13 November 2009

Japan

Please read Emperor and Elf's blogs about Japan. Don't forget to feed the comment nuts!

They were given a stack of children's books last week and just told to go learn about it. Sometimes I'm crazy like that. It's interesting sometimes the things they pick up. Notice that World War II is not mentioned. I went back and looked at the kids' books and... it really isn't covered AT ALL.

I'm going to have to clue them in about that, but it was a rather messy and horrible end to a war. And yet it had to end. I know it's a rather sorrowful subject, but I would *think* that it would at least bear a mentioning in a book about Japan. My children were left with the impression that there were still plenty of Samurai and they'd like to see one.

2 comments:

  1. It looks like the same thing has happened in Japan as has happened in America to American text books.

    In the 1980's I was back in school getting my graduate degree at the University of Colorado at Denver. I took a course in Third World Politics in which I "learned" about all the things the United States did in Central America in earlier decades of that century. I was in shock, as I'd never heard anything like these allegations.

    I went to look in my UNIVERSITY-level American History text books, and found NOTHING. I wasn't sure whether to believe the professor of the class, or the books he was having us read. I went to the top American History professor (in my opinion) in the university and discussed this problem with him, asking if all this were true, how was it that there was not any mention of it in the text books?

    His reply was that the textbook manufacturers try to sell their books in as wide an area as possible. Some things are not acceptable in the Bible Belt, and other things are not acceptable in other parts of the country. So anything controversial enough to be unacceptable to some of the textbook-buying public is left out. He said the text books DID have this information when HE was young, but that it had all been removed.

    No doubt Japan has its own versions of what they want to teach their young people. Maybe the Japanese are embarrassed about World War II and therefore don't want to teach their young about it.

    I have become rather cynical over the years about the teaching of history, as I've come to see that each country basically uses it to pass on their "cultural myths" by providing a selective view. This is as true in the United States, as it is in Russia, or Japan, or just about any other country you could name.

    I think you've made an interesting post here and I was interested to see that WWII was not covered at all in the Japanese children's books.

    Mary Mimouna
    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas
    elementaryteacher.wordpress.com

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  2. This is a good case against nationalized curriculum! WOW. Bad enough to have California and Texas dictating what most of our children will learn.

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