The Kokugo Revolution: Education, Identity, and Language Policy in Imperial Japan

Book Cover


Clark, Paul H.
Japan Research Monograph 16
2009. 201 pp.
ISBN 1-55729-095-4

Through a study of the development of the Japanese national language, the author discusses reforms in the education system and the creation of a modern cultural identity in the Meiji era and beyond. The book begins by noting the varied early forms of spoken and written Japanese and goes on to explain how the colloquial version was promoted, especially by Ueda Kazutoshi, and became kokugo.


Acknowledgments – vii

Introduction – 1

Writing, Literacy, Language Reform, and Education Reform in Early Meiji Japan – 12

Creating Kokugo Consciousness: Education Officials and the Emergence of National Language Ideology – 42

The Birth of the Genbun'itchi Movement and Futsūbun in the Middle Meiji Years – 62

Ueda Kazutoshi, Systemic Linguistics, and the Academic Legitimization of Kokugo – 78

The Genbun'itchi Society and the Establishment of the National Language Research Council – 107

Grammar, Textbooks, and the Implementation of the National Language – 133

Kokugo, the State, and Yamada Yoshio – 156

Conclusion – 174

Bibliography – 186

Index – 193

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