National Academy

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For the National Academy of the Ryûkyû Kingdom, see National Academy (Ryukyu).
  • Chinese: 国学 (guóxué), 国子監 (guózǐjiàn), 國子學 (Guózǐxué)

The National Academy, also known as the Imperial Academy or by a variety of other English translations, was the chief educational institution in Imperial China. Existent in various forms since the Sui Dynasty or perhaps even the Jin Dynasty,[1] it was originally known as the Guóxué, and later came to be known as Guózǐjiàn. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties in particular, those who passed the provincial-level imperial examinations (known as jǔrén) were able to enter the Guózǐjiàn to study for the metropolitan and palace level exams, in order to earn the jìnshì degree. A small number of students and scholars from Ryûkyû, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Siam studied at the National Academy as well; only the Ryukyuan students, however, had a separate section of the Academy (known as the Liúqiú guānxué) dedicated for their use.[1]

A Confucian temple was located nearby, in accordance with the Chinese tradition of Zuǒ miào yòu xué ("to the left, [Confucian] temple; to the right, academy"). Students visited here twice a month.[1]


  • Benjamin Elman, A Cultural History of Civil Examinations in Late Imperial China, University of California Press (2000), 144-145.
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ryûkyû kokuô hyôbun sôhon ten 琉球国王表文奏本展, Okinawa Prefectural Archives (2000), 10-11.