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What Japanese History Lessons Leave Out
BBC Magazine ^ | 2013 | Mariko Oi

Posted on 02/08/2018 12:25:05 PM PST by GoldenState_Rose

Japanese people often fail to understand why neighbouring countries harbour a grudge over events that happened in the 1930s and 40s. The reason, in many cases, is that they barely learned any 20th Century history. I myself only got a full picture when I left Japan and went to school in Australia.

Former history teacher and scholar Tamaki Matsuoka holds Japan's education system responsible for a number of the country's foreign relations difficulties. "Our system has been creating young people who get annoyed by all the complaints that China and South Korea make about war atrocities because they are not taught what they are complaining about," she said.

"It is very dangerous because some of them may resort to the internet to get more information and then they start believing the nationalists' views that Japan did nothing wrong."

Meanwhile, Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe criticises China's school curriculum for being too "anti-Japanese".

My first ever essay in English was on the Rape of Nanjing. There is controversy over what happened. The Chinese say 300,000 were killed and many women were gang-raped by the Japanese soldiers, but as I spent six months researching all sides of the argument, I learned that some in Japan deny the incident altogether. Nobukatsu Fujioka is one of them and the author of one of the books that I read as part of my research.

"The Chinese government hired actors and actresses, pretending to be the victims when they invited some Japanese journalists to write about them. "All of the photographs that China uses as evidence of the massacre are fabricated..."

Equally, Japanese people often find it hard to grasp why politicians' visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine - which honours war criminals among other Japanese soldiers - cause quite so much anger.

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.com ...


TOPICS: Education; History
KEYWORDS: asia; china; comfortwomen; history; japan; japanese; nanjing; nanking; pearlharbor; revisionism; shinzoabe; southkorea
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1 posted on 02/08/2018 12:25:05 PM PST by GoldenState_Rose
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To: GoldenState_Rose

Sounds like the Japanese educational system has the opposite problem of ours. They distort to promote a love for their country.

The Japanese are an important ally to us and I personally like the Japanese I’ve met. I trained with the Japanese self defense force numerous times and then partied with them. They can party BTW, however they need to face the reality of what their fathers/grandfather/great grandfathers did. It also might help them to understand there is no way in he#$%$% we are ever apologizing for dropping the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


2 posted on 02/08/2018 12:31:55 PM PST by Old Teufel Hunden
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To: GoldenState_Rose
I believe that many people see History as a straight forward field of study. You go to the archives, you research the documents, maybe you can even interview participants. And then you write down what happened, and you're done.

But it's not like that at all.

Causes of the American Civil War?
Armenian Genocide?
Famine in the Ukraine?
Jewish Holocaust?
Japanese war atrocities?
Palestinians in Israel?

Plenty of people have radically different views on these things. And now we seem to be at a point where we need to ask if the American Government is what we think it is. Are we wacky conspiracy theorists who actually think that Obama and Hillary were serving the New World Order and completely subverting the rule of law and the US Constitution? Is that what the history books will show?

The answer is: it depends.

3 posted on 02/08/2018 12:33:56 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (The revolution will not be televised (at least, not by CNN).)
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To: Old Teufel Hunden

They can’t go too far or they end up like Us with the liberal constantly brow beating White Kids whose ancestors came AFTER the civil war for having slaves and like the Germans who have been beaten upside the head so much for what Hitler did that they are on a Suicidal march into the oblivion of their own culture.

National and Cultural Pride that may ignore the sins of their ancestors vs. Multi-Generational backwards looking Guilt Mongering stealing the future of a Country’s children

I’ll take the FIRST OPTION EVERY TIME!


4 posted on 02/08/2018 12:37:00 PM PST by GraceG ("It's better to have all the Right Enemies, than it is to have all the Wrong Friends.")
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To: GoldenState_Rose

The BBC is trying to SHAME the Japanese for being Nationalistic and having some god damned cultural pride!

Must be because Japan isn’t taking any Islamic Rapeugees and most certainly doesn’t have open borders like the totally suicidal United Kaliphate.... umm “United Kingdom”...


5 posted on 02/08/2018 12:39:29 PM PST by GraceG ("It's better to have all the Right Enemies, than it is to have all the Wrong Friends.")
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To: GraceG; Old Teufel Hunden; ClearCase_guy

I understand your concerns about hyper political correctness, GraceG - but taken the other extreme, where would something like toleration of outright Holocaust denial (for example) take us as a human race?

For the most part I believe America does a good job of confronting our dark pages transparently and with open debate. And this is one of the keys to our enduring strength as a nation.

And we HAVE made progress from Civil War times, Jim Crow days, etc...That should be acknowledged.


6 posted on 02/08/2018 12:43:06 PM PST by GoldenState_Rose
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To: GoldenState_Rose

It is partially our fault.

We needed a revived, but declawed, Japan as our Asian aircraft carrier, that didn’t need billions like we had to give to Europe. We looked past a hell of a lot to save us unwanted headaches with a nation of millions of people that could have turned the island into an even bigger mess if we put them through the contrition wringer and removed their highest national symbols.

Japan never really was conquered. They just smartly took the path of least resistance, but thankfully they didn’t (and couldn’t) hold onto the worst parts of their WW2 past, other than the mistaken assertion that it should not matter to their neighbors, or that they were “liberators”.


7 posted on 02/08/2018 12:43:32 PM PST by VanDeKoik
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To: GraceG

“SHAME the Japanese for being Nationalistic and having some god damned cultural pride!”

Yeah....you really need to read up more about this, because the issue is nowhere near that easy and plastic.


8 posted on 02/08/2018 12:45:28 PM PST by VanDeKoik
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To: GoldenState_Rose
And we HAVE made progress from Civil War times, Jim Crow days, etc...That should be acknowledged.

Should be, but isn't.

9 posted on 02/08/2018 12:45:51 PM PST by NorthMountain (... the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed)
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To: GoldenState_Rose

One of the few times it appears that the winners DIDN”T write the history...


10 posted on 02/08/2018 12:46:14 PM PST by TEXOKIE (We must surrender only to our Holy God and never to the evil that has befallen us.)
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To: GoldenState_Rose

I’m not as familiar with this issue as I’d like, but I have some sympathy for the Japanese of today. How many of those who committed atrocities in WWII are alive today? I don’t feel any responsibility for slavery because I wasn’t there. Should today’s Japanese feel responsibility for the actions of their grandparents?


11 posted on 02/08/2018 12:47:45 PM PST by chrisser
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To: ClearCase_guy
Causes of the American Civil War War Between the States?

Fixed it.

12 posted on 02/08/2018 12:49:32 PM PST by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either satire or opinion. Or both.)
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To: GoldenState_Rose

I like the Japanese, but their attempts to rewrite, if not ignore, their history is in high contrast with how the Germans handle things.


13 posted on 02/08/2018 12:50:01 PM PST by sparklite2 (See more at Sparklite Times)
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To: GoldenState_Rose

Certainly our society has made progress since the Civil War and Jim Crow days.

But I worry that so many people have learned the wrong lessons while they rejoice in the very real progress.
Jim Crow? Wasn’t that put in place by the evil, racist Republicans?
1964 Civil Rights Act? Isn’t that one of the Democrats’ finest hours? Lord knows the Republicans never would have passed such a glorious landmark bill!!

You go and ask just about any young person they will state the above as Fact although I’ll wager just about anyone on this site knows that the above is absolute Fiction.

History isn’t always accurate. Because people lie and they believe what they want to believe.


14 posted on 02/08/2018 12:51:16 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (The revolution will not be televised (at least, not by CNN).)
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To: chrisser

Chrisser, the difference is that we acknowledge slavery, discuss it, and as a nation have condemned it.

Japan is not at that point with their dark pages.


15 posted on 02/08/2018 12:52:09 PM PST by GoldenState_Rose
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To: GoldenState_Rose

The Japanese colonial experience is a weird one. I think part of the Japanese people honestly believed they were trying to do good in other parts of Asia by “modernizing” them. And yet they engaged in such barbaric acts of cruelty and oppression on countries like Korea and China and treated them as if they were subhuman.

But not all parts of the Japanese colonial empire reacted the same. In China and Korea, hatred for what the Japanese did to them continues to this day (although it is starting to fade even in Korea as younger generations of Koreans and Japanese interact with each other and find they have more in common than differences). But in Taiwan there is still an admiration for what Japan did, such things as building railways and schools and better infrastructure. And you find a lot of the Japanese culture still being perpetuated in Taiwan by the Taiwanese, perhaps partly as a reaction that they were not all that happy when they got invaded by 2 million Nationalist Chinese refugees in 1949.


16 posted on 02/08/2018 12:53:55 PM PST by kaehurowing
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To: GoldenState_Rose

We have exactly the same problem in this nation when it comes to understanding what happened in the Civil War. What we are taught as history is mostly propaganda aimed at protecting those who acquired and kept power as a result of the Civil war.


17 posted on 02/08/2018 12:55:32 PM PST by DiogenesLamp ("of parents owing allegiance to no other sovereignty.")
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To: GoldenState_Rose

[ I understand your concerns about hyper political correctness, GraceG - but taken the other extreme, where would something like toleration of outright Holocaust denial (for example) take us as a human race?

For the most part I believe America does a good job of confronting our dark pages transparently and with open debate. And this is one of the keys to our enduring strength as a nation.

And we HAVE made progress from Civil War times, Jim Crow days, etc...That should be acknowledged. ]

Indeed we have made progress, but by succumbing to cultural guilt over matters we had no saw in several generations ago is destructive to any civilization. Acknowledging we could be brutal and horrible in the past should never be used as tool to extract resources from one group to give to another perceived “oppressed” who are no longer under a yoke of oppression.


18 posted on 02/08/2018 12:55:44 PM PST by GraceG ("It's better to have all the Right Enemies, than it is to have all the Wrong Friends.")
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To: chrisser

I agree. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of the past, but eventually, you have to move on.


19 posted on 02/08/2018 12:56:49 PM PST by D_Idaho ("For we wrestle not against flesh and blood...")
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To: GoldenState_Rose

We basically drug Japan into the civilized world after the war. The Japanese treated their soldiers horribly so it is not surprising they treated our soldiers horribly. The Japanese used terror at every possible point. They had no corporate concept of mercy.
Everyone I know who fought them, hated them even decades after the war. My uncle is in the VA with severe dementia but he can still cuss the Japs.


20 posted on 02/08/2018 12:57:28 PM PST by AppyPappy (Don't mistake your dorm political discussions with the desires of the nation)
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