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The story begins before Japan's unconditional surrender in August 1945, and concludes with the restoration of Japanese sovereignty in 1952. In a larger sense the story is still unfinished, for the people of today's Japan were raised in a society profoundly affected by the educational reforms introduced during the occupation. Part 2 features the blueprints for this restructuring of Japan's educational system. Detailed documentation lays out reformers' efforts to make Japan's system of higher education more democratic, less class-conscious, and more secular. The koto gakko or higher school was abolished, as were the shihan gakko or normal school and the semmon gakko or college. All reforms centered upon the university system that was built in their place. Through this restructuring, reformers sought to change the emphasis of Japanese education from its prewar aims of professional/vocational training to a program rich in liberal arts that, by design, would foster independent thought. The new Fundamental Law of Education cited "respect for individual worth and cultivation of spontaneity" as the guiding spirit of educational reform.
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