Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Chûshingura: The Roninsei Experience in Contemporary Japan
by Roth, Ian Matthew, Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2019, 367; 10977860
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation presents the details of a study that explored the experiences of roninsei—Japanese students who are preparing to re-attempt the university entrance examination. Though an influential population later in life, its defining educational experience has rarely been researched. The questions this study sought to answer were akin to ‘what themes characterize the roninsei experience,’ ‘how is that experience understood as having changed those who undergo it,’ and ‘how do intervening time and space affect the way former roninsei understand their experiences.’

To address these questions, the study employed a mixture of methods and sources, triangulating its findings with a combination of literature review findings, phenomenological interviews with former roninsei, and thematically-focused content analysis of social networking service-sourced data composed by current roninsei. It employed a hermeneutic approach to all the data it collected.

The study found that the roninsei experience produces several maturational outcomes and that, while it is characterized by hardship, it comes to be highly valued by those who have undergone it.

This study contributes to the understanding of this under-researched, yet consequential population. Its findings implicate both strengths and weaknesses of the current system and, in so doing, have the capacity to influence how the current wave of educational reforms is understood and implemented.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Southern, Nancy
Commitee: Metcalf, Gary, Tsukada, Mamoru
School: Saybrook University
Department: Organizational Systems
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian Studies, Higher education
Keywords: Japan, Roninsei, Transformative
Publication Number: 10977860
ISBN: 978-0-438-90464-4
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