Curriculum

Japanese Textbooks

September 05, 2001 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

After a summer filled with protests by historians, human-rights groups, and high-level officials from neighboring countries, educators in Japan appear to have shunned controversial history textbooks for middle school students.

All but 10 of the country’s 542 public school districts have said they will not use the textbooks that critics say gloss over Japan’s military aggression before and during World War II. (“Foreign Exchange,” May 9, 2001.)

The books, for example, omit information about Japanese soldiers’ violence against Korean and Chinese women during the war.

The Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform produced one of the textbooks in question because of the “self-deprecating” tone of current Japanese history texts, according to a statement from the organization.

Government officials from South Korea and China have sent angry communications to the Japanese government over the past several months, saying the decision to approve the texts for use in public schools was a threat to diplomatic relations.

Japanese officials reviewed the texts and ordered some changes, but refused to rescind their approval.

Several private schools and at least three public ones for students with disabilities are planning to use the books.

The authors have also come under attack. Last month, an office in Tokyo, where one worked, was damaged by fire. Police told local newspapers they suspected arson.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s textbooks are also coming under scrutiny from historians and educators for glossing over the brutality committed by its own military, and for enhancing the image of the right-wing government.

Children’s Vote: Advocates for children are hoping a few million votes will get the attention of world leaders this month. When the United Nations General Assembly meets in New York City Sept. 19-21 for its first special session on children’s issues, members will be presented with the results of a voting campaign on improving the lives of the world’s children.

Say Yes for Children, a campaign sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, is asking people from around the world to pledge their support for 10 actions to address issues of health, safety, and education for children everywhere.

Votes can be entered online at www.unicef.org. For more information, call (800) FOR-KIDS.

—Kathleen Kennedy Manzokmanzo@epe.org

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Classroom Strategies for Building Equity and Student Confidence
Shape equity, confidence, and success for your middle school students. Join the discussion and Q&A for proven strategies.
Content provided by Project Lead The Way
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Disrupting PD Day in Schools with Continuous Professional Learning Experiences
Hear how this NC School District achieved district-wide change by shifting from traditional PD days to year-long professional learning cycles
Content provided by BetterLesson
Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Curriculum When It Comes to SEL, Administrators and Teachers See Things Differently
There is a yawning gap between administrators and teachers in how thoroughly they think SEL programs are being put to work in schools.
7 min read
Photo of girl leaning against locker.
Getty
Curriculum Status Check: The Top Challenges to Social-Emotional Learning and How to Address Them
SEL Day 2023 finds social-emotional learning at a key moment: Interest is strong but so is political pushback.
3 min read
Image of dissatisfied, neutral, satisfied.
ThitareeSarmkasat/iStock/Getty
Curriculum Scaling Up Media Literacy Education Is a Big Challenge: 4 Steps to Get Started
School librarians shared challenges they face and what resources they need to expand media literacy instruction.
2 min read
Curriculum Explainer How School Libraries Buy Books, Struggle for Funds, and Confront Book Bans: An Explainer
Schools are under fire from some parent groups over books they deem explicit. This is how those books end up in their library collections.
12 min read
Photo of librarian pushing book cart.
Wavebreak Media / Getty Images Plus