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The Revision to the Education Law--good or bad?

Mars Man

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It appears that the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, New Komeito, have finally agreed on the wording defining the notion of patriotism as expressed in the preamble to that revision to the Fundamental Law of Education. (The Daily Yomiuri Fri. April 14, pp 1, 3)

The agreement puts 'patriotism' as "A mind that respects tradition and culture, loves the nation and homeland that have fostered them, and at the same time respects other countries and contributes to international peace and development."

That sounds fair enough to me although I'd still like to see the Japanese in order to get a chance to see how much room there may be for interpretation of the various terms involved within that clause--and to try to see just what interpretations those may be.

The article also pointed out that 'the agreement is intended to counter a criticism of the current law that it places too much importance on individual rights.' Now for a person who is so strongly entrenched on a very pragmatical balance of personal rights and freedoms as regards garbage collection systems, as many may well recall that I am, this is a bit startling.

The whole process is still ongoing, and in May more discussion will take place. It appears as though the hang-up over 'homeland' .vs. 'governing system' is over, so that the idea of 'kuni' is modified by the word for 'homeland'.

One more thing mentioned in the article that kind of gave me goose bumps for a second was the mention that the LDP has been intent on the need to "cultivate religious sentiments." Which religion, huh? Luckily, the New Komeito party seems to have greatly diminished that insistence, although, according to the write-up, it is still there in some cross-party groups and among some independent lawmakers.

I'm a little concerned; just a little, though.
 

shiroma

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「愛国心」

Mars Man said:
It appears that the Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, New Komeito, have finally agreed on the wording defining the notion of patriotism as expressed in the preamble to that revision to the Fundamental Law of Education. (The Daily Yomiuri Fri. April 14, pp 1, 3)
LDP, New Komeito OK "Patriotism" Definition
More

Good or bad, it is a bad news for red teachers who have been more or less successful in making children to hate everything Japanese: related post
That sounds fair enough to me although I'd still like to see the Japanese in order to get a chance to see how much room there may be for interpretation of the various terms involved within that clause--and to try to see just what interpretations those may be.
The untranslated text says,
国および郷土を愛するとともに、他国を尊び国際社会の平和と発展に寄与する心
One more thing mentioned in the article that kind of gave me goose bumps for a second was the mention that the LDP has been intent on the need to "cultivate religious sentiments."
It might not be very unhealthy to cultivate reverence awareness compared to encouraging arrogance.
Certainly better than "educating" people to blindly worship Mao, Kim or Ikeda.
 
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Mars Man

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Thanks for the information and the reply. I'll look over that text . . .I have found more of it in the meantime, but greatly appreciate your help there.

While I would agree with a portion of what you have highlighted there at the bottom, I was wondering if I could get you to rephrase it and expand it a little so that I can see your concept a little more indepthly. Thanks !!! MM
 

meverieJp

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Mars Man said:
One more thing mentioned in the article that kind of gave me goose bumps for a second was the mention that the LDP has been intent on the need to "cultivate religious sentiments." Which religion, huh? Luckily, the New Komeito party seems to have greatly diminished that insistence, although, according to the write-up, it is still there in some cross-party groups and among some independent lawmakers.
I'm a little concerned; just a little, though.

I am not hoping that they specify which religion to practice, but I suppose that it is not necessarily bad to educate children to appreciate the inherent culture yielded from its own religious sense, especially when I consider the groundless adoration of American culture out of the deteriorated self-respect since the defeat in WWII. :)
 

Mars Man

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meverieJp said:
I am not hoping that they specify which religion to practice, but I suppose that it is not necessarily bad to educate children to appreciate the inherent culture yielded from its own religious sense, especially when I consider the groundless adoration of American culture out of the deteriorated self-respect since the defeat in WWII. :)

In a sense, to a degree, I can go along with the emotion of providing an education of religious knowledge to any children of any nation; in that way, I agree with your sentiments. What I am afraid of, more so perhaps, is some strict interpretation developing at some point in time which might tend to create a greater degree of tunnel vision on the point.

And...it's nice to meet you. Hope to hear from you again. Please post when you can !! MM🙂
 

yukio_michael

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I'm concered always when a question of patriotism arises in schooling. When schools teach patriotism, they also are practicing indoctrination, socialization. Japan, and especially Japanese schools are and have been the biggest practitioners of social manufacturing in the world--- as far as school & education goes.

I am more concerned that what they truely mean by way of patriotism, religion etc, will in fact, as Mars Man stated--- be a sort of tunnel vision of core value systems. Like Mishima had written in Patriotism, all young should be asked if they would willingly die for the emperor... is that the true meaning of patriotism? To die for 'god' and country?

If I were forced to choose between my country and my friend, I hope I would be brave enough to choose my friend.
-E.M. Forster
 

meverieJp

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Thank you for your reply Mars Man, nice to meet you too!
I feel I would have to keep watching this issue as I am planning to have kids in Japan in the near future.

Well, what I meant by religious sense is chiefly about its inheritable sentiments shared with the people as you wouldn't be able to tell much about it without explaining the background.
I wouldn't like my kids to see those memorial jizo dolls for aborted fetuses as when they see animals in a zoo. (though I am finding some difficulty in giving an adequate example here..)

Mars Man said:
What I am afraid of, more so perhaps, is some strict interpretation developing at some point in time which might tend to create a greater degree of tunnel vision on the point.
In terms of that, I couldn't agree more considering how easily children can change their aspects, which of course depends on how they/you teach them.
Recently I was astonished to see a good example from those Korean children's drawings. another page

For the contributor's comments it might even look funny but this is not the way to go. Although I am supporting them 100% over the issue, patriotism education shouldn't be spreading hatred against someone else. It should be rather to teach how to see things from different aspects and think for themselves. In other words, teaching them how to love their country by caring with doubts.

Incidentally, it worries me that they've been firing those teachers or giving them pay cut these years when they or their students were not cooperative enough with the national anthem/flag..:eek:
 

meverieJp

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yukio_michael said:
Like Mishima had written in Patriotism, all young should be asked if they would willingly die for the emperor... is that the true meaning of patriotism? To die for 'god' and country?
I would get out of the country with my family then.:)
God could be something spiritual which exists in soot in a kettle that I could believe as makkuro kurosuke. :p

I thought more people would pounce at this topic with concern about the past imperialist Japanese history and today's rightist governors though.
 

Mars Man

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meverieJp said:
Well, what I meant by religious sense is chiefly about its inheritable sentiments shared with the people as you wouldn't be able to tell much about it without explaining the background.

As far as I can tell, meverieJp san, this is what I would mean by 'religious knowledge', and I think that teaching or at least bringing up the subject in public education is important. Of course it should cover all religious knowledge and not just what is related to the making of Japan, historically.

What it should not do, is make any attempt whatsoever to insinuate or instill the idea or belief that some particular belief-system is a truth, or is something that one should make an effort to obtain. That would surely breach the separation of 'church' and state; so to speak.

Thanks for those links. I'll check them out when I have a little more time.

As for the love of country idea '(ヒ?、ツ坂?伉心), I still have a lot to say. Here, I'd like to simply say that I had been explaining to one of the neighbors last week what that meant to me and had kind of said the following:

We have a concern for our natural environment--including all the life forms and things that make that up--in our immediate sphere; say our household for example. And that 'love' would naturally seem to extend to our neighborhood, and from there to our larger community, and then on to the entire country. This is what love of country should mostly consist of, I think, and not nationalism so much. (that seems to me, at least, to imply love of political idealism) [please do note I said "not nationalism so much-so I'm saying some is needed, good, or inevitable.]

I am teaching my children to love Japan, in that sense, just as I am making an earnest effort to teach them to love America, Africa, China, India, and all countries that make up the world.
maverieJp said:
patriotism education shouldn't be spreading hatred against someone else. It should be rather to teach how to see things from different aspects and think for themselves. In other words, teaching them how to love their country by caring with doubts.

If I understand you correctly here, I do agree, yes! I tend to put less emphasis on the word 'patriotism' since I feel that it binds one to the political establishment more than is healthy, in many cases.


maverieJp said:
Incidentally, it worries me that they've been firing those teachers or giving them pay cut these years when they or their students were not cooperative enough with the national anthem/flag..:eek:
I hear you !! I go right along with you on this !! 👍

Thanks for a nice reply, and I hope to hear more from you in the future. As a matter of religiosity over belief-systems, I think I have explaned it somewhat (and will do so more as time goes by) in the Europe Forum, under Religion & Philosophy sub-fora, in the thread 'Science and Religion'. 🙂
 

Mars Man

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ooooh, that got kind of long. Sorry. And thanks for the input there yukio michael san ! I follow your thoughts on that and agree with you.
 

riptide

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On hearing recently of LDP's push for patriosmin in schools and the general populace I was a little worried. Patriosm alone is not a danger, but the way that the japanese school system is governed in a militaristic fashion it is a concern for the future. People should'nt be told to be more patriotic, that should come naturally. That raises the question of why does the public need to be asked to be more patriotic?
 

pipokun

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riptide said:
On hearing recently of LDP's push for patriosmin in schools and the general populace I was a little worried. Patriosm alone is not a danger, but the way that the japanese school system is governed in a militaristic fashion it is a concern for the future. People should'nt be told to be more patriotic, that should come naturally. That raises the question of why does the public need to be asked to be more patriotic?

Governed in a militaristic fashion? Tell me more about it.
 

Mars Man

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Hi there riptide san ! Nice to have you on the forum. . .it might be good to give an introduction in the 'Member's Introductions' fora.

I think I can get the sense of your feelings, although it may be overstated a bit. The way the lower schools, especially, run is rather rigid compared to, say, those in the USA or Canada.

I wouldn't say at the moment, that there is any great push for 'patriotism' as much as there is for 'love of country' where that is interpreted may enough, so it seems, to lean more away from simply love of political system.

The part that yet concerns me more, perhaps, is that of 'religious sentiment'. Already there is enough lack in what is taught, as regards critical thinking, in the lower and middle schools--and as far as I know, in high school as well. MM
 
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pipokun

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What kind of OATH the militaristic Japanese education force Japanese to the kids?
 

Mars Man

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If by "OATH", pipokun, you had meant this, below. . .

riptide said:
People should'nt be told to be more patriotic, . .

. . . then I would suggest that perhaps that poster's word usage signifies not any understanding of any expressed oath or wording, but simply the general notion of teaching things in a way that impresses patriotism on the children.

Now, of course I could be wrong, but it looks that way to me. We may have to wait till that poster can get back and point out a little more specifically the concept which had been intended in that wording.

If it had not been from this wording that you are asking about an 'oath', I missed that concept somehow. Where else would it have come, I wonder?

Thanks for your input. 👍
 

geesehoward4life

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I certainly don't know enough about Japan, but I was always under the impression that the Japanese people were already pretty patriotic. Why do they need more. I will say that at times I am very confused by the things that they devote so much time and effort into.

Like the fact that it is NOT common knowledge that their school system does NOT fail people and leave them back. I did not know that, but I found that out from another site where people studied and were living and teaching in Japan. I would think that would be something that would be addressed first, especially since it is always put forward how tough and difficult the Japanese school system and education is.
 

pipokun

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The meaning of OATH depends upon how militaristic Japan's education is. I am also waiting for further riptide's input here.
 

Mars Man

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Thanks pipokun. Now it made me think that just maybe I had not seen something, and should have asked about that.

Do the letters OATH--since they are always seen in capitols--stand for something? MM
 

Mars Man

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ricecake said:
This is early stage for Japan's ruling elite to bring back " samurai spirits/BUSHIDO " in practice.

An interesting concept. I wouldn't say myself, that it would quite go that far--or at least not so intentionally--but, at the same time, who knows.

Now as it seems that the Diet session is soon to draw to an end, work on the bill seems to have been put on the backburner. . .so for a while, status quo.

Thanks for joining in on the discussion ricecake san !!
👍 🙂
 

ricecake

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Mars Man said:
An interesting concept. I wouldn't say myself, that it would quite go that far--or at least not so intentionally--but, at the same time, who knows.
QUOTE]

**********************************************************

Japan is taking " little steps " to revive it's nationalism in the backdrop of China's continuation of modernizing her military machine.

Co-incident,I don't think so as we know Japan ROLLS WITH TIME.
 

Mars Man

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As for me. . .I'd have to do some more research into that specific area in order to put any claims out on the table. For all we know, it could very well be true; at the moment, hard evidence may be lacking.

Again, it could even be that such is 'flowing' that way yet not due to conscious will--that is not part of some intentionally laid out plan or such.

Let's keep a watch on that education bill, see how it comes out, and see what real, physical steps are taken at the actual school level. MM
 

ricecake

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Mars Man said:
Again, it could even be that such is 'flowing' that way yet not due to conscious will--that is not part of some intentionally laid out plan or such.
Let's keep a watch on that education bill, see how it comes out, and see what real, physical steps are taken at the actual school level. MM

Japan wouldn't make IMMEDIATE " drastic changes " as they know CAN RATTLE both Korea and China whom Japan haven't completely reconciled on the matter of WW 2.
 

pipokun

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It is just a rational step for Japan if you know the J teacher's union stuffs.
And it is not fair to say something about the bill, such as Japan_is_going_to_be_ultra_nationalistic_nation something like that.
 

atg

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My opinion on Asian education in general is best desribed this way :
If an Asian parent wants their child to enter a good university, he/she will look at the requirement. Even if the requirement is, for example, being able to jump from high rise building, then the parent would train the child to be able to jump.

American parent will instead show off his child ability(whatever it is irregardless whether it is important)

So I guess reforming education system would fail if companies or university judge people are based on a kind of measurement like test result. There would be less creativity
 
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