In this paper, I describe the careers of historical characters, such as Soseki NATSUME, Daisetsu SUZUKI, and Bunyu NANJO, who were involved in higher education in early stages of the Meiji period. With reference to specific cases, I describe the system used to articulate between secondary education and higher education at that time. In those days, it was considered crucial for students to become acquainted with foreign languages, because they had to attend classes taught by hired foreigners, where only foreign languages were used. Since university education in Japan is now universally conducted in Japanese, the kind of linguistic ability which is necessary for students nowadays differs from that required in the Meiji period. I illustrate the importance, then, of eradicating prejudices that have prevailed since the Meiji period from consideration, in the context of remedial education, of the common content which students have to master by the time they finish high school.