During the Asia-Pacific War (1941―1945), it was necessary for the Japanese people to listen to the radio in order to get information about the war. Radio programs for children were also presented during this period, popular since they were first broadcast by JOAK (Japan's oldest public broadcasting radio station) in 1925.
This study aims to clarify the planning process and the content of ‘National School Hour' educational programs aired from April 1941 to March 1945, focusing on story programs for preschoolers. Materials of ‘National School Hour,' monthly radio textbooks and twenty-two scripts of story programs that were aired from June 1941 to January 1945 provided evidence for this analysis. The scripts had not been previously analyzed.
Based on the result of this study, the following points are revealed:
1. The planning process
1) Programming was designed to be suitable for a pre-schooler's inner world, as discussed by the School Hour Committee composed of education experts and the JOAK production staff; and
2) To present monthly goals (from January 1942 to March 1943) designed to align with program themes, based on the guidelines for pre-schooler life determined by the School Hour Committee.
2. The content
1) There was a tendency for some scripts written from January 1942 to March 1943 to depend on the guideline of pre-schooler life; and
2) A tendency of the scripts of ‘National School Hour' in consideration of pre-schooler life, to focus on their play.
The story programs were produced to emphasize normal pre-schooler life; however, there were some scripts that followed military national policy during the war years.
Aoyama Gakuin Kindergarten was established in 1961. However, there were two other kindergartens that preceded it in the prewar period: Kaigan-jogakko Kindergarten (1893-1899) and Aoyama Gakuin Midorigaoka Kindergarten (1937-1944). I was interested in these kindergartens because I was a member of the editorial board of the history of the school, and I wanted to inquire further about two points.
First, why were both kindergartens closed, and why did they not resume quickly? Kindergarten teacher training courses at Aoyama Gakuin University and Junior College were first established after the war, so teachers of the two prior kindergartens were educated at other schools. These teachers' names were Ai Takano and Ume Hamada (Kaigan-jogakko Kindergarten), and Tadako Tamura (Midorigaoka Kindergarten). It is known that Hamada, Tamura and Haru Yoneyama (director of Midorigaoka Kindergarten) were graduates of Kaiganjogakko (Aoyama Jogakuin); however, about Takano, we know only that she was a member of the Presbyterian Church and came from Osaka. Second, where was Takano educated and why did Kaigan-jogakko invite her from another church ?
Miss Dora Schoonmaker, a missionary of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church (WFMS), established the Joshi-shougakko (girl's elementary school) in Azabu, Tokyo in 1874, which was the beginning of Aoyama Gakuin. After a lapse of several years, Joshi-shougakko moved to the Tsukiji foreign settlement, and its name was changed to Kaigan-jogakko. WFMS started early childhood education at the school with Kaiganjogakko kindergarten. Midorigaoka kindergarten was established by Haru Yoneyama, her husband also established Midorigaoka elementary school at the same time.
The purpose of this paper is to clarify two kindergartens and their teachers, using historical materials, especially journals and annual reports of WFMS, and official documents of Tokyo Metropolitan Archives.
In particular, this paper argues the following points. Ai Takano, the teacher of Kaigan-jogakko kindergarten, was inspired by Miss Mary True and studied at Sakurai-jogakko, learning early childhood education from Miss Elizabeth Milliken. After graduation, she became a kindergarten teacher at Smith-jogakko in Sapporo. After that, she was invited to Kaigan-jogakko kindergarten as a teacher. Takano and Hamada received high education by missionaries and became kindergarten teachers. This example shows that the missionaries recognized the importance of early childhood education in their establishment of girls' education in Japan.
Aoyama Jogakuin (Kaigan-jogakko) Kindergarten was closed because of “Kunrei” (the Educational Act of 1899) and government regulations for kindergartens. The kindergarten was unable to resume because under Kunrei they were not allowed to teach Christian education, and thereby losing WFMS support for their kindergarten facilities. Midorigaoka Kindergarten closed after a notification from the government in 1944 and was burned down by air raids in 1945. This paper clarifies that Aoyama Gakuin planned to resume the kindergarten in 1950.