among the Chinese people.

Since the governmental explanation, the trouble has to all appearances ceased, and the education of Chinese in Japanese schools will doubtless continue on an important scale. Some prominent educators interested in the Chinese are now proposing to form an association of Chinese and Japanese students, with the object of bringing about better understanding.

I have the honor to inclose a translation of the regulations in question.

I have, etc.,

Huntington Wilson.

regulations for controlling schools open to the chinese.

Public or private schools desiring to admit the Chinese shall require of the applicants to attach to their applications recommendations of any Chinese representative in Japan. (The phrase “Chinese representative” is a translation of the word “kokwan,” which is intended by the authorities to mean the legation, consulate, and other authorized representative in Japan.)
Public or private schools having the Chinese may allow them to omit, at their own request, one or more courses in the prescribed curriculum.
Public or private schools open to the Chinese are required to keep in the office the books containing the names of the instructors and students, together with the record of the latters’ attendance. Correspondence relating to the Chinese students shall also be kept. In the students’ register mentioned above shall be entered every student’s name, home address, age, present address, school record prior to admittance to the present school, the name of the Chinese representative recommending him, government or private student, punishment or reward, the date of admittance, transfer, or leaving, the date of graduation, etc.
Public or private schools desiring to grant petitions of the Chinese students to have their credits transferred or to leave, shall require the petitioners to attach to their petitions recommendations of any Chinese representative in Japan.
Public or private schools open to the Chinese shall report to the minister of education twice a year, namely, in January and July, the number of the Chinese students admitted during the preceding half year.
The Chinese students graduated or expelled shall be reported within one month to the Chinese representative in Japan who has recommended them. In case of dismissal the reason therefor shall also be stated.
Those public or private schools open to the Chinese which the minister of education may deem suitable for the purpose will be specially selected and reported to the Chinese Government.
Those public or private schools which desire to be specially selected, as stated in the previous article, shall apply to the minister of education in the name of the principal or founder. The applicants are required to report on the following points:
The history of the education of the Chinese in their schools.
Regulations for educating the Chinese in their schools.
A brief account of the life of the principal or chief representative.
Names and qualifications of the instructors, together with the statements of their preparation for teaching and of the subject now taught.
The maximum number of students that can be admitted, as well as the actual number of them.
The method of supervising the Chinese students outside of the school.
The conditions of the Chinese students after their graduation.
The maps and diagrams of ground, buildings, and dormitories used for the education of the Chinese.
The expenses for running the school, also stating how or by whom it is maintained.
The list of text-books, instruments, machinery, and scientific specimens used in the school.
Public or private schools with the special license granted by the minister of education shall supervise the Chinese students by making them live in the dormitory or authorized boarding houses.
Public or private schools with the special license shall not admit those Chinese students who have been expelled from other schools on account of objectionable conduct.
The minister of education may, whenever he deems it necessary, cause his subordinate official to be present at the examinations, or examine the questions and answers of the same. The official thus authorized may order alteration of the questions or of the method of examination in case he should find them unsuitable. The examination papers and students’ records shall be kept in the office at least for five years.
Public or private schools with the special license shall report to the minister of education on the work accomplished of educating the Chinese within one month from the end of each academic, year.
The minister of education may annul the license whenever the licensed schools violate any of these regulations or whenever their work is unsatisfactory.
The documents to be presented to the minister of education in accordance with these requirements shall be first filed in the office of the local governor.
All these provisions do not apply to elementary schools or those resembling the same.

supplementary notice.

These regulations shall go into effect on January 1, 1906.