politics

S Korea orders changes to history textbooks

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The massacres committed by SK troops in Vietnam should also be included.

21 ( +22 / -2 )

"government-approved textbooks had been ordered to revise 41 instances of “obscure and unbalanced” descriptions of history. Failure to do so would result in publication of the books being halted completely, the ministry said."

"The 41 corrections demanded by the ministry "

"“The most important factors for determining the subjects of modification were if there are any factual errors and elements that could negatively affect students’ perspective of the right historical events,”

Wow why don't they just rename the country to The Peoples Republic of Korea? It's hilarious that Koreans constantly whine about "Japanese textbooks" despite Japan not being anywhere near as stringent as South Korea.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

"...could negatively affect students’ perspective of the right historical events,..."

It's always important to not have a negative perspective about your country's history.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Perhaps there is only one history lesson that remains the same -- old people lie and dream about the past.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I like the idea of historians writing history books. When politicians write history books, bad things seem to happen.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

“The mostest importantest factors for determining the subjects of modification were if we could include a Girl's Generation chapter with fold-out centerfold posters that could positively affect students’ perspective of the right historical events,” Deputy Education Minister Na Seung-Il told reporters Friday.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The main problem is S Korean historians who point to the progress toward modernization contributed by Japan during occupation. I know "occupation" is a stinky way to modernize.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Gosh, if everyone agreed on the books' contents, Koreans would have one less thing to squabble over. That simply won't do.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Hey Korea - grow up!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

How many times Korea has changed their history, even history has only one. amazing.... They can make history.. Oh they are almost god...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

History is a fascinating subject - learning from and debating the morality of past events with children encouraged to draw their own conclusions should be compulsory. It's a disgrace when politicians do children a disservice by debauching it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ah, Japan and Korea...one country is run by a rightist leader whose maternal grandfather was imprisoned for being a willing member of Tojo's fascist wartime cabinet, while the other is run by a rightist leader whose father helped launch a coup and then ruled the country with an iron fist until he was finally assassinated...

With leaders like these in charge of what their countries' "history" should focus on, what could possibly go wrong??

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Ossan: "Wow why don't they just rename the country to The Peoples Republic of Korea? It's hilarious that Koreans constantly whine about "Japanese textbooks" despite Japan not being anywhere near as stringent as South Korea."

What's 'hilarious' is your misuse of 'stringent', but in a way you are correct -- Japanese textbook makers are not strict at all; anyone who proclaims themselves a historian can go in and change what they want. Just look at Abe! He was never there for his granddad's war crimes, but claims there was no sexual slavery and Nanjing never happened! What's also hilarious is that you constantly defend Japanese textbooks and the nationalists who white-wash history but then turn around and decry SK making any changes. My my...

You also missed, in your cherry-picking of the post, that this all began in reaction to protest over right-wing bias in one of the books. Now, I would like you to honestly say that is a bad thing while you look in the mirror.

I have absolutely no doubt that Korean textbooks are as biased as the Japanese, and no doubt when it comes to the Korean war SK white-washes some of their own wrong doings, but don't talk about hilarity of one nation's textbooks while defending the EXACT SAME THING in another's.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

What's 'hilarious' is your misuse of 'stringent', but in a way you are correct -- Japanese textbook makers are not strict at all;

Which you have indicated you haven't read a single one at all.

Case in point,

"but if it's Japan as the victim, such as with the atomic bombings, HUGE chapters are given over to explain in detail about how Japan was wronged. "

Just look at Abe!

Here it comes again.

He was never there for his granddad's war crimes, but claims there was no sexual slavery and Nanjing never happened!

He never stated any of those things. Why do you keep repeating the same erroneous statement is beyond me. You hate Abe. Fine. We get you.

The point here is that all textbook of any nations are biased. Hence, the interpretation of history should be made by historians and not some loud mouth lawmakers from another nation or to use it as a political tool by foreign nations.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Which you have indicated you haven't read a single one at all.

This is an excellent point. Two thing I have consistantly noticed about people that complain about Japanese textbooks are that they never seem to have read the textbook they are supposed to be talking about and the fact that they can never say the specific publisher or or name of the book, specifically quote the book, provide a link to the actual text of the book and provide information about how many schools actually use the textbook.

Nothing wrong with giving opinions about things, but it does seem like a lot of the opinions on this issue are not based on first hand information, but are based on stuff they read someone else write.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Actually, that was more than two things.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"The 41 corrections demanded by the ministry involved writings on subjects ranging from civilian killings during the 1950-53 Korean War, territorial disputes with Japan and North Korean human rights abuses."

I wonder if they will be whitewashing any references to their war crimes during the Vietnam war also?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

smithinjapanDec. 01, 2013 - 02:15PM JST Ossan: "Wow why don't they just rename the country to The Peoples Republic of Korea? It's hilarious that Koreans constantly whine about "Japanese textbooks" despite Japan not being anywhere near as stringent as South Korea."

What's 'hilarious' is your misuse of 'stringent'

Sorry smith no misuse here. The J-govt does not BAN the publishing of textbooks that do not meet their standards. Whereas in South Korea; "Failure to do so would result in publication of the books being halted completely, the ministry said."

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I wonder if they will be whitewashing any references to their war crimes during the Vietnam war also?

Or the DIRECT government controlled comfort women system during the Korean war which continued all the way up to Park (current President's father) regime?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

They are suppose to teach their children about the contribution that Japan gave to the Korean peninsula during the colonization by building schools, trains stations, railways and other stuffs. Also they are suppose to teach their younger generation about Japan giving compensation to Korean citizens which Park decided to take this money to develop South Korea. Actually Modern South Korea was built with Japanese money too; things that their citizens don't know.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I wonder if they will be whitewashing any references to their war crimes during the Vietnam war also?

C'mon Joe, you know better. There were no crimes. What crimes? Did you see any war crimes? I didn't ...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Smithinjapan

I have absolutely no doubt that Korean textbooks are as biased as the Japanese, and no doubt when it comes to the Korean war SK white-washes some of their own wrong doings, but don't talk about hilarity of one nation's textbooks while defending the EXACT SAME THING in another's.

Pot. Kettle. Black. In all the times this board has had to put up with your whining and sneering about Japan we have NEVER seen you acknowledge the bias in Korean history until now.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Actually Mitsuo Matsuyama, South Korea's current administration's reform of the text books include some of the Japanese colonization's benefits to Korea's train stations, schools, and railways. Of course they were built for the purpose of Japan to wage war in Manchuria and China to transport men and materials, but neverthless they were still beneficial to Koreans, so they should be included in the text books. This has little to do with Japan (how is it that this story is 2nd most read story?), and the administration's move is to balance out the text books which were under the influence of leftist teacher's union for over two decades, and more in line with the mainstream views.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

slumdogDec. 01, 2013 - 04:17PM JST Which you have indicated you haven't read a single one at all. This is an excellent point. Two thing I have consistantly noticed about people that complain about Japanese textbooks are that they never seem to have read the textbook they are supposed to be talking about and the fact that they can never say the specific publisher or or name of the book, specifically quote the book, provide a link to the actual text of the book and provide information about how many schools actually use the textbook. Nothing wrong with giving opinions about things, but it does seem like a lot of the opinions on this issue are not based on first hand information, but are based on stuff they read someone else write.

You have the point.

Actually, the research team of Stanford University evaluated Japanese history textbooks most highly as fair, among the textbooks of U.S., China, Taiwan, S. Korea and Japan.

http://iis-db.stanford.edu/res/2260/Divided-Memory_In-house_2008.pdf

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How many times do SK people have to change their history...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Korea was not occupied b y Japan. Japanese people call that time Korea as "Shokumin-chi; *Colony, Policy of that era we knew 'shokumin-chi seisaku" When Japan used the word 'occupation' ? When GHQ came and we said Japan was occupied. It has been free to write about Korea that time as Colony in Japanese opinion magazines, /colony, So, many articles in textbooks of both countries have to be revised even though students use both countries; language versions of Wikipedia articles to learn their country's history. Historians are not politicians. Occupation was senryo. colonize is shokunin -chi-ka.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

nigelboy: "Which you have indicated you haven't read a single one at all."

I have read some, sorry. I have indicated, though, that I've not read Korean textbooks. You continue to undermine your own comments by being so immature. It'd be like me constantly bringing up the fact that you claimed Panasonic was still ahead of Samsung in sales by saying "In your dreams" when I pointed it out (except that in your case you are just speculating, whereas you actually didn't know Panasonic was behind Samsung in sales!). Oops!

hatsoff: "Pot. Kettle. Black. In all the times this board has had to put up with your whining and sneering about Japan we have NEVER seen you acknowledge the bias in Korean history until now."

Actually, what you've never, ever, seen is me praise any kind of Korean bias in textbooks, have you? This is a Japan-based news site, not a Korean one. So when there is talk of Japanese textbooks and white-washed history and revisions and what not, I tend to focus on that -- not on Korean texts, my friend. But do go ahead and show me where I praise Korean or Chinese or other textbooks. Hard to see the forest with that tree in the way, friend.

Ossan: "Sorry smith no misuse here. The J-govt does not BAN the publishing of textbooks that do not meet their standards. Whereas in South Korea; "Failure to do so would result in publication of the books being halted completely, the ministry said."

You don't even realize what you're saying, do you? Yes, failure to meet standards like "not being ultra-right wing" is not a bad thing. Being strict about meeting standards is BAD in your mind? It's no wonder you defend white-washed texts in Japan that anyone under the sun can write and submit for schools.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Well well, so there exists other countries besides Japan that battle over revisions to history in textbooks?

Who woulda thunk....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What a bunch of hypocrites. I think S Korea now needs to belt up over its assertion that Japan tries to rewrite history.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I have read some, sorry.

Well? Don't hold back. Please share what you have found.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

smithinjapanDec. 01, 2013 - 11:07PM JST "Ossan: "Sorry smith no misuse here. The J-govt does not BAN the publishing of textbooks that do not meet their standards. Whereas in South Korea; "Failure to do so would result in publication of the books being halted completely, the ministry said."

You don't even realize what you're saying, do you?

I sure do. Read what I wrote.

Yes, failure to meet standards like "not being ultra-right wing" is not a bad thing. Being strict about meeting standards >is BAD in your mind? It's no wonder you defend white-washed texts in Japan that anyone under the sun can write and >submit for schools.

Censorship of textbooks is bad. That is what South Korea is implementing. Do you nor grasp this? South Korea is far more guilty of "whitewashing" it's history than Japan so please stop repeating that tired old line.

1

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I have read some, sorry

English textbooks don't count.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Well, how fortunate for SK that their caring government was nice enough to point out where historians' interpretation of history is incorrect, and were amicably threatened with a halt to publication so that their mistakes would be resolved immediately! How efficient.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have read some, sorry. I have indicated, though, that I've not read Korean textbooks. You continue to undermine your own comments by being so immature. It'd be like me constantly bringing up the fact that you claimed Panasonic was still ahead of Samsung in sales by saying "In your dreams" when I pointed it out (except that in your case you are just speculating, whereas you actually didn't know Panasonic was behind Samsung in sales!). Oops!

What on earth are you talking about, smith?

A lot of posters have called out on you to prove that you "read some" but as usual, you show your immaturity by deflecting. Isn't it time you come clean and admit that you haven't read a single one?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

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