The ﬁrst scientiﬁc literacy survey in Japan was conducted in 1948. It was the ﬁrst time that a full-scale nationwide survey based on random sampling techniques was carried out in Japan, and data were collected from 16,820 men and women between the ages of 15 and 64 (by the traditional Japanese system). One of the most well-known aspects of this global landmark survey is the ﬁgures on illiteracy rates and their interpretation. The report of the survey, "The reading and writing ability of the Japanese" (1951), concluded that the illiteracy rate of the Japanese was"extremely low" at 1.7% or 2.1%. This view has been cited repeatedly in Japan and abroad and is now treated as a deﬁnite fact. However, a reexamination of the content and format of the test questions on the 1948 survey revealed that there was insufﬁcient control of the difﬁculty level and that the test contained a large number of multiple-choice questions, making it problematic to simply classify those who scored zero on the test as illiterate. Therefore, we concluded that we should avoid uncritically quoting the description of illiteracy rates in this report.
This article aims to examine pervious literacy surveys and the change of the deﬁnition of literacy among international organizations, and to show what sort of surveys are necessary today.
A literacy survey should be based on the expansion of the concept of literacy and its plurality, focusing on the ability to read and write. Its object is to clarify the number of low literate people, their backgrounds and opportunities to learn. Though any national literacy survey has not been conducted, recent local surveys show that there are not a few people who need learning literacy, which has developed as a liberation movement, and stressed the importance of learners’ participation in the management of classes, mutual learning related to their living conditions and comprehension of the relationship between themselves and society. A new literacy survey should assess the ability to communicate including using ICT and physical expression, inquire into the factors which define low literacy, and find opportunities of learning literacy, analyzing the needs of low literate people in detail, whose data are more important than the average mark of people at large.
The importance of literacy has been recognized through international frameworks and forums such as Education for All (EFA) and World Conference on Adult Learning and Education (CONFINTEA). In Japan, there is a general assumption of ‘literacy for all’ being achieved, and thus, no national literacy survey has been conducted since 1948. To plan and implement a national literacy survey under the Act on Guaranteeing Compulsory Education promulgated in 2016, this paper intends to draw inspirations from similar surveys carried out at international and national levels. International surveys include the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) conducted by OECD and the Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme (LAMP) coordinated by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Though literacy issues are often considered as challenges of developing countries, several OECD member countries have conducted national surveys such as Germany, France and the Republic of Korea. While PIAAC provides cross-national literacy conditions of participating countries, the national level surveys have made it clear that these countries are committed to understanding the living conditions and practices of people with literacy difﬁculties and reﬂecting this in their policies. In the context of educational development, Japan has been engaged in international cooperation by supporting developing countries in the field of basic education through international organizations such as UNESCO and bilaterally through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), academics and NGOs. However, such international experiences and findings have not been well reciprocated with domestic discussions and practices to guarantee basic education in Japan. To ensure guaranteeing basic education for all in the country, learning from various approaches is important through comparative and joint research with developed countries, as well as practical experiences of educational development under international cooperation programmes. By reafﬁrming our own position through such joint research, we can make progress in future policy, practice and research towards a society that recognizes and respects diversity.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of functional literacy and changes in its meaning, for the period from the 1950s when it was introduced into UNESCO's literacy strategy to the mid-1970s, by analyzing the relevant UNESCO documents. A while after W. S. Gray advocated the concept, "functional literacy" became the central concept that formed UNESCO's literacy strategy. Gray deﬁned the concept as the knowledge and skills in reading and writing which enable one to engage effectively in various activities in their daily life. After introduced into UNESCO's strategy, the scope of reading and writing activities linked to functional literacy narrowed to one connected with various aspects of development, and then to one connected with economic development, and vocational and technical training in particular. Functional literacy tends to be seen as utilitarian and decontextualized literacy which merely adapt people to existing society. However, the fact that functional literacy used to be linked to people's recreation, critical reading, participation in society, and becoming active agents to build a better society, and that it emphasized the needs and contexts of people and community concerned, shows the great potentiality of the concept.
This paper examines the origin and characteristics of the Kotobuki Literacy School held in Kotobuki-cho, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, from 1978 to 2008, and the literacy philosophy and practice of its leader, Toshiro Osawa (1945-2008). In recent years, the plurality of literacy and the multiple meanings of the place of literacy learning have been pointed out. This paper takes up the case of the Kotobuki Literacy School and traces the signiﬁcance of the place of literacy learning historically, taking into account the characteristics of the area, the philosophy and educational methods of the practitioners, and the characteristics of the learners. The Kotobuki Literacy School was established in 1978 in the town of Kotobuki-cho, one of the "three major Yoseba (street day laborer market)" in Japan along with Sanya in Tokyo and Kamagasaki in Osaka, as a continuation of the Kotobuki Terakoya established by Sankichi Nomoto (Akihiko Kato). Toshiro Osawa's philosophy and practices at the Kotobuki Literacy School have been highly regarded as an excellent succession of Paulo Freire's philosophy. This paper reexamines the philosophy and practice of Osawa, focusing on his point about the importance of orality in the place of literacy learning.
The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the process of establishing night junior high schools in Osaka Prefecture at the end of the 1960s, focusing on the night junior high school expansion movement and the discussions of the Osaka Prefectural Assembly and the city council. Since the end of World War II, there have been a large number of people who have not completed compulsory education, but it has not been revealed. From the viewpoint of "guaranteeing the right to learn as a basic human right", the Night Junior High School Establishment campaign appealed to society that those who have not completed compulsory education need night junior high school. The result was that a night class at Tennoji Junior High School in Osaka City ｗas opened in 1968. In the 1960s, the disputes at high schools that the Osaka Prefectural Board of Education was forced to deal with was the historical background that made this movement possible. Indeed, during that time, a screening of the movie"Night Junior High School Students" was held, and there was a social situation in which the faculty and staff union movement that supported this movement became active. In addition, the night junior high school under Osaka Prefecture was established as the logical result of a combination of multiple factors, such as the inﬂuence of the reformist party with political initiatives.
This study aims to clarify the manifestation of exclusion in attempts of inclusion, and how multi-dimensional inclusion of children could be achieved in learning-support activities outside schools. These activities are carried out by 1） junior high school students who voluntarily want to attend them, and 2） learning-support volunteers who are in their 20s to 90s. The data were collected through ﬁeldwork and interviews. An analysis shows that volunteers avoided intervening into children's needs which did not explicitly appear, and they continued concentrating on children's learning-support. They sometimes adjusted the extent of children's inclusion. This adjustment meant that on one occasion they listened to children's anxiety, and on another occasion they intentionally would not ask children about their needs for support. The collaborative places where volunteers from various ages and backgrounds were gathered enabled various kinds of approaches for children's inclusion; for example, inclusion of children through transforming the structure of the learning-support activities. On this structural transformation, volunteers planned children would not be always regarded as the subjects of support, but they would instead be regarded as "supporters". We cannot completely achieve inclusiveness for children even if we make abundant web of inclusion for children. Volunteers, therefore, have to consider the probability that children might not be included by any web of inclusion, and ﬂexibly transform the web of inclusion for children. In this situation, they come and go between the concept of "learning" and "caring", and try to continuously produce or guarantee collaborative places where children can spend their time with other children and volunteers.
The purpose of this paper is to create a learning environment that accommodates the diverse learning styles of Japanese language learners and guarantees that they can learn in their own way. To achieve this, we deﬁne universal design in education （hereinafter referred to as"UD"） from the standpoint of Japanese language education, and propose its principles. UD in education will not only guarantee Japanese language learners' learning, but also create happiness for people, support rich human development, and, in the future, lead to the building of relationships with the community and society, thereby becoming a foothold for the realization of a symbiotic society. In other words, UD in education is a way of devising and considering ways to realize welfare. In Japanese language education, research that incorporates the perspective of UD in education is in its budding stage, and it is extremely important to demonstrate the necessity of such research in this report. We believe that UD in education will be beneﬁcial not only to Japanese language learners, but also to teachers who have been searching for ways to accommodate a variety of learners.
Firstly, this paper mentioned the history, types, features and references concerning volunteer nighttime junior high schools. Then, it examined the results of questionnaires and interviews which had been conducted from September 2021 to May 2022 with participants from 27 schools. By doing so, it aimed to clarify the status quo and consider the present roles and challenges of volunteer nighttime junior high schools. The participants were divided into learners and supporters, with 581 learners and 502 supporters respectively. The results highlighted the following two main features: learners tended to be younger; especially the ratio of teenagers was the biggest among all ages. Also, a very small number of the 27 schools could get enough administrative support for the venues or other resources to be operated stably. Based on these ﬁndings, this study surveyed two schools which stand out in the ratio of teen learners to explore their backgrounds. It also focused on the cases of Kitakyusyu and Nara cities to consider the relationship between stable school operations and administrative supports for them.