This study aims to critically review research done since 1990 on non-formal education during the Korean Enlightenment and Japanese Colonial Periods. To this end, I technically defined the category of non-formal education. I also collected papers from the National Assembly Library, the National Digital Library, and the Society for the History of Education. Finally, I analyzed the papers about the present condition, the tendency of subjects studied, and the issues related to non-formal education. Quantitatively, I demonstrate that compared to other realms of study less research has been done on non-formal education in the Korean Enlightenment and Japanese Colonial period I also demonstrate that there is a change in the types of contents and the amounts these studies have been viewed compared with previous papers. Especially, there has been an increase in the number of Doctoral dissertations. This shows a positive prospect for research on non-formal education in the future. In this study, the subject tendency of the papers is characterized as follows: 1) Papers on the social enlightenment and the formation of the social education system. 2) Papers on social education institutions such as evening classes, village classes, and other classes. 3) Papers on social education bodies such as enlightenment bodies or religious bodies. 4) Papers on movements and policies of social education in rural communities. 5) Papers on the institutions and policies for korean socialization such as libraries and museums. Through my examination of the tendency of subjects, I concluded the following: First, this research shows a tendency to overcome the viewpoints of previous studies that educational events of the Korean Enlightenment and Japanese Colonial periods were decided under transcendental cognition. Second, it demonstrates that there was a tendency for filling in the blank of the educational events in the Korean Enlightenment and Japanese Colonial periods. Finally, this research shows an attempt to look at the origin of present educational problems in the educational events of the Japanese Colonial period.