1999 年 65 巻 p. 49-67
First Higher School was the prototype of the higher schools, that forged the elite in early modern Japan. In this paper, we examine the hitherto unexplored connection between the social origin of First Higher students and their subsequent career paths. As tools of analysis, we examined admissions records of First Higher School as well as alumni registers over a span ranging from 1907 to 1936. Our analysis revealed the following.
Firstly, examining a distribution of the professions held by the fathers of First higher students, we found that the number of those engaged in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries declined while the number of white-collar company employees increased. This same trend can be seen in middle schools and Tokyo Imperial University, but not the same degree. This suggests that First Higher School grew to absorb characteristics seen predominantly among the new middle class. In addition, if we take into account the findings of Hirota (1997) in relation to this, we can note that estrangement grew over the years between military officers, hailing from military academies, and civil officials, hailing from higher schools. The habituses of military and civil officials began to diverge and this was most likely an underlying cause in the rise of fascism in the Showa era.
Secondly, by analyzing the relation between the social origin of First Higher students and their subsequent careers, we were able to find the following: 1) any part that their family backgrounds may have affected the career choices of First Higher students disappeared by around 1920; 2) in the choice whether to become a public official or to become a whitecollar company employee, the economic conditions of the time were a determining factor, especially for those born among the old middle class people; 3) a high proportion of those students whose fathers were professionals went on to become members of the same professions; and, if we limit our discussion to those students who went on to the faculty of law at university, a high proportion of them became public officials.