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Because of interest expressed at the summer 1955 conference of the Japan Society for the Study of Education, discussion over organizing the Society for Historical Studies of Education began. As a result, a preliminary planning committee meeting was held in April the following year. During the Conference of the Japan Society for the Study of Education at Tokyo Gakugei University on May 4, 1956, the charter meeting of the Society was convened. The following is the Society for Historical Studies Prospectus:

It is widel recognized that historical studies of education following World War II changed remarkably both domestically and abroad. The primary characteristics of post-war historical studies of education are: 1. Inquiry into the scientific methodology of historical studies of education; 2. Inquiry into the meaning of history of education research regarding teacher training and the development of a general culture of learning, as well as their relative importance; 3. an attempt to integrate research that seeks to discover the direction of educational activities in relation to one’s country, vocation, and the pursuit of historical evidence in world education, etc. In other words, history of education research does not end with the translation of foreign book, the accumulation of knowledge, or the interpretation of historical facts; this society seeks to reinvigorate the history of education research through the use of the methods of an applied science.
The circumstances found in this field of study demands cooperation in order to bring about the kind of intimate research required of history of education scholars in our country. As research becomes more narrowly defined and specialized, it becomes necessary to locate such scholarly pursuits within the context of a broader field of inquiry. It has now become unacceptable to confine one’s research to convenient areas of specialization, such as the history of education in Japan, in Asia, or in the West. Brick by brick, this Society and its members seek to contribute to the construction of the great tower of our country’s history of education. Our individual bricks will be strengthened through participation in various debates taking place within the larger field of study. The tower we have created will then be fortified as our individual bricks become stronger through this process.
This Society promotes opportunities for collaborative research as well as domestic and international exchange of research data. We ask for the participation and cooperation of all like-minded individuals.

 At its inception, the Society for Historical Studies of Education had 104 members, with Ishikawa Ken (Ochanomizu University) as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Umene Satoru (Tokyo University of Education) as Head of the Secretariat. The following chart details changes in membership numbers over the years:

Field Japan Asia West General Other Total
1956 49 7 42 6 104
1969 131 21 127 68 347
1984 306 37 209 100 4 656
2002 479 64 250 142 11 946
2007 475 46 233 132 7 893
Present 517 52 200 123 5 897

For the first 20 years, the numbers of members specializing in Japan and the West were roughly equal, but thereafter the number of Western specialists failed to continue to grow. A jump in membership of Asia specialists in the last 20 years reflects the growing number of Asian exchange students attending Japanese universities. Membership totals show little change in recent years.

〔Chairman of the Board of Directors〕
Instead of selecting a president, the Society for Historical Studies of Education chose to establish a board of directors with a chairman to be the Society’s representative. The following is a list of the Society’s Chairmen and their terms of office:
Ishikawa Ken, 1956-1969
Umene Satoru, 1969-1980
Tsuchiya Tadao, 1980-1981
Hayashi Tomoharu, 1981-1983 (acting)
Hayashi Tomoharu, 1983-1989
Ishikawa Matsutaro, 1989-1995
Terasaki Masao, 1995-1998
Kaneko Shigeru, 1998-2001
Sato Hideo, 2001-2002
Henmi Masaaki, 2003-2007
Morikawa Terumichi, 2007-2010
Tujimoto Masashi, 2010-2013
Shinya Yasuaki, 2013-2016
Yoneda Toshihiko, 2016-Present
 Since the Society’s inception, it has published a yearly research bulletin called the Historical Studies of Education in Japan. Specifically for members, the Society publishes the biannual Society News and a membership directory is issued every three years. In addition, the Society has published organizational histories and special anniversary issues, namely Society for Historical Studies of Education: The Past 12 Years (1969), 20th Anniversary Issue of the Society for Historical Studies of Education (1977), 40th Anniversary Issue of the Society for Historical Studies of Education (1997), and 50th Anniversary Issue of the Society for Historical Studies of Education (2007),60thAnniversary Issue of the Society for Historical Studies of Education (2018).



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