Kyusei Koto Gakko (higher school under the old system) (旧制高等学校)

Kyusei koto gakko was an institution of higher education in Japan based on the Higher School Order (in 1894 and 1918) that existed until 1950.

The educational content was equivalent to the educational curriculum of first and second years in present-day college. However, considering the moral tone and the status of the students back then, it can be said that this type of institution does not exist in the modern era, where upper secondary education has become popularized. It is often confused with high school, but the modern-day high school is an institution of secondary education, and therefore it is equivalent to the school of secondary education under the old system (it is typified by middle school under the old system).

Among the seven national higher middle schools, which included the First through the Fifth Schools and the ones in Yamaguchi and Kagoshima established in 1886 by the Middle School Order, the six schools excluding the one in Kagoshima were reorganized into higher schools in 1894.

There were two systems at the beginning, consisting of specialized course (four years) and university preparatory course (three years). However, the specialized course was either successively abolished (they were upgraded to imperial universities) or divided into specialized schools, and all that was left was university preparatory course, where preparatory education for imperial universities took place. When the Higher School Order was amended in 1918, many more were established in various areas.
Seven-year higher schools came into existence, and 'university preparatory course' was renamed to 'advanced course.'

Fundamental characteristics of a higher school

According to the Higher School Order of 1894, higher schools were defined as institutions where education of specialized courses took place, and preparatory education for students to be enrolled in the imperial universities was stipulated by a provisional clause. The specialized course was modeled after colleges in England and in the U.S. with the primary goal of providing specialized education, and it was expected to play the role of 'the highest educational institution at the regional level' (regional university).

An example of an educational institution, that offered this specialized course that reflected its character as defined by the Higher School Order, was the Third Higher School (under the old system). The Third Higher School began, at the beginning, with specialized faculties of only law, engineering and medicine. The Third Higher School was the only school that did not have a history of having a university preparatory course.

In 1895, Kinmochi SAIONJI suggested to upgrade the Third Higher School to Kyoto University using the reparations obtained from the Sino-Japanese War. Consequently, the Third Higher School University Preparatory Course was established on the southern side of Higashi ichijo-dori Street (current Kyoto University Yoshida Minami Campus). The suggestion that the premises, buildings and facilities of the Third Higher School Faculty of Law and Engineering be used by Kyoto Imperial University was adopted, and the budget was approved in the following year.

The imperial edict related to the establishment of Kyoto Imperial University was issued on June 18, 1897, and Kyoto Imperial University was inaugurated. The Third Higher School Faculty of Medicine, which was located in Okayama, branched out and became independent as Okayama Medical College in 1901. In other higher schools the specialized faculties and university preparatory courses were completely separated, and higher schools became institutions of higher education that provided only preparatory education for imperial universities. The role of specialized faculties at higher schools under the old system as regional educational institutions of specialized higher education would be played by the specialized schools under the old system and the imperial universities that would later be established in increasing numbers in local regions.

The Higher School Order that was reformed in 1918, aimed to fulfill the national morality of men and to perfect the higher ordinary education. Moreover, the establishment of public and private higher schools was permitted, and they continued to grow until the end of the World War II.

The essence of these higher schools was a system that guaranteed one's admittance into an imperial university. Throughout the pre-war period there was almost a one-to-one ratio between the number of students per year at higher schools under the old system and that of the imperial universities.
Therefore, as long as there was a diploma for completing a higher school, one could enter an imperial university without any examinations as long as he was not choosey about the field of study,
Because there was this type of 'guarantee of status' there were students who did not study hard but enjoyed their student lives. Because staying in the same grade for three years meant expulsion from school, it is said that there was a student audacious enough to 'deliberately' repeat the same year once in each grade of the three years in advanced course, staying in school for six years.

Moreover, it also served as an incubator for the elites in the pre-war society, and it was an institution that supported the foundation of social system at the time.

There was also university preparatory course, which was a similar institution. However, it was a different institution, because unlike the higher school under the old system, there was a premise that the students would be admitted to specific universities under the old system.


Its beginning was the Preparatory School of the University of Tokyo (Tokyo Yobimon) that Ministry of Education created in Tokyo.
The instructors at the University of Tokyo in the early years were mostly foreigners hired from western countries at 'salaries higher than those of ministers.'
The curriculum was modeled after universities in Europe, and textbooks, lectures, notes and answers were all in foreign languages. Therefore, in order to receive a specialized education, it was absolutely necessary to be highly proficient in languages such as English and German. University preparatory school was a preparatory educational institution to acquire such language skills.

In order to improve the bureaucratic organization, Hirobumi ITO, who acquired power after ousting Shigenobu OKUMA at the coup in 1881, merged all of the national schools in Tokyo with the University of Tokyo, which had been created by Ministry of Education. He renamed it an 'imperial university,' which was the only university, and he designated it as a training institution for government officials and scholars. The University of Tokyo becoming an 'imperial university' meant that a preparatory educational institution was to be placed in each of the five school districts throughout Japan. Preparatory School of the University of Tokyo became the First Higher Middle School within District Number One (the Kanto region and the areas around it), and it later became the First High School under the old system by the Higher School Order. Refer to Higher Middle School for details on the predecessor of higher schools.

Enticement Battle
Among the higher schools under the old system whose number amounted to 39 throughout Japan in the end, the First through the Eighth Higher Schools (under the old system), which were established during the Meiji period, sent their graduates to the political and business worlds from early on. Because they were at an advantage compared to the schools that were established later, they were called 'number schools' (from 'n school') in order to distinguish them from other schools.

Therefore, even after the new system was put in place the honorific title such as 'number school elite school' remained in idiomatic usage.
Schools that are numbered, which are mainly public high schools (some private schools also), including the period of middle schools in each municipality under the old system, are sometimes locally called 'the number school of XX.'

After the Sixth Higher School (under the old system) the local eagerness to entice the schools had a large influence on its establishment. On enticing the Sixth Higher School, Okayama and Hiroshima competed with each other. In the Diet, it is said that the parliamentarians got into a scuffle outside the Diet building.

In the case of the Seventh Higher School 'Zoshikan School' (under the old system), it was substantially decided to be in Matsumoto, but it had not been publicly disclosed. However, it was hastily changed to Kagoshima for various reasons.
Moreover, for the establishment of the Ninth Higher School, a fierce enticement battle took place between Niigata and Matsumoto, and it became a series of smearing campaigns,
However, in the end, using the name 'the Ninth Higher School' was avoided, and the matter was settled by using the place name of Niigata Higher School (under the old system) and Matsumoto Higher School (under the old system).

This matter was taken into consideration in the naming of schools established since then, and the schools were named according to the location of the school.
As a way to contrast and distinguish these from the 'number schools' mentioned earlier, they were sometimes called 'chimeiko' (place name schools) or 'name schools.'

The Second Higher School Order (Amendment to the Higher School Order)
The Second Higher School Order was proclaimed on December 6, 1918, and it was enforced on April 1, 1919.
As for the characteristic of the higher schools, it was laid out as 'a higher school is a place where one receives higher ordinary education.'
As for the structure of higher schools the standard was set as a seven-year system with three years of advanced course and four years of regular course. Schools that consisted of only advanced course were also allowed as an exception. A regular course was comparable to the curriculum of middle school, and therefore, establishing of university preparatory course was allowed. The graduates of advanced course were allowed to have a training period limited to one year in their specialty, and those who completed this training period was awarded with the title of tokugyoshi.

The qualification required for entering advanced course was completion of regular course at a higher school or about four years of middle school (before the reform, completion of middle school which was five years at the time), and shortening of the enrollment period was realized. This shortening of the number of years spent on the training preexisted at the basis of the reform of higher school educational system. Therefore, it became common for the students wanting to enter higher schools to take the higher school entrance examinations, assuming that it would end in four years, and many people were accepted.

The qualification for entering the regular course was completion of elementary school (national school) or equivalent.

The entrance to school was set to take place in April.

Higher schools other than national schools
After 1918 it became possible to establish higher schools by groups of people other than the government.
As primary examples, for private schools there are Musashi Koto Gakko (under the old system) of Nezu Zaibatsu (financial conglomerate) of Tobu Railway Co., Ltd., Seijo Koto Gakko (under the old system) (present-day Seijo Gakuen High School) by Masataro SAWAYANAGI who was the foremost educator of the generation, Seikei Koto Gakko (under the old system) by the Iwasaki family of Mitsubishi Zaibatsu, and Konan Koto Gakko (under the old system) by a businessman in the Kansai region,
For public schools, there is Toyama Kenritsu Toyama Koto Gakko (Toyama Prefectural Toyama High School) (under the old system) which was established by a wealthy local family who donated an enormous amount of money to the prefecture. Furthermore, Gakushuin, established by Imperial Household Ministry during the Meiji period, was set up in order to educate the children of the peers, but after 1912, it became an institution equivalent to the higher schools under the old system.

These schools consisted of a regular course (four years) and advanced course (three years), totaling seven years of higher school (Gakushuin consisted of eight years because of merging of five years of middle school, which was equivalent to the regular course), and once enrolled in the regular course a spot at an imperial university was guaranteed.

Many of the national higher schools, starting with the First Higher School, had only three years of advanced course, which was consistent with the structure of the original schools.

Its end

After World War II ended, with the influence of American occupation policy some higher schools under the former system began to admit women to enroll. Female students went to school wearing student's hats that were the same as the male student's, or they wore brimless student's hats. In general, female students were treated well as guests, and many went on to imperial universities or universities under the new system, then became teachers and researchers.

However, an end was coming near even to higher schools of the old system. Shigeru NANBARA, who was Vice Chairman of Education Reform Committee worked actively toward their abolition. NANBARA was also a graduate of Ichiko (The First Higher School), and he later attested that during the three years at the former higher schools he slacked off, and the materials taught at school were merely repackaging of materials taught at former middle school, and therefore he had no attachment to education in former higher schools. NANBARA repeatedly stated his commitment to Inazo NITOBE, the principal of Ichiko when NANBARA was a student there, who emphasized that men should be gentlemen. It can be seen that he was uncomfortable with the atmosphere of rudeness.

Because of the post-war educational reform, the former higher schools merged with former universities and other institutions of higher education, and many of them became parent organizations such as faculties of general education, literature or science at universities under the new system.

Those who enrolled at universities under the new system because of educational reform while at former higher schools include novelist Akiyuki NOSAKA (from Niigata Higher School to Niigata University, then to Waseda University), Kazumi TAKAHASHI (from Matsue Higher School (under the old system) to Kyoto University), Takeshi KAIKO(from Osaka Higher School (under the old system) to Osaka City University), Sakyo KOMATSU (from Third High School to Kyoto University), Seiji TSUTSUMI (from Seijo Higher School to the University of Tokyo), Takatada IHARA (from Gakushuin High School to Keio University), and Keiichi KONAGA (from the Sixth Higher School to Okayama University) who was the first person to become a deputy secretary after graduating from a university that was not a university under the old system. Furthermore, Yoji YAMADA, a film director, encountered the educational reform while he was still a student at Yamaguchi Higher School, and he moved on to the University of Tokyo from Tokyo Metropolitan Koyamadai High School under the new system..

Before the implementation of the educational reform, there was a movement to search for a way for the former higher schools to continue their existence as 'junior colleges' (equivalent to junior colleges after the reform), but it ended as a dream.

The graduates who reminisced over the former higher schools proclaimed the positive aspects of the former higher schools by holding Nihon Ryokasai (song festival held by the dormitory students) and by founding 'Association to Advance the Educational Revolution in Japan' even after the war. However, perhaps because they adamantly aspired to revive the former higher schools as national institutions of higher education, there were no movements toward establishing specialized higher schools and junior colleges for liberal arts education in private schools for the benefit of the elites. Yet, such schools did exist in public schools. Wakayama Prefectural Junior College of Sciences was one such school that was established in 1950 but it was abolished in 1955.

The establishment of the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Liberal Arts under the new system was a movement to preserve the tradition of liberalism in the former higher schools. Furthermore, the graduates of former imperial universities, such as the influential people, who were involved in the establishment of the College of Liberal Arts at International Christian University immediately after the war, were hopeful about the possibility of passing down the advantages of the former higher schools to the principles of liberal arts colleges.

Entrance examination, academic curriculum and graduation
Entrance examination
In 1901, the 'Integrated Selection System' was adopted in the entrance examinations for higher schools. The 'Integrated Selection System' was abolished in 1908, but from the following year, the examination questions were standardized for all schools except for the Seventh High School.

From 1926, in order to accommodate the students taking examinations to go to national higher schools, the national higher schools were divided into two groups, and one school from each group was allowed to be specified. The first group consisted of the First, the Fifth, the Seventh, Niigata, Mito, Yamagata, Matsue, Tokyo, Osaka, Urawa, Shizuoka, Himeji and Hiroshima Higher Schools. The second group consisted of the Second, the Third, the Fourth, the Sixth, the Eighth, Matsumoto, Yamaguchi, Matsuyama, Saga, Hirosaki, Fukuoka and Kochi Higher Schools.

Class composition

University preparatory course was divided into the first division (law, literature), the second division (engineering, science, agriculture) and the third division (medicine). As for examples of classification, among the applicants of the law division, the faculty that focused on English was First Division English Law, the faculty that focused on German was the First Division German Law, and among the applicants to Faculty of Letters University the division that focused on English was First Division English Literature and the division that focused on German was First Division German Literature. Because of the influence of the Amendment to the Higher School Order, the university preparatory course was renamed as advanced course. It was roughly divided into humanities and sciences, and depending on the foreign language taken it was further divided into Faculty of Letters English category (English as the primary language), Faculty of Letters German category (German), Faculty of Letters French category (French), Faculty of Sciences English category (English), Faculty of Sciences German category (German), and Faculty of Sciences French category (French). Faculty of Sciences German category was set up as the way to advance to Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. However, the higher schools that had divisions with French as the primary foreign language were few in number, such as the First Higher School, the Third Higher School, Shizuoka Higher School, Fukuoka Higher School, Osaka Higerh School and Urawa Higher School.

The class composition at the Fourth Higher School in 1926 was two classes in English literature, one class in German literature, three science classes in English and one science class in German.

Graduation and college entrance examination

The enrollment capacity at imperial universities was about the same as the number of graduates from the former higher schools, and therefore, as long as one was not picky about the desired field of study, enrollment at an imperial university after graduation was guaranteed. Therefore, depending on the faculty at regional imperial universities and national colleges there was a shortage of students. Universities that were established later, such as Keijo Imperial University and Hokkaido Imperial University, independently took up strategies to set up 'yoka' (preparatory course) in order to ensure a pool of talented students from early on.

In the 1920's, the national medical colleges that were established during the early period were upgraded to national medical universities. As with imperial universities (except for the universities with their own preparatory courses such as Hokkaido Imperial University, Keijo Imperial University and Taipei Imperial University), the medical schools did not have their own preparatory courses. In order to go to these universities it was necessary to have graduated from a higher school under the old system. Because of the emergence of 'regional imperial universities with preparatory courses' and 'national medical colleges without preparatory courses,' equating graduation from former higher school and going to an imperial university no longer worked.

In general, because there were many applicants to the medical schools and to the popular divisions at the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University, acceptance rate was often one out of two or one out of three. However, in the case of University Tokyo Faculty of Law, the examination subjects were only translation from English to Japanese and from Japanese to English. Put in today's words, it was similar to examinations for getting into seminars. The examination subjects in the case of Tokyo Imperial University, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics, were foreign languages, mathematics, mechanics and physics, and in the case of Kyushu Imperial University, Faculty of Engineering, they were mathematics and mechanics, physics and chemistry, and in the case of Kyushu Imperial University, Faculty of Medicine, they were foreign languages (two out of English, German and French), mathematics, physics, chemistry, zoology and botany. Upon advancing to popular faculties and departments, more than a few people became ronin (those who could not pass the examinations to enroll at a university), and they were called white-line ronin.

When there was an under-enrollment at imperial universities the capacity was filled preferentially by the graduates and the potential graduates of former higher schools. During the applicant selection process at imperial universities priority was decided based on the applicant's educational history. The highest priority was given to the graduates of the department of letters at higher schools for the department of humanities at universities without preparatory courses, and to the graduates of department of sciences at high schools for faculty of sciences, and at universities with preparatory courses the highest priority was given to those who completed the preparatory courses. If the enrollment limit was exceeded by the applicant with first priority ranking, a competitive examination was given to those with first priority ranking. The ones who failed the tests became members of ronin, and they were sometimes called 'hakusen ronin' (ronin with white lines). If the enrollment limit was not met by the first priority applicants, then these first priority applicants were all accepted, and the shortage in the enrollment was filled by the second priority applicants. For students with priority rankings lower than the second priority, the method of determining the priority based on the educational history was dependent on the university and the department.
In many cases, the second priority and below were designated as 'people with educational history other than graduates of higher schools,' and those who enrolled in this manner were called 'people who were admitted through indirect enrollment.'
Therefore, applicants from higher normal schools and higher technical schools were admitted to fill the enrollment capacity in form, but at imperial universities they were permitted to enroll, using the fill-ins as a reason and treating them as indirect enrollments. There were relatively many cases of indirect enrollment at imperial universities other than the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University.

With the changeover to the new system because of the educational reform, a measure was taken against the white-line ronin (November 29, 1949, notified by the Ministry of Education). Each university under the old system was divided into two terms, and in 1949, the selection examinations were given. Each university under the old system increased the enrollment limit as much as possible, and in order to prevent double enrollment and rescinding of enrollment, the university made the announcement of acceptance as soon as possible for the first term. The actions taken against the white-line ronin by the universities under the old system ended with the entrance examination in 1950.

Number of enrollment at imperial universities and national medical universities
From: "collection of entrance examination questions for imperial universities" appendix, published in 1925 by Hokushin Shoin
Number of enrollment at each university in 1925
Tokyo Imperial University 2363
Kyoto Imperial University 1381
Kyushu Imperial University 0608
Tohoku Imperial University 0392
Niigata Medical University 0060
Okayama Medical University 0061
Chiba Medical University 0061
Kanazawa Medical University 0060
Nagasaki Medical University 0063

Temporary measures during the war
When the Pacific War escalated the duraion of school was shortened by half a year to two and a half years in 1942 and 1943 as a temprary measure during emergency, and from the class entering in 1943 the term was officially shortened to two years by a legal amendment. However, in September, 1945, immediatey after the end of the war, the term was again changed to three years, and the only class that graduated in two years was the class that entered in 1943.

Entering in April, 1940 - graduation in September, 1942 (formally three years, shortened by half a year)
Entering in April, 1941 - graduation in September, 1943 (formally three years, shortened by half a year)
Entering in April, 1942 - tentative graduation in November, 1943 - graduation in September, 1944 (formally three years, shortened by half a year)
Entering in April, 1943 - graduation in March, 1945 (formally two years,)
Entering in April, 1944 - graduation in March, 1947 (formally two years, extended by one year)
Entering in April, 1945 - graduation in March, 1948 (formally two years, extended by one year)
Entering in April, 1946 - graduation in March, 1949 (formally three years)
Entering in April, 1947 - graduation in March, 1950 (formally three years)
Entering in April, 1948 - ended in March, 1949

The typical outfit of a former higher school student consisted of a cap with white stripes, a cape and takageta (tall wooden clogs), and the sight of them walking around in town singing their dormitory song was highly admired by many students of middle schools under the old system. The cap had either two or three stripes, and it was a symbol of higher school student under the old system.
However, some private higher school students under the old system did not have the white stripes on their caps, and students at Seijo High School who were unhappy about this started a 'White Stripes Movement.'
On the other hand, the caps with white stripes at Nihon University preparatory course looked exactly the same those of higher schools under the old system.

Number schools

The Middle School Order was officially announced on April 10, 1886. By this, national higher middle schools (precursor to higher schools under the old system) were established in each of the five school districts throughout Japan as well as in Yamaguchi and Kagoshima.

In 1886, Preparatory School of the University of Tokyo, its extension campus in Osaka (later moved to Kyoto) and Yamaguchi Junior Highs School were renamed the First Higher Middle School, the Third Higher Middle School and Yamaguchi Higher Middle School, respectively. In the following year of 1887, the Second Higher Middle School (Sendai), the Fourth Higher Middle School (Kanazawa), the Fifth Higher Middle School (Kumamoto), Kagosima Higher Middle Zoshikan School were established one after another.

The number on each school refers to the school district number (there were changes depending on the time period) from first one to fifth, and numbers sixth through eighth were given chronologically according to their establishment. There was a specialized courses set up at schools from the First to the Fifth Higher Schools at the time, which were established in the early years. In April of 1897, the school district system was abolished, and it became possible to take entrance examinations for higher schools unrestricted by the school districts.

Name schools

While enjoying the economic growth because of World War I, Japan also experienced a great advancement in industrial power, and consequently, there was a societal demand to build more imperial universities and increase the student enrollment limit. With this demand, it became necessary to increase the number of higher schools. In 1918, under the Hara cabinet, the 'foundation and expansion plan of higher schools in the miscellaneous category' with an enormous additional budget of 44.5 million yen (currency) was submitted to the Imperial Diet and it was approved.

This six-year plan starting from 1918 would newly build 10 national higher schools under the old system, six national higher technical schools, four national higher schools of agriculture and forestry, seven national higher schools of commerce, one school of foreign languages (under the former system) and one specialized school of pharmaceutical sciences under the old system as well install four faculties at imperial universities and upgrade five medical universities and one college of commerce. Later, this plan was almost completely realized.

During this time, there was a fight over the name of 'the Ninth High School' between Niigata and Matsumoto, and the use of numbers was abandoned and the place name was used instead. Thus, the name schools were born. Another reason was the fact that distinction using numbers became difficult due to an increase in the number of higher schools.

The seven year system

Institutionally, the seven-year higher school (four years of regular course and three years of advanced course) was defined as an institution of higher education, but it effectively served as an institution of both middle and higher education in one school. Educators who believed in the most advanced educational philosophy at the time as well international businessmen who were committed to the British public schools jumped on the idea of the seven-year higher schools, and many seven-year higher schools aimed to nurture students to have sophisticated disposition. There was even a school, like Musashi High School (under the old system), which banned sports and didn't hesitate to have a large number of dropouts and dismissed students, but boasted its rate of successful applicants for Tokyo Imperial University exceeded that of Ichiko (the First Higher School).

Ichiro MIKUNI, an essayist who graduated from the Eighth Higher School, he saw the students of Tokyo Imperial University who were graduates of the seven-year high schools upon entering the university, and he described them as 'a group of eccentric type of the students of Tokyo Imperial University.'
There are also criticisms that seven-year high schools created young writers and exam-ready brains who were sophisticated but lacked substance.

Tokyo Higher School Regular Course was abolished only 12 years after classes started and only 13 years after it was established. Later, Osaka Prefectural Naniwa Higher School Regular Course and the regular course at Toyama High School, which changed its status from public to national, were abolished one after another (Tokyo Higher School Regular Course temporarily restarted taking in applicants after the war). The only national or public schools that taught the regular course were the Taipei Higher School, which was under the jurisdiction of the Taiwan Governor-General, and the Prefectural Higher School established by the prefecture of Tokyo.

Among the group of higher schools under the old system that included institution of primary education were Konan, Seijo and Seikei. Entrance into these elementary schools was directly linked to moving onto imperial universities, including Tokyo Imperial University, and they became very popular. Ichiro KATO, who later became the president of the University of Tokyo, also went from Seijo Elementary School (current Seijo Gakuen Elementary School) on to Seijo Higher School. Although not higher school under the old system, Gakushuin also included an institution of primary education.

It is generally regarded that at the educational reform advanced courses moved on to become universities under the new system, and the regular courses moved on to become middle schools and high schools.


Gakushuin Junior High School (under the former system) and Gakushuin High School (under the former system) (current Gakushuin High School and Gakushuin University, respectively) of Incorporated Educational Institution of Gakushuin
Gakushuin is a national school founded on Gakushuin school system. Furthermore, it was a special educational institution under the direct jurisdiction of Imperial Household Ministry. At the beginning, there were primary course (six years), junior high course (six years at the beginning, then five years), supplementary course, higher course and special college course (abolished in 1905). However, in 1919, the schools were renamed to primary, junior high and high schools, and this system continued until the implementation of School Education Law.

According to the Gakushuin school system, at the beginning, the supplementary course and the higher course were regarded as two-year educational institutions for students who graduated from the junior high course. From the Meiji period to the Taisho period, advancement to an Imperial University was not completely guaranteed. The graduates of higher course were permitted to go on to an imperial university when the student enrollment capacity was not filled at the imperial university, or only by recommendation of the university president, and there was no standard system of advancement.

Order of Ministry of Education Article Number 27 in 1921 guaranteed students institutional permission to advance to imperial universities just as other graduates of higher course of higher schools under the old system.

Post-war specially established high schools

After World War II, education in medicine and dentistry were taught at universities (universities under the old system). Medical colleges under the former system and colleges of dentistry under the former system were upgraded to universities under the old system. However, some among these schools did not fulfill the standards to be upgraded to universities, and such schools were transformed into higher schools under the old system in order to save the matriculated students. They are called post-war specially established high schools (however, Tokushima National Higher School became a higher school through a different route). They were considered as preparatory courses for medical universities, and they were partially included into the universities under the new system that were established during the educational reform.

University preparatory courses

While they were similar to higher schools under the old system (those established by the University Order), they were institutions of higher education with the understanding that their students would advance only to the universities with which they were separately associated. This point was institutionally very different from higher schools under the old system.