Lessons of Democracy: Mothers’ Education and Learning Activities in late-1950s Japan


  • Data:
  • Locatie: Lipsius
  • Cleveringaplaats 1
    2311 BD Leiden


This presentation intends to understand democracy in late-1950s Japan through studying post-war new education, notably the evolution of educational and learning activities directed at mothers.

Post-war Japanese mothers were expected to take on the role of bearers of a democratic society and assumed responsibility for home education based on new post-war educational concepts, despite being denied their own educational opportunities and experiences. Unlike school-age children, adults, especially mothers scarcely had systematic opportunities to learn about ‘democracy’ or ‘new education’.

Studies of women’s activities in post-war Japan have not clarified this critical issue. This presentation focuses on and analyses the activities of educational critic Hirayu Kazuhito(平湯一仁, 1910-1990), whose educational magazine Mother and Child(『母と子』,1955—1997), not only sought to improve mothers’ understanding of new education but also encourage them to think about and discuss democracy with readers and scholars. The analyses of Mother and Child, is expected to contribute to an understanding of the historical trajectory of educational and learning activities intended for mothers

More information: Leiden lecture series in Japanese Studies