It is now recognised that the followers of Inazō Nitobe and Kanzō Uchimura played a highly important role in the development of post-war democratic education in Japan. In particular, Tamon Maeda is considered to have determined the direction of post-war education. This article briefly reviews the achievements of the followers of Nitobe and Uchimura and then focuses on Tamon Maeda and his philosophy on education. Like the other followers, Maeda firmly believed that the development of individuality and personality was necessary for the establishment of a democracy. Nevertheless, Maeda’s belief lacks the factor of ‘otherness’ that helps to achieve self-establishment. As a result, there is only the possibility of realising a self-sufficient self in an intimate relationship with the highest being. On this point there is a definite contradiction within Maeda’s idea of self-establishment.