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Academic freedom and the Japanese imperial university, 1868-1939

Author: Byron K Marshall
Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press, ©1992.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Byron K. Marshall offers here a dramatic study of the changing nature and limits of academic freedom in prewar Japan.
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Byron K Marshall
ISBN: 0520078217 9780520078215
OCLC Number: 25130703
Description: xiv, 247 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: A Note on Japanese Names and Terms --
1. Prologue: The Rise and Fall of Academic Freedom --
2. The Making of the Modern Academic Elite, 1868-1905 --
3. The Assertion of Academic Autonomy, 1905-1918 --
4. The Transformation of the Academic Community, 1919-1931 --
5. The Maintenance of University Autonomy, 1919-1932 --
6. The Purge of the Imperial Universities, 1933-1939 --
7. The Pacific War and Its Aftermath --
Appendix: Todai and the Production of National Elites.
Responsibility: Byron K. Marshall.
More information:

Abstract:

Byron K. Marshall offers here a dramatic study of the changing nature and limits of academic freedom in prewar Japan.

Meiji leaders founded Tokyo Imperial University in the late nineteenth century to provide their new government with the technical and theoretical knowledge it needed to survive. An academic elite emerged, armed with Western learning; its influence was felt in every area of the Japanese state. When threatened with censorship and dismissals for dissenting from state policy in the Russo- Japanese War (1904-5), the university faculty and president banded together and forced the government to back down.

Yet in analogous circumstances in the 1930s, not only were a number of senior faculty members arrested but others were dismissed by the president of the university himself.

The conventional explanation for the 1939 purge is that prewar Japanese universities had no cultural tradition or legal basis for autonomy. They were thus powerless when an authoritarian state sought to suppress their opposition to its military adventures. But self-government was actually well entrenched in these imperial universities, with faculty members electing their own administrators and controlling key personnel affairs.

Moreover, the fundamental issue was not political opposition, for some of the dismissed faculty members supported Japan's invasion of China.

Marshall argues that the internally directed purge of 1939 was in fact the result of the university's forty-year fixation with institutional autonomy at the expense of academic freedom. He uses quantitative, biographical, and archival sources to create a finely nuanced analysis of the changing roles of university and state from the Meiji Restoration to the eve of World War II.

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