UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Asia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education
Name(s) of Author/Editor(s): 
Sondra Wieland Howe
Volume No.: 
Issue No.: 
Year of publication: 
Country of publication: 
Hong Kong
Country of Research Data: 
When Luther Whiting Mason arrived in Japan in 1880, he was impressed with the kindergarten in Tokyo. How was this kindergarten established? What were the influences of German and American educators on the development of the kindergarten? What type of music was taught? The kindergarten movement, created by Friedrich Froebel, was a German educational movement that was transmitted internationally by German educators and by Americans who studied in Germany. Fujimaro Tanaka and other Japanese educators learned about the kindergarten movement through travels in the United States and Europe. In 1876 the first Japanese public kindergarten was opened, attached to the Tokyo Women’s Normal School. The first head teacher was Clara Matsuno, a German woman who trained in a Froebel school. Hoiku shōka (1880) and Yōchien shōkashū (1881) were songbooks published for this Tokyo kindergarten. Kindergartens were established by missionaries in Japan throughout the Meiji period. In 1889 Annie Lyon Howe established the Glory Kindergarten in Kobe. By the end of the nineteenth century there were many Japanese schools training kindergarten teachers. Throughout the twentieth century Japanese education has emphasized the importance of early childhood education. This interest in early childhood has its roots in the German kindergarten movement of the nineteenth century.
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