HOMONKEN is a Society in JAPAN Which Researches “Child-care and Education” Issues Independently and Democratically

HOMONKEN is a society to research various issues of child-care and education (hereiafter referred to as HOIKU ), independently and democratically. BY independently it means to research ” with its own initiative, while being free from pressure and instruction ” from the top. Democratically – to make joint research with equality and respect the opinion of each member of the society , standing on the side of the children .

HOMONKEN is a Society in Which Practitioners and Researchers Stand on the Same Level.
Any body who wishes to talk and discuss various issues of HOIKU may join HOMONKEN.
In the members of the Society , there are practitioners in kindergartens, nurseries and so on;researchers and students as well who are studying the issues in universities etc.
They make joint research on an equal position. When presenting the results of study, they are guaranteed to express their opinions and have a discussion with one another. The researchers learn from the practitioners, and the latter from the former. They cooperatively advance to illuminate the issues .

HOMONKEN is a Society in Which They Research Based on the Facts in Practice , not on ideas
HOMONKEN, from the first , started researching from the facts , and has been continuing the practical attitude which makes clear the existing issres, not to explain them based on a variety of theories. That is to say, HOMONKEN has always treasured making much of children and of HOIKU in actuality .
Theories are then developed and verified in practice. Therefore, the Society has nothing to do with looking at issues from only one side or a particular scholar , a particular theory , or championing authority over an opponent.
Of course, never neglecting the historical research of HOIKU which has been produced so far, the outstanding theories and practices from seniors, HOMONKEN carefully learns from them. Even in that case, the Society always maintains the atittude toward comparing with the facts, examining and accepting them critically and creatively .

<A Brief History of HOMONKEN>

The Birth of HOMONKEN
HOMONKEN was established in Tokyo in 1936(SHOWA 11), when the aggressive war into the north-eastern part of China by Japan had already started . It was the time just before war spread all over CHINA . HOMONKEN understood children to be an existence involved in the contradictions of socio-economics , and in order to resolve the problems of children, aimed to create ” the new system of HOIKU “. Consequently, taking a serious view of the practice of HOIKU and encouraging practitioners to cooperate more with researchers, HOMONKEN was born as a totally new research organization, in which the practitioners and professional researchers work together. That was the first trial of ” a scientific HOIKU “.
In the early days of its establishment, HOMONKEN wished to bring up children having individual right in society , and made much of “social cooperation ” to develop “the spirit of social partnership ” . That would have led to the way to help children in learning democracy.
But at that time, HOMONKEN’s attitude of “scietific HOIKU” , and the democratic attitude of raising children to have rights in society were not allowed under Japanese Fascism .
E ight years later, 1943, HOMONKEN at last had to stop its activities, because president KIDO Mantaro and many members of the Society were arrested, and jailed by ” the Maintenance of thePublic Order Act ” (the act that democracy was considered a crime. ). The War checked even the serious study of HOIKU .

Senior Members of HOMONKEN Developed New HOIKU in Postwar Days
In prewar days , many young practitioners full of enthusiasm participated in HOMONKEN . Many of the prewar days HOMONKEN’s members took an active part in developing creatively postwar HOIKU in Japan .
The wishes of people who aimed at scientific , democratic HOIKU in the hard wartime were finally realized , under the democracy in the postwar days .
Though it was in 1953 when the postwar HOMONKEN was reconstructed , the spirit of the Society set at its establishment is even now maintained . This spirit evoked the sympathy of many nationwide companies , and then HOMONKEN was successively founded in every place in the country . The Society now has spread all over the country and has an association of members working together.

<The Roles Played by HOMONKEN and the Prospects in the Future>

Development and HOIKU
In HOMONKEN after the war , providing the opportunity for children to develop as individuals was commonly understood as the basic work of HOIKU . According to this thought , considering the distinctive features of human beings , HOMONKEN has made clear the principle of child development of individuality and made its efforts to cultivate the ways of HOIKU .
In this course , overcoming biologism which regards human beings in the same category as living things in general , and being in accordance with the characteristics of human beings , HOMONKEN has made it clear that children , on the basis of their activity endowed by nature , become human beings , through the mediation of society and culture .
Moreover having made it clear that the groups of children have a good educational influence , the Society has named this concept “TSUTAEAI-HOIKU” or “SHUDAN-ZUKURI” From this standpoint , the menbers of the Society also have tackled in difficult conditions baby care after maternity leave and infant care , and care and education for a child with special needs as well , from an early period . Those were leading roles played by HOMONKEN .

Method of Guidance by HOMONKEN
Having studied what it is for children to develop as human beings , what the principle of individual development is , HOMONKEN has overcome both methods of guidance by a principle of spontaneous growth and by a principle of omnipotence of training . The method of guidance by HOMONKEN is based on the activity(driving force )of the child . And in accordance with the principle of development , practitioners carefully propose a specific task of development for each child and encourage him or her to make efforts , that is to say, they orient the driving force directions .

On this ground , accepting children as they are , at first , and then putting much importance on how they would obtain totally new selves ( individual development ), HOMONKEN has searched for its method of guidance which develops them affluently through the interaction , in full and pleasant lives and play .

To Give HOIKU Dreams and the Light of Science
The aim of HOIKU is to bring up the next generation who are to bear the future on their shoulders . That is a magnificent work in creating history . The job of HOIKU is full of dreams wishing children to be brought up comprehensively as human beings .
But if the dreams are just a subjective desire , it is nothing but a fairy-tale . When the dreams are combined with the scientific study , HOIKU will become science which solves the issues of HOIKU . HOMONKEN aims at that.
From its standpoint , the Society has also proposed all sorts of proposals for democratic development of the entire nursery system .

<Organization and Activities of HOMONKEN>

The Activities of ZENKOKU-HOMONKEN
HOMONKEN , which was reconstructed in postwar days in TOKYO and spread all over the country from that time , has been organized and has come into operation in more than forty places in Japan .
Each HOMONKEN has been associated with the national council of HOMONKEN to do work together ( This council is named ZENKOKU-HOMONKEN ). The council’s main activities are given as follows
①Once a year , making a round of various places in the whole country , ZENKOKU-HOMONKEN holds its national research conference (ZENKOKU-HOIKUMONDAI-KENKYUSYUKAI), where practices and results of study are collected and discussions are held . In this conference , nowadays , there are more than one thousand participants .

②And once a year , ZENKOKU-HOMONKEN hold its SUMMER SEMINAR with a certain theme to cultivate a particular issue .

③ZENKOKU-HOMONKEN publishes its bulletin ” HOIKUMONDAI-KENKYU ” (from SHINDOKUSHO-SHA)in six volumes , yearly . HOMONKEN ‘ s members interchange their practices and studies ; raise and discuss their questions through the bulletin .

④And further more , ZENKOKU-HOMONKEN publishes its work in thematically edited books which are named ” HOIKUMONDAI-KENKYU series ” ( from SHINDOKUSHO-SHA )

Various Activities in HOMONKEN
HOMONKEN is an independent and democratic society . Therefore each HOMONKEN develops its own creative operations . Some HONKENs wrestle with sectional meeting activities according to their own capacity , for example , sectional meetings on play ; infant care; development and groups ; care and education for a child with special needs ; sectional meetings on picture books , music , arts ; nursery meals ; theories of HOIKU ; policies of nurseries and kindergartens . Some HOMONKENs have regular academic or practical meetings monthly. And again some HOMONKENs publish their own bulletins regularly or irregularly , and their journals of study as well .
It is within each HOMONKEN ‘ s discretion what kind of activities to wrestle with : nothing is fixed . HOMONKEN , after all , wishes that the Society could provide the HOIKU with dreams and the light of science , being based on the facts , finding the issues of HOIKU and making them clear through practice and research . So that there are many discoveries which make the members feel excited .

For further information about HOMONKEN , please contact them at next address of HOMONKEN.

5-30-20 HONGO, BUNKYO-ku,
TOKYO 113-0033, JAPAN
phone/fax : 03-3943-1538

To bring to fruition ” The Convention of the Rights of the Child “ !!

What’ s ” HOMONKEN ” ?

The Introduction of the Society for the Research of
Child-care and Education Issues