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By Lucian W. Pye, Sidney Verba

Volume five within the reviews in Political improvement Series.

Originally released in 1965.

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P. Dore in this connection: 2 John W. Hall, "Feudalism in J a p a n — a Reassessment," Comfarative Studies in Society and History, Vol. V, no. , 1 9 6 2 ) , p. 46. 8 Ronald P. Dore, " T h e Legacy of T o k u g a w a Education," unpublished paper 29 T H E C O N T I N U I T Y OF M O D E R N I Z A T I O N The first thing to be stressed (with respect to education during the Tokugawa Period) is not simply the kind, but the sheer amount of formal education that went on. If the Tokugawa Period was a time of stagnation in some respects and of cyclical fluctuation in others, at least in the field of education there was a steady trend of growth.

Though many of the retainers were stipended, the upper strata were individually enfeoffed. But later, with the nearly complete withdrawal of the samurai from the land to live in the castle headquarters towns of the daimyo, the members of the kashindan lost their individual identity. Grouped by rank into an army-type organization they were placed under appointed leaders and assigned freely to civil and military duties. Throughout the Tokugawa Period the tendency within the shogunal and daimyo administration was for the central authority to gain at the expense of the independent vassal.

But mingled with and gradually subverting these were a number of the most salient and potent elements and ideas of modern society. When evaluating the modernization of Japan it is useful to keep in mind this long complex history of covert preparation from which the society benefited. The modernization of Japan still stands as a unique accomplishment in Asia, but its main roots are buried at least two hundred years deep in the country's social, political, and intellectual history. The florescence of national leadership during the early Meiji period combined with the international circumstances and opportunities of \the times had a great deal to do with the amazing speed at which Japan modernized, but in a more fundamental sense Japanese society and the Japanese mind seem to have been prepared for the experience to a degree perhaps still unmatched in some important respects among many contemporary Asian societies.

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