近世社会と識字 (特集 公教育とリテラシー) Literacy in Tokugawa Japan

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How many people could read and write in Tokugawa Japan? This is the main topic for this paper. Actually it's very difficult to calculate the number of people who could read and write in Tokugawa Japan. Because there are no documents like marriage certificates with signatures, as most research on popular literacy in western society usually include. But we can glean fragmentary information about popular literacy by following historical sources: (1) the surveys on the rate of people who could write their own names in the Meiji period, (2) the "Monjincho", attendance books of "Terakoya", and (3) the historical materials with "Kao", special signature in medieval and early Tokugawa Japan. (1) There were several surveys on the rate of people who were above six years old and could write their own names during 1877-1889. Results of those surveys of Shiga, Gunma, Aomori, Kagoshima and Okayama prefectures were listed on "Monbusho Nenpo", annual report of Japanese Ministry of Education. Those surveys show that about 90% of men in Shiga could write their names, but on the other hand 33% of men and only 4% of women in Kagoshima could write their own names. The 1879 survey of Kuga County, one of the counties of Yamaguchi Prefecture, on the rate of people who could write their names is important. It covered 122 villages and towns, 88 school districts and a population of approximately 135,000. The literacy rate, the rate of people who could write their own names for the total population, was 36.3%(men 55%, women 16.5%). The literacy of men of every district ranged from 19.3% to 98.3% and women from 0% to 68.5%. Literacy rate has minus correlation with the rate of agriculture population (r= -0.66), and has plus correlation with the rate of commerce and manufacture population (r=0.65). (2) The "Monjincho" of "Jishuusai juku" in Omi and "Isobe Juku" m Echigo show how many people of those regions were enrolled for Terakoya. According to Jun Shibata, 91% of Kitanosho village people were enrolled for "Jishusai juku" in 19 Century. Through the case of "Isobe juku" we can see the situation in the 18th Century In Komachi one of the towns of Murakami city, 64% of the households had their children, at least one child, enroll for "Isobe juku" in the middle of the 18th Century. (3) In medieval and early Tokugawa period there were some documents with "Kao", special signature. To sign "Kao" practice in writing was required. Those who could not sign "Kao" marked a circle by stem of the brush. Therefore we can know the literacy through these documents. According to Masanobu Kimura, about 80% of the present head of the family could sign "Kao" in the first half of the 17th Century. We can conclude that partial literacy has already been considerably high even in early Tokugawa period, and a major difference of literacy between men and women existed, which deeply depended on the region even in early Meiji era.

How many people could read and write in Tokugawa Japan? This is the main topic for this paper. Actually it's very difficult to calculate the number of people who could read and write in Tokugawa Japan. Because there are no documents like marriage certificates with signatures, as most research on popular literacy in western society usually include. But we can glean fragmentary information about popular literacy by following historical sources: (1) the surveys on the rate of people who could write their own names in the Meiji period, (2) the "Monjincho", attendance books of "Terakoya", and (3) the historical materials with "Kao", special signature in medieval and early Tokugawa Japan. (1) There were several surveys on the rate of people who were above six years old and could write their own names during 1877-1889. Results of those surveys of Shiga, Gunma, Aomori, Kagoshima and Okayama prefectures were listed on "Monbusho Nenpo", annual report of Japanese Ministry of Education. Those surveys show that about 90% of men in Shiga could write their names, but on the other hand 33% of men and only 4% of women in Kagoshima could write their own names. The 1879 survey of Kuga County, one of the counties of Yamaguchi Prefecture, on the rate of people who could write their names is important. It covered 122 villages and towns, 88 school districts and a population of approximately 135,000. The literacy rate, the rate of people who could write their own names for the total population, was 36.3%(men 55%, women 16.5%). The literacy of men of every district ranged from 19.3% to 98.3% and women from 0% to 68.5%. Literacy rate has minus correlation with the rate of agriculture population (r= -0.66), and has plus correlation with the rate of commerce and manufacture population (r=0.65). (2) The "Monjincho" of "Jishuusai juku" in Omi and "Isobe Juku" m Echigo show how many people of those regions were enrolled for Terakoya. According to Jun Shibata, 91% of Kitanosho village people were enrolled for "Jishusai juku" in 19 Century. Through the case of "Isobe juku" we can see the situation in the 18th Century In Komachi one of the towns of Murakami city, 64% of the households had their children, at least one child, enroll for "Isobe juku" in the middle of the 18th Century. (3) In medieval and early Tokugawa period there were some documents with "Kao", special signature. To sign "Kao" practice in writing was required. Those who could not sign "Kao" marked a circle by stem of the brush. Therefore we can know the literacy through these documents. According to Masanobu Kimura, about 80% of the present head of the family could sign "Kao" in the first half of the 17th Century. We can conclude that partial literacy has already been considerably high even in early Tokugawa period, and a major difference of literacy between men and women existed, which deeply depended on the region even in early Meiji era.

収録刊行物

  • 教育学研究

    教育学研究 70(4), 524-535, 2003-12

    日本教育学会

各種コード

  • NII論文ID(NAID)
    110001175731
  • NII書誌ID(NCID)
    AN00056578
  • 本文言語コード
    JPN
  • 資料種別
    特集
  • ISSN
    03873161
  • NDL 記事登録ID
    6818345
  • NDL 雑誌分類
    ZF1(教育)
  • NDL 請求記号
    Z7-143
  • データ提供元
    NDL  NII-ELS  IR 
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