In July 1995, a special edition of Aera magazine reflected on 50 years of postwar evolution. Education was among the topics covered.

Two facts grab the viewer of a photograph showing an elementary school class settling into a brand new academic year. It's April, 1947. Fact one: Boys and girls are studying together — eccentric, if not outlandish, by prewar standards. Fact two: Textbooks, in short supply, are being shared — two kids, one book. Of the textbook contents, there seems little enough left after U.S. Occupation censors assiduously blacked out anything smacking of militarism.

Good, said then-Education Minister Yoshishige Abe. "If not for our defeat," Aera quotes him telling American educational authorities, "Japan's militarists in their arrogance would have run this country into the ground. ... Please bring your democratic values to bear as Japan reforms its education."