The junior high school of Taiwan, the Republic of China, consists of the last three years of a free, compulsory educational system and is a particularly interesting educational institution because of the decisive role it plays in the life of the student. Two factors make the junior high school years extremely stressful for both student and family: (1) The absolute value placed upon scholarship by a Confucian-oriented society, with "scholarship" defined as successful performance on a rigorous senior high school entrance examination. (2) A governmental formula which permits only the top 40% of the students to qualify for high school via a one-time entrance examination. This study examines the role of the junior high school principal in a society that ultimately evaluates the school, principal, faculty, support staff, and student within the narrow context of student performance on the high school entrance examination. The complexity of the society in which the study was conducted necessitated the employment of both ethnographic and quantitative methods of data collection to enable an in-depth understanding of the junior high school and its principalship. The methods included: (1) A nine-month participant observation study (2) A two-year limited content study of the newspapers (3) An extensive study of the literature of both Chinese and western scholars concerning Chinese values and educational endeavors. (4) Formal and informal interviews (5) A junior high school principal task importance/frequency analysis based on an inventory developed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals in the United States (1982). The inventory, to which 68% responded, was sent to 303 junior high school principals in Taiwan. Conclusions reached are: (1) The junior high school and its principalship is tightly coupled (Meyer, et al., 1983) to the society in which it functions. (2) A dichotomy exists between societal commitment to traditional Chinese values in which Confucian philosophy serves as the "essence" of education in Taiwan, and the pronounced determination to become a technologically superior nation. (3) School vandalism will become increasingly problematic as the majority of students are unable to compete successfully in academia, and as employment options become more limited in a developing, technologically intensive labor force.