2018: Education and Patriotism

Erziehung und Schule - Universität
The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 16 | Issue 18 | Number 1 | Sep 15, 2018
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis

“Education and Patriotism” (Kyōiku to Aikoku). A Documentary

Translated by Collin Rusneac with an Introduction by Sven Saaler

Mainichi Broadcasting System, “Education and Patriotism”

Collin Rusneac provides a full translation of the TV documentary “Education and Patriotism” (Kyōiku to aikoku) produced by Mainichi Broadcasting System for its series “MBS Eizō ‘17” and first aired in July 2017. It provides a critical look at recent debates surrounding the introduction of moral education in Japanese elementary and middle schools as a new subject and in particular focuses on the compilation, examination, approval and selection of textbooks for classes in moral education, while extending the analysis to the ongoing history textbook controversies.

saaler education patriotism
Postwar Japanese society has seen intense debates in the field of education. In this context, attention often focuses on history, with lawsuits filed by historian Ienaga Saburō against the Japanese state and its system of textbook authorization—a process he criticized as censorship—at the center of attention, nationally and worldwide, from the 1960s to the 1990s. Since the second half of the 1990s, a political movement called “historical revisionism” (rekishi shūseishugi) took center stage in this context, and the Society to Produce New History Textbooks (Atarashii rekishi kyōkasho o tsukuru-kai), founded in 1997, emerged as the moving force. Notwithstanding its name, hardly any historians could be found in the ranks of the movement. One of the founders of Tsukuru-kai was Nishio Kanji. A scholar of German literature, in 1999 he published a massive volume titled “The Nation’s History” (Kokumin no rekishi), in which he laid out Tsukuru-kai’s master narrative of Japan’s trajectory. One year later, “The Nation’s Morals” (Kokumin no dōtoku), written by philosopher Nishibe Susumu, was published by the Tsukuru-kai, signaling the organization’s strong interest in moral education. ....

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