http://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/40007304881/The PTA as an Apparatus of the State
（by IWATAKE Mikako）abstract
Over the past decade an increasing number of studies have addressed the continuity, rather than disruption, between pre- and post-war institutions in Japan. Instead of seeing the pre-war period as a deviation from a "normal" historical course, efforts have been made to situate it as part of the "modernization project" by the national state.
Drawing upon observations at an elementary school PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) in Tokyo, this paper discusses the PTA, one of the largest yet inconspicuous associations in Japan, as a state apparatus for nationalization. Nationalization does not, however, take place through the visible display of national symbols. Rather it is conducted through the intricate means of informal control.
The present paper critically examines the PTA from two perspectives. The first one concerns the continuity between the PTA and the pre-war women' s organization, Dainihon Rengo Fujin Kai
(the Greater Japan Federation of Women' s Association, hereafter GJFWA), which was founded in 1930 by the Ministry of Education. Although the PTA was introduced to Japan by the General Headquarters after the Second World War, with an aim at creating a public sphere between the state and the individual, it bears more resemblance to the GJFWA than the American PTA. The GJFWA was not necessarily successful in realizing its goal, which was to unite women for the cultivation of the mind and the service to the state. This paper argues that such a goal was more successfully achieved by the PTA in the post-war years.
The second perspective concerns the government advocacy of a home-school-locality (chiiki
) tripartition in the recent decades. This emphasis on locality is discussed here as a form of localism (chiikishugi
) and as a Japanese version of communitarianism. In the ideology of the GJFWA, home-school collaboration was central. In recent years, however, the educational functions of home and mother have been considered to be declining. Using the language of loss and nostalgia, the communitarian cause tries to naturalize the tripartition. It follows that the PTA is subordinated to a cobweb of local organizations and institutions in which the Neighborhood Association (Chonai-kai
) serves as a key social capital.
The article discusses the PTA as a form of present-day mobilization of women in the context of the national government' s attempt at revising the Constitution and the Fundamentals of Education Law. These attempts can be seen as steps towards turning Japan into a warring state.