Colonial education worldwide has relied on various concepts, from trying to mirror the content of the sovereign country to developing unique content pertaining to the colonies themselves. In this paper, we examined the nature of colonial education for the Japanese in northeast China (“Manchuria”) during the colonial period from the viewpoint of the kinds of plants that were the subject of science textbooks. We categorized land plants based on their distribution range and/or usage and quantitatively evaluated their appearance frequencies. We found that useful plants appeared most frequently in the textbooks, suggesting a specific agricultural policy intent. From the perspective of species distribution, plant taxa that are distributed across both Japan and Manchuria frequently appeared, whereas only three Japanese endemic species were cited. Our study suggests the goal of educating students who were likely to be accepted in both the colony and the sovereign state.