By Robert L. Cutts
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Extra resources for An Empire of Schools: Japan's Universities and the Molding of a National Power Elite
The Tokyo real-estate bubble alone created, within about eighteen months in the late 1980s, nearly 800,000 new millionaire households inside the greater Tokyo metropolis. Many more achieved that status as land values soared in successive waves in other urban regions. Though that bubble has long since burst, it created uncomfortable chasms of self-consciousness among those who had always assumed themselves equals in the same classalong the simple fault lines of who owned a city home versus who rented onealong which divisive echoes ring still.
Anyone who has read even a shallow article explaining Japan's industrial "miracle" has been told that corporations strive for it, on the assembly line and as a managerial principle. Schools teach it with extreme seriousness. Everyone is touched by it, so it will help to know what the Japanese really mean by it. " But Japan's modern social system grew from the older class structure imposed by the shoguns, which kept everyone rigidly in place. One was born a samurai, or a farmer, and seldom was permitted to change that station.
With the retention of the disciplines of the old educational system into the postwar and present-day periods, now in the name of the "survival" of Japan rather than of the Emperor himself, the influences on each generation of modern Japanese have been a blending of new and old. The same gigantic vortex remains, atomizing individuals through upward competition for the best jobs in the new hierarchies of industrialism and the state, together with a reinforcement of common purpose with "the group," to achieve universal goals.
An Empire of Schools: Japan's Universities and the Molding of a National Power Elite by Robert L. Cutts