Until 1976, the Standards for Textbook Authorization (ja:教科用図書検定規準) required school textbooks to follow the Hitsujun shidō no tebiki 筆順指導の手びき, published in 1958 by the Japanese Ministry of Education (now the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, MEXT). After the revision of the standards in 1977, this handbook is no longer been mentioned in the official standard. It now states:
In principal, the stroke orders of kanji should follow commonsensical orders which are widely accepted in the society. When the stroke order of a character in semi-cursive script differs [from that of regular script], appropriate explanation must be added.
—MEXT, Standards for Authorization of the Textbooks of Compulsory Educational Organizations
The Curriculum Guideline (学習指導要領), published by MEXT, also sets standards for elementary and secondary education. The guideline for Japanese language education for first and second grade elementary schools refers to kanji stroke order as
[Schools must teach students] to write correctly and following stroke orders, pay attention to the length of dots and lines and how they touch and cross each other.
—MEXT, Curriculum Guideline for Elementary Schools