The homepage was started because we agreed that there was a need to provide information on the structure of Japanese whole child education in English and to encourage the cross-national exchange of ideas between Japanese educators and their counterparts in different countries. Though there has been much discussion on the academic aspects of Japanese education abroad (e.g., high scores on international tests, lesson study), there has been little information on the non-academic aspects of Japanese schooling. Since one of the major characteristics of Japanese schooling is educating the whole child, the academic and non-academic sides of education are intertwined and are systematically built into the curriculum; focusing on one and disregarding the other shows only half of the picture.

The development of the whole child is a concern everywhere, as educators strive to develop the diverse potentials of a child to the full. There is much to be gained from comparisons across cultures, assessing the benefits and challenges of certain approaches, as we face common issues. However, without sharing information, there would be no dialogue. We hope that exchanging information would open new opportunities for the exchange of ideas.

Starting Members (in alphabetical order) (2012, September)

Lewis, Catherine C. (Distinguished Research Fellow, Education Department, Mills College)

Director of lesson study research projects funded by NSF and IES, she is fluent in Japanese and has conducted extensive research in both the United States and Japan. She received her Ph.D. at Stanford University in elementary education and child development. Her works relating to whole child education in Japan include her award-winning book Educating Hearts and Minds: Reflections on Japanese Preschool and Elementary Education (Cambridge University Press, 1995). Related webs: Lesson Study Group at Mills College: http://www.lessonresearch.net/staffmain1.html.

Nambu, Kazuhiko (Principal, Bunkyo Gakuin University Girls’ Junior High School)

He is the former head of the Japanese School Event Research Group of Elementary School, one of the national teachers’ organizations focusing on school events in tokkatsu. He has focused on reforming schools through tokkatsu while he was a public school principal (elementary school).

Sugita, Hiroshi (Professor, Faculty of Human Development, Kokugakuin University)

He is the former special director for curriculum subjects (tokkatsu). He is the special director for curriculum subjects (tokkatsu) for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT) and advices schools, gives lectures, etc. on the principles and methods of tokkatsu nationwide. He is the author of numerous books for educators on tokkatsu (in Japanese).

Tsuneyoshi, Ryoko (Professor, Graduate School of Education, the University of Tokyo)

She received her Ph.D. from Princeton University (sociology) and has conducted extensive fieldwork in schools in Japan and the United States, and other countries. One of her research focuses has been on the Japanese model of schooling, and her books in English include: The Japanese Model of Schooling: Comparisons with the United States (RoutledgeFalmer, 2001) andMinorities and Education in Multicultural Japan (coedited with K. Okano and S. Boocock, Routledge, 2011).


This website is produced by Professor Ryoko Tsuneyoshi (Director), Fumiko Takahashi (Research Associate), and Kanako Kusanagi (Project Researcher).

Research for this homepage was provided by the JSPS Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research Kiban A. No. 15H01987 and Kiban C. No.24531056 (headed by Ryoko Tsuneyoshi).