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John Dewey's Sojourn in Japan


by Lewis S. Feuer 1969

Japan, after delighting Dewey with its colorfulness and grace, with its courtesy and the gaiety of its children at play, posed for him problems which he did not know how to answer. Its liberals seemed to him lacking in moral stamina, its teachers spokesmen for the militarists, and its education an indoctrination in mythology. This was a country which seemed to exemplify a Marxian pattern of social classes and political structure, and to defy the application of Dewey's method of intelligence. There was little he could finally tell Japan's liberals, and it left Dewey with a kind of despondency.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 71 Number 1, 1969, p. 123-145
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 1751, Date Accessed: 12/18/2017 9:21:08 AM

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About the Author
  • Lewis Feuer
    University of Toronto
    Professor Feuer, now in the Department of Sociology at Toronto, was enabled to visit Japan from October to December, 1960, by the Institute of International Studies of the University of California, to which he expresses his gratitude. His co-worker, Kazuko Tsurumi, translated all the passages in this article which are cited from Japanese journals and arranged most of his interviews. "I am," writes Dr. Feuer, "thankful to the Japanese scholars and friends of John Dewey in Japan, who gave generously of their time to enable me to reconstruct these events of 1919. I had long and informative interviews with Profes-sors Riichiro Hoashi, Yasaka Takagi, Risaburo Hiroike, Yoshio Nagano, Antei Hiyane, Yataro Okabe, Shin Osada, Hisao Kamidera, Shohaku Mori, Seizi Uyeda, Takeo Kuwabara, Masako Shoji, Ikutaro Shimizu, Osamu Kuno, and with Mrs. Takaka Takanashi Tanaka, Mrs. Tokiko Sato Umezawa, and Mrs. Kotoko Nitobe.
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