The Journal of Educational Sociology
Online ISSN : 2185-0186
Print ISSN : 0387-3145
ISSN-L : 0387-3145
The Educational Background of Secondary School
Principals in Japan Prior to World War II
Hiroyuki YAMADA
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2000 Volume 66 Pages 177-194


The purpose of this article is to clarify differences in status among secondary school principals by examining their educational background.
This article focuses on secondary school principals in 1937, using data from Taishu Shinshiroku (Popular Social Register), Shokuinroku (The List of Public Servants) and other similar sources. The purposes for studying the principals were as follows: to examine all types of educational backgrounds throughout the country; to compare the types of secondary schools to which the principals belonged and the rate of their promotion to the position of principals; and to collect data on the educational backgrounds of principals and analyze these statistically.
The results of the article may be summarized as follows. Firstly, it clarified the distribution of each type of educational background. The largest proportion of principals were graduates of higher normal schools (koto shihan gakko). In particular, the proportion from normal schools (shihan gakko) exceeded 80%. The lowest proportion was for those who had not experienced any higher education at all. People with such backgrounds had extremely limited chances of promotion to the position of principal, especially in public schools.
Secondly, differences in salary as influenced by educational background were examined. The salaries of graduates of imperial universities (teikoku daigaku) was the highest. Their salaries were superior to those of the graduates of higher normal schools who made up the largest share of secondary school principals. Even middle-aged principals who had graduated from imperial universities had higher salaries than older principals who had graduated from higher normal schools.
Based on these findings, three topics are discussed. The first is the reason for which the percentages of graduates from higher normal.
Schools among secondary school teachers increased from the Taisho (1912-1916) to Showa (1916-) era. The second is the influence of hierarchies within secondary school teaching. The last is the status of those who had not experienced higher education.

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