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"Education and Individuality (kosei) in Meiji Japan: Promises and Problems" with W. Puck Brecher, Washington State University
"Education and Individuality (kosei) in Meiji Japan: Promises and Problems" with W. Puck Brecher, Washington State University
WhenThursday, Jan 17, 2019, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Campus locationCommunications Building (CMU)
Campus room202
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsUW Japan Studies Program
Description

Modern Japan is hardly known for its appreciation of human difference. Its education system even less so. For over fifty years, however, educators, ideologues, and Japan’s government itself fervently advanced respect for individuality (kosei sonchô) as the cornerstone of modern education. This talk will explain how the Meiji era’s (1868-1912) educational establishment conceptualized and devised tools to assess individuality. It then considers how Japanese authorities reformulated this tenet of Western enlightenment thought as a means of state-building.

W. Puck Brecher researches early modern and modern Japanese cultural history. His past projects have focused on early modern Japanese thought, aesthetics, and urban history, as well as modern race relations and environmental issues. He is the author of Honored and Dishonored Guests: Westerners in Wartime Japan (Harvard University Asia Center, 2017), The Aesthetics of Strangeness: Eccentricity and Madness in Early Modern Japan (University of Hawaii Press, 2013), and numerous articles. He is also Co-editor of Defamiliarizing Japan’s Asia-Pacific War (University of Hawaii Press, 2019).

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