進学先としての陸軍士官学校 : 明治・大正・昭和期の入学難易度と志向地域差 The Position of the Military Academy in the Hierarchical Structure of Higher Education Institutions in Modern Japan

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As for the hierarchical structure of higher education institutions in modern Japan, earlier studies have paid attention to only institutions of higher education that the Ministry of Education had jurisdiction over, although other ministries and government offices also administered educational institutions. It is well known that some of them, especially the Military Academy (Rikugun Shikan Gakko) and the Naval Academy (Kaigun Hei Gakko) were very influential. But these have not been taken into account in the discussion about the structure. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the academic level needed to pass an entrance examination for the Military Academy, and regional differences in the intention to become a military officer, by comparatively analyzing the circumstances of high schools under the old system (Kyusei Koto Gakko) and the Naval Academy. Based on these analyses, moreover, we discuss the change of position of the Military Academy in the hierarchical structure. Roughly speaking, to get through the entrance examination of the Military Academy was in general as hard as that of high schools throughout modern Japan. But the vertical structure of high schools consisted of low and high-level high schools. The First High School (Daiichi Koto Gakko) had been ranked at the overwhelming top of the hierarchy, and superior to the Military Academy. The details are as follows : In the late Meiji era, the entrance level of the Military Academy was equal to high schools of lower rank. In the mid and late Taisho era, the rank of the Academy rose somewhat, although the number of the applicants for it decreased sharply. On the other hand, the regional differences in the intention to be a military officer became clear, and students of prestigious junior high schools in urban areas began to avoid applying for the Academy in parallel. It means the prestige of the Academy did not go up so much in comparison with the previous times. After the Manchurian Incident, the number of applicants for the Military Academy increased remarkably, and to pass the entrance exam of the Academy became as difficult as that of high schools of the upper strata. What is more important however, is that the students of top-ranking junior high schools turned their attention to the Academy again, and entrance competition for the Academy drastically took on an urban character. Grounded on these findings, we conclude that it was in the Showa era that the prestige of the Military Academy in the hierarchical structure of higher educational institutions was the highest. It suggests that after the Manchurian Incident, the differences in the popularity of the army between urban and rural regions declined significantly and the rising of the military character was an unprecedented nation-wide trend.

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  • 史学雑誌

    史学雑誌 114(12), 2021-2045, 2005

    公益財団法人 史学会

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