1870s. Item #81170
[BASEBALL - JAPAN] Shihon Gakkou-hen. SHÔGAKU TOKUHON Maki no Ichi. Aichi-ken [Nagoya] Shihongakkô [Teacher's College] n.d. [1870's] An interesting little elementary school reader from the first series of textbooks designed and created by the Teachers College Normal School system in Japan after the Meiji restoration to introduce "Western Learning" to the country. What follows is a series of excerpts from an informative article found online at http://wwwwp.mext.go.jp/hakusyo/book/hpbz198103/hpbz198103_2 _035.html "The Normal School, which was under the direct jurisdiction of the Department of Education, was also requested to compile elementary school textbooks on the basis of its practical experience. Also an office for editing elementary school textbooks was set up in the Normal School in December, 1872. The Department of Education encouraged independent prefectures to reprint the textbooks and other educational material which it and the Normal School had compiled, and it was not long before most of the prefectures adopted this practice and the reprinted textbooks were in nationwide use. Especially following the establishment of regulations for the course of study for elementary schools by the Normal School the textbooks prepared by this institute gained wide acceptance. These textbooks included elementary school readers, introductory geography, outlines of Japanese topography, outlines of world topography, outlines of Japanese history, outlines of world history, elementary school arithmetic, etc. ..................The elementary school textbooks proved to be an interesting introduction of the new knowledge based on the Civilization and Enlightenment (Bunmeikaika) thought, and they were accepted not only as textbooks but also as popular reading material for the public at large. Thus their influence was of considerable importance in the dissemination of the new culture." It is pretty clear that the introduction of Western culture also entailed the introduction of a least a variety of baseball in the 1870's, as well (a fact confirmed by other sources on the origins of baseball in Japan). The American educational consultants and their Japanese colleagues in Aichi saw fit to include a cut and a story with a group of boys playing with bats and balls, pitching and hitting - interesting proof that baseball is nearly as old in Japan as it is in the States. The text of the story, crude.