politics

Cabinet OKs schools to use banned imperial order as teaching materials

44 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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As part of a university history class, Yes! Forced on HS kids, No!

9 ( +15 / -6 )

Next we will be hearing of schools having their students walk around the school grounds practicing the goose-step

10 ( +17 / -7 )

allow schools to study a 19th century imperial order on education that was banned after World War II

The key wording here is, to study. No-one is at all promoting or allowing the idea that high school students will be made to bow in front of the rescript every morning or recite it, word for word.

Also it should be said that a ban on any historical text in the digital age is meaningless as copies of its wording can be found easily enough online by any keen enough student if they so wanted.

I suppose its similar to the German problem of Mien Kampf, when its copyright expired last year. Their solution was elegant and also sensible, realising that a straight out ban would not work, they allowed the book to be sold under an educational mandate with scholarly notes explaining and critiquing the text as it went along. The result was successful. A similar approach here would probably be advised.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

The collectivist Confucian values found in the Imperial rescript are still the source of many (or most) of Japan's modern problems, and not simply an issue confined to the 1930/40s.

Here is the text for anyone who hasn't read it:

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Imperial_Rescript_on_Education

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Teach it as part of the history of a failed empire that turned itself around and became a great country through the efforts of its people.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

And this folks is why China and Korea will never let bygones be bygones. And around and around we go!!

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Nippon Kaigi agenda, return to 1930s make Japan Beautiful again. These old men are delusional.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

I don't mind if kids learn about this stuff, but they should also know about Japanese imperialism and military practices during WW2, as well.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I don't mind if kids learn about this stuff, but they should also know about Japanese imperialism and military practices during WW2,

If that was the case, opposition wouldn't, you know, oppose!!

6 ( +10 / -4 )

The government is doing a good job preparing the populace to swallow the severe cutbacks in pensions and benefits that is baked into the mountain of debt that has been created. With every day it becomes harder for people to stick their heads in the sand and ignore the growing gap in prosperity between Japan and other countries. The only way to force the populace to eat the manure they are fed is through blind patriotism.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Wow I don't know what to make of this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Teaching to reason objectively, critically and factually would have been a good goal. More brain washing and more Inductrinations are several steps into the wrong direction. We are one single humanity living on one single planet, with finite resources and limited space. It is time to face the facts. Japan is merely two and half centuries old and the rest is hogwash.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Explain what it meant in that particular period of time, but also explain why it is dated and out of touch with todays philosophies.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don't mind if kids learn about this stuff, but they should also know about Japanese imperialism and military practices during WW2, as well.

I agree and think they should, but as far as them learning about Imperialism and their practices during the war, good luck with that. This has the potential to morph into something very bad down the road.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

That's what Japan gets for continuously re electing 70 year old right wing LDP dinosaurs to run the place. Hopeless.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Awareness of the issues can help guard against future injustice and inhumanity, but anyone using controversial issues in classes needs to clarify their own values to the students and create some ground rules. I have concerns there are HS teachers who are qualified to use this resource.

Guidelines need to be clearly stated. a classroom is not a platform items such as this should be taught through discussion.
discussion should protect and encourage divergent views discussing the issue should be for understanding of the problems of the past not for promotion

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Although outright banning topics for study at school I think is a bit high-handed, we only need to take a quick look at that Tsukamoto Kindergarten to see how this could be taken to the extreme in the wrong way. The problem isn't the content per se (no content should really be off limits for study), rather the problem is the teachers that are teaching these subjects and their interpretations of these topics, particularly to children in their impressionable ages..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And just like that, The Japanese media has forgotten about the nationalist kindergarten the Abe's are caught up in. The government has spoken

2 ( +6 / -4 )

This won't come as any surprise to the many who believed that ultra-nationalistic educator Moritomo Gakuen, and the Nippon Kaigi toxic brand of ring wing political extremism reach right into the heart of Abe san ruling LDP government.

The Imperial Rescript on Education has no place in classrooms, in J society, alongside a constitution devoted to pacifism.

The weasel deceit in Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga words, along with the pitiful shameless dishonesty of Defense Minister Tomomi Inada whose feeble excuse suggesting the Imperial Rescript contains universal values such as respect for parents that can help create a moral nation, as if this poisonous imperialist propaganda has any moral value in 21st century Japan, is reminiscent of 1930's Germany.

This ruling LDP Government is incapable of managing Japan economy, education, any social change, reform or restructure. This LDP Government is chained and wedded to a long forgotten dogmatic ultra right wing ideology, an agenda totally at odds with a modern progressive culture that values social mobility, equality and a government that prioritizes family and child care.

When are people of Japan going to wake up and smell the coffee? This Government has nothing to offer other than more of the same sluggish economic and political inertia. Angry old men well past there sell by date.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Forget the new China, Abe's aiming for Japan to surpass it and become the new North Korea. Puts himself in power for as long as he likes, wants to bring back pre-war education (since his buddies at Moritomo, who he denies being involved with, failed to implement it), wants to build an army while sacrificing the people of the national economically (for now, physically later), etc.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Recently, the education ministry instructed the publisher of a moral education textbook to replace a reference to a bakery with a Japanese sweet shop to encourage patriotism.

Pardon? I'm sorry, what's that?

Yet another bizarre story from the increasingly disturbing fantasy world of the far-right in Japan. The Education Ministry, no less:

"a bakery has been excluded from an elementary school "dotoku" (moral education) textbook and replaced with a "wagashi" store selling traditional Japanese sweets.

This happened when teaching material titled "Nichiyobi no Sanpomichi" (Path for a Sunday stroll in the neighborhood) was screened by the education ministry.

The ministry pointed out that the draft material did not do enough to "make schoolchildren familiarize themselves with and love Japanese culture and lifestyle," which is required under the government's curriculum guidelines. The publisher made the change.

Am I to understand that a bakery is not Japanese enough?

For a similar reason, a scene where children are enjoying playground equipment was replaced with one of a store selling traditional Japanese musical instruments".

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201703290033.html

Are these people so insecure and so estranged from reality they have to erase bread shops and playgrounds from their version of the world?

This almost strains the bounds of comprehension. How on earth can these people be in charge of running a country? How can they be considered competent?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is going to clash with international studies like English, doesn't make any sense. Since anyone who understands or has been abroad wouldn't be able to connect or would be discriminated upon. Group thinking only works if you're not allowed to have access to information.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

They have also reinstated bayonet practice (jukendo) in the curriculum for junior high schools https://news.cgtn.com/news/3d677a4e784d7a4d/share_p.html

3 ( +5 / -2 )

As other already point out this would be fine IF it was taught that this kind of thinking led Japan down a path that led to 20-30million deaths on non-Japanese & another 3-4million dead Japanese then hopefully kids would LEARN about history, come to grips with it.....

But alas we have this from the blurp:

Defense Minister Tomomi Inada told a recent parliamentary session that the rescript contains universal values such as respect for parents that can help create a moral nation. “Its core spirit should be reclaimed,” she said. “I don’t think we should say the rescript is entirely wrong.”

Scary stuff!! Thankfully we also have this:

Historian Masanori Tsujita, an expert on wartime history, disagrees, saying the family ties, friendship and other virtues advocated by the rescript were for the benefit of the imperial system, and suppressed civil rights.“Should it be reinstated for public use? The answer is clearly no,” Tsujita wrote recently in a Gendai Business magazine article.

For Japans sake the later needs to prevail, inada's road leads down a dark dangerous ruinous path! One abe seems hell bend on trying to go down, Japan & Japanese would be wise to not heed his call, hint, it wont end well!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Bayonet practice....? That is laughable, my main weapon is so crap I need a knife on the end of it. For gods sake the governments thirst to return to 1930 eara is pathetic. The glory days should be in the future not the past. But as they the government are so old and so fixated on the past Japan is stuck and can't move forward.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Overdosed from "coerced orders" like that imperial militarism in ww2, I'm against. However, knowing what was that, not bad for me, it's is better than acting braves/ heroes who could be murders in the past, for me it's something universal. There's so many things we can see in the world to encourage us fighting for other people and never to trend warmongers, never...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What bothers me is that no one except M3M3M3 seems to have written the comment after reading the material in question.

Wiki has an incredibly poorly written translation, but anyway thanks to M3M3M3,

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Imperial_Rescript_on_Education

Uwe PaschenAPR. 05, 2017 - 09:17AM JST

Teaching to reason objectively, critically and factually would have been a good goal.

The question is which part to criticize. Main stream Japanese media actually criticizes the 2nd paragraph. I do not like the 3rd paragraph.

Which paragraph do you criticize, and why? By the way, you should not criticize the translation for the fault is on the translator at wikipedia.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Reinstatement of the virtues extolled in the Imperial Rescript on Education would be anachronistic when considering the role the Rescript assumed in Japan’s imperial and patriarchal systems before and during the war which glorified the values of loyalty and filial piety. The Imperial Rescript on Education was used as an absolute guiding principle of education and served as a powerful tool of ideological indoctrination.

Making education subordinate to bureaucratic and political agenda under the control of the Ministry of Education would be a reversal of educational progress since the end of the war.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

You would think that the Moritomo Gakuen scandal would have have made this idiot administration tread a fine line, but nope- there they are- leading the country into a nationalistic abyss. Heaven help us all.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It is not a question of conflict or acceptance, in a modern parliamentary lead democracy Imperial Rescript of this nature have no relevance. Major social, political and constitutional reform have consigned/abolished these edicts to history, as parenting, family, and schooling installed basic human rights though nurturing love, respect and individuality, not indoctrination.

I find it sad that politicians in this LDP government still hanker after a past that nearly brought Japans complete annihilation.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And what will happen when teachers outright refuse to teach this technique out of the book of North Korea?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There is a bit more information on jukendo (bayonet fighting) that could be included in the curriculum. http://www.huffingtonpost.jp/2017/03/31/jyukendo_n_15720040.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With the rise of nationalism around the world causing no end of tension I think this is a bad idea.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No-one is at all promoting or allowing the idea that high school students will be made to bow in front of the rescript every morning or recite it, word for word.

This is exactly what the elementary school mentioned in this article was doing to kids - drilling it into their heads by forcing them to recite it word for word. Its truly creepy.

I suppose its similar to the German problem of Mien Kampf, when its copyright expired last year.

Do elementary schools in Germany force kids to read and recite Mien Kampf? Do ministers in the German cabinet say of Mien Kamp “Its core spirit should be reclaimed” like Defence Minister Inada is quoted as saying in this article? If not then this is nothing at all like what happened there.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Which paragraph do you criticize, and why?

Fair question. For me, it's not any particular paragraph, but the interlacing of notions of subjugation to the state and the glory of nationalism amidst some arguably reasonable stuff along Confucian lines. In some ways, it's not so different from the UK national anthem, the US pledge of allegiance, the Boy Scout promise and perhaps even the Lord's Prayer. All things chanted or sung mindlessly by young kids without any reference to the meaning.

I agree with zichi that reinstating these 'virtues' would be anachronistic. Given the social and technical progress made in Japan since the end of the war under ideas quite different from those expressed in the rescript, it would be a step backwards. I think that those who promote these ideas are themselves useless in making positive and practical contributions to society, but still seek fame and adulation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Defence Minister Tomomi Inada told a recent parliamentary session that the rescript contains universal values such as respect for parents that can help create a moral nation.

I have to disagree with Ms Inada. Respect for parents is neither universal nor automatic. Is she saying that a child should unquestioningly respect a drunken father who beats his wife? Children should be taught to question and expose those suspected of wrongdoing. They should be taught that just because someone is old does not automatically entitle them to do as they please, nor does age automatically confer respect. They should learn that they are free citizens with rights, not "subjects" or cannon fodder for crooked politicians to use when they see fit.

As for morals: the LDP is full of dissembling, lying crooks, most of whom have no idea what morals are. If you want to teach morals, start with your own party and immediately expel anyone who commits the smallest misdeed. Anything less would be hypocrisy.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Calling Abe a dinosaur is spot on. About time he and his cohorts became extinct.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

rainyday, "This is exactly what the elementary school mentioned in this article was doing to kids - "

It was a kindergarten. The elementary school isnt even getting off the ground, it was scheduled to open this month but its application has been withdrawn.

Are some people here under the impression the Imperial rescriot would be taught in high school? I think they want to incorporate it into the morals curriculum that will be used in elementary and jr high.

I think children should be taught about how it was used pre-war and the results of that edu action system, but any good, still applicable parts of it should be taught using other means.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The fist means passion for a sort of Jexit?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This report is One-sided and biased.

First, The Imperial Rescript on Education was surely promulgated under the name of Emperor Meiji. But, there is no sentence written that "Japanese people should die for the Emperor." Do idiots deny" The Imperial Rescript on Education" have read its contents even once?

http://www.danzan.com/HTML/ESSAYS/meiji.html

Second, After the Meiji Revolution, Some Japanese went to France, and they impressed the fact that, in France, The French moral teacher taught the importance of swearing loyalty to the French emperor to the children, and they taught the many morals to the children. Japanese who had studied in France thought that fulfillment of moral education was one of the ways to strengthen the nation, set moral education as one subject of school.(At that time, Education that pledges allegiance to the emperor has not been taught in schools everywhere in Europe. Idiots are going to say that this fact is also "It's militaristic education!"?Education that pledges allegiance to the emperor is not only special in Japan.)

Third, The Japanese government denied that Japan would make use of The Imperial Rescript on Education as a teaching material, nor does it intend to do so. Despite this, media that makes a serious matter as though it had happened is strange. This is discrimination against Japan and conspiracy against Japan.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japan 0.1 Inc!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@joyridingonthetitanic

The key word is to study...

Homani!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Can someone explain the bad part of the Rescript? "Sacrifise themselves for the Emperor", it is no more disturbing than a number of national anthems sung across the world (e.g. have a look at the US, Austria, France, Italy...). It is no more patriotic than the national anthem of my own country, Norway (which some of you think is so ahead of everyone). Nor different than yelling "For the King and the Fatherland, YES!" which we had to do in the Norwegian army (imagine if young Japanese were forcefully drafted and had to yell "For the Emperor, BANZAI!". Just imagine the comments here.

I agree that they shouldn't force youngsters to memorize it however, but it is by no means something bad and imperialistic which some claim. Please do your research instead of believing everything in the media. The modern way of brainwashing...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

KuraguchiAPR. 06, 2017 - 11:17PM JST

Can someone explain the bad part of the Rescript? "Sacrifise themselves for the Emperor", it is no more disturbing than a number of national anthems sung across the world (e.g. have a look at the US, Austria, France, Italy...).

Unlike national anthems, I think Japanese citizens were legally required to make a pledge to actually sacrifice themselves for the Emperor. A sentiment is a bit different from an obligation, and in the case of yelling out things like "for king and country," etc, it's never quite specified what you're actually going to do or if you really have to do it. So I think it is a bit more disturbing, personally.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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