Reading surveys in postwar Japan have increased their accuracy by using statistical methods. This article examines and compares in detail the following three nation-wide reading surveys: (1) Survey of public opinions on reading (1947–) by the Mainichi Press. (2) Nation-wide survey of reading in farming villages (1946–) by the Ienohikari Association. (3) Social survey on reading (1956–1959) by the Japanese Society for the Science of Reading.
These three surveys are carried out nearly every year and each has characteristics. The writer studies, for each, the number of samples, the method of sampling, the method of survey, items in the survey and the result of the survey. The first survey has the largest scale and has three divisions, namely the general survey, the book-stores survey and the school libraries survey. It's object is to purify publications. The second survey is focused on reading, especially of magazines, in farming communities. The result reveals an upward tendency of reading magazines and a downward tendency of reading books. The third survey is carried out mostly in urban areas. It tries to analyze reading behavior through checking the quantity of each title sold in book-stores. It is distinctive in its market-research nature.
This article searches common and different points among the three surveys and tries to make a contribution to the field of library administration by studying the genealogy and the methodology of reading surveys which generally have been left unexplored.
© 1963 三田図書館学会© 1963 Mita Society of Library Science
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