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Press translations [Japan]. Social Series 0147, 1946-01-06.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: social-0619

call-number: DS801 .S84

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No. 619 Date: 6 Jan 46


ITEM 1 The Usage of ideographs to be limited to 1300 Characters-Roman Alphabet to be taught YOMIURI HOCHI - 1 Jan 46. Translator: J. Kinoshita.
A new reduction in the number of Chinese characters is now being studied by the Education Office to elevate the cultural standard of the JAPANESE people, thus removing the greatest obstacle to learning. The principal aim is to limit the number of characters to 1,300 as against 2,600, which was previously decided upon by the National Language Examination Committee (KOKUGO SHINGI-KAI) in 1942. The committee has already held two meetings, on 13 and 24 December, under the leadership of UNO, Tetsujin, and other authorities. The task is expected to be completed this year, but it will not be in time for the printing of next year's textbooks.
Romaji education in national schools is also intended by the same Office to meet the present practical need. The extent of the instruction end the school grades to use it is now under consideration.
ITEM 2 Round Table Talks on Re-examination of Japanese History - YOYOMIURI HOCHI - 1 Jan 46. Translator: K. Minagi.
YOMIURI Reporter: The present confusion and chaos of the whole Japanese Nation is due to some extent to the biased principles of Japanese history. The emphasis laid on the feudal element of Japanese history is still deeply rooted among all classes of Japanese society. In order to destroy this feudalism and attain real democratic revolution we shall have to re-examine Japanese history scientifically and let people recognize the real state of JAPAN. For this purpose, unreserved views should be expressed.
The first question in this connection will deal with the past methods of a historic study of JAPAN.
TSUCHIYA: The varied estimations of historic material may be due to different educational ideas, but it is a matter for much discussion. Our past national history has served to educate people for a special political purpose.
The characteristic of bureaucratic national history of educating people from the political point of view is clearly seen by reading such a typical book as "Outline of National History." On the first page is the Imperial Rescript of AMATERSU-OMIKAMI, in which the polity of Japanese Empire was first set forth. This is to reveal what a superior country JAPAN is. This idea prevails throughout the entire book. The second characteristic places too much emphasis on political and war history. The third has too much importance attached to earlier history. "The earlier

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SOCIAL SERIES: 147 (continued)
ITEM 2 (Continued)
a fact the more important" seems to have been the principle.
HIYAKE: Japanese history has been too distorted, not only by scholars sympathetic to the Government, but by popular nationalism. The Japanese have not been clearly aware of the fact that the Japanese people arc but a link in the whole human race. They imagined that they are a chosen people. Japanese are not a heavensent race.
TSUCHIYA: The idea of Japanese nationality itself needs reconsideration. The Japanese spirit, which Japanese called YAMATO DAMASHI, has been imagined as a matchless, beautiful thing. History is an objective, social phenomenon. To grasp the objective, scientific view of history should be the first principle of historical study.
ITEM 3 Round Table Talk on the Re-examination of Japanese History - YOMIURI - HOCHI - Jan 46. Translator: K. Mingai.
TSUCHIYA: "I think it is completely just to take an objective view of Japanese history as a link in the whole chain of world history. As long as we take the standpoint of Imperialism, with the view that the Japanese are a chosen people, there will never be any objectivity in our historical ideas. As a means for reconstructing Japanese history I should like to propose the abolition of such Historical terms as SHOWA 20 or 2605. Japanese Imperial history as based on the foundation of the Japanese Empire is very doubtful, and it is certain that there is a miscalculation of more than 600 years therein."
"Another proposal is the abolition of the Imperial reckoning and the exclusive adoption of the western calendar. The naming of historical periods under different Emperors, which is an imitation of the Chinese practice, should also be abolished. This improvement will be of some use in the objective study of Japanese history as a link in world history."
YOMIURI HOCHI Reporter: "It is a serious question that there should be a 600 year miscalculation."
NISHIOKA: "The mistake comes from a Chinese book called SHIN-I-KI. In the ninth year of the reign of the Emperor SUIKO, Prince SHOTOKU, in editing his Japanese history, met with the question of how far back the foundation of JAPAN should be dated from his own time. He adopted the theory in SHIN-I-SETSU of making a historical unit of 60 years which is the least common multiple of the 12 zodiacal signs, and he then made another larger unit of 1260, called BU, multiplying the original by 21.
"It was foretold in the Chinese book that immediately after the passing of this large unit, BU, there should be a great national revolution and the ninth year of the reign of Emperor SUIKO fell on the year of the ram and the bird, by the zodiac. Then 1260 years before Emperor SUIKO's ninth year, which is also the year of ram and bird, was made the year of the foundation of JAPAN, the year in which Emperor JI[illegible]U came to the throne."
IZU; "I don't think it is a question of whether early Japanese history is in accordance with western annals or not. All historical events before the reign of Emperor SUIKO are doubtful. Research should be made as to whether or not the accession of Emperor JI[illegible]U was ever an existing fact.
"The Japanese recorded history really begins with the SUIKO Dynasty.
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SOCIAL SERIES: 147 (Continued)
ITEM 3 (Continued)
Anything before that era, being 2,000 or 2,500 years ago, cannot be ascertained even by archeologists."
HANI: "The unreliability of Japanese annals has long been admitted by many Japanese scholars since the TOKUGAWA Period. The first two men who pointed out the mistake wore ARAI, HAKUSEKI, and MOTO ORI, NORINAGA. At the present time, Dr. NAKATSUSEI has made a detailed study of the question and found three facts: first, the lifetime of Japanese emperors in early Japanese history are extraordinarily long, some living for more than 100 years. Secondly, many of the historical events in early times are exactly the same as those in CHINA and KOREA. Third, the year of the ram and the bird, of which Mr. NISHIOKA has spoken, in which there has a national revolution, had much to do with the foundation of the Japanese Empire."
IZU: "The accession of the Emperor JI[illegible]U to the throne is mentioned in the KOJIKI, and some records appear in the HIHON SHOKI, of too, of the accession and deaths of emperors. But, as the records in the two books are traditional, the Emperor JIMMU's accession is a tradition and there is no actual evidence of it."
ITEM 4 Crime - YOMIURI HOCHI - 3 Jan 46. Translator: H. Nishihara.
At 1600, 31 December, YAMANISHI, TOSHIO, aged 28, of 18, 4-Chome TATEKAWA-Cho, HONJO-Ku, was robbed of 3,000 Yen by two men. The burglars had a dagger and a pistol.
At 0350, on 1 January, three burglars broke into the house of TSUTSUI YUKICHI, at 193, 5-Chome, SAGINOMIYA, NAKANO-Ku, threatened the family with daggers and robbed them of 200 Yen.
At 1840, on 1 January, TSUCHIYA, Jutaro, aged 27, of 22, 2-Chome, KAMIUMA-Cho, SETAGAYA-Ku, was robbed of a brown leather purse and 225 Yen by four men, on a road near 57, SHIMO-TAKANAMA-Cho, SHINAGAWA-Ku.
ITEM 5 Repatriation - ASAHI SHINBUN - 3 Jan 46. Translator: H. Nishihara.
The S.S. TATSUHARU-MARU of the TATSUMA Steamship Company, which was completely repaired by the Repatriation Bureau of MAIZURU District, will leave MAIZURU on 5 January for OTARU. After being refitted, she will enter service and be used for repatiration. The S.S. DAIZUI-MARU (6,872 tons) will leave MAIZURU 10 January for [illegible], where she will take on fuel, and start a voyage to carry back 2,500 repatriates from SYDNEY, MELBOURNE, and other places.
The former Cruiser SAKAHO will leave SASEBO on 2 January, and, carrying repatriates from WEWAK, she will return to the port on 19 January. The S.S. ENOSHIMA-MARU arrived at KAGOSHIMA on 30 December, carrying 2,970 civilian repatriates and 1,628 service men.
The ASAHI Press Company and the War Sufferers' Rescue Association will sponsor a meeting on 10 January to give consolation at URAGA to repatriates who have no homes to which to return.
ITEM 6 Entrance Examinations for higher school - TOKYO SHIMBUN - 3 Jan 45. Translator: H. Nishihara.
Full Translation:
The entrance examinations will be most serious problems in spring. This year, entrance to schools is regarded most difficult as a result of demobilization and repatriation.
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SOCIAL SERIES: 147 (Continued)
ITEM 6 (Continued)
The outline of the procedure in taking entrance examination for higher and technical schools was published last year, and details will be clarified before long.
The examination for higher schools and universities will be two or three months Later than the usual date, because in higher schools supplementary courses will be given for six months, until October, to improve the student's scholarship, which is considered inferior owing to war time circumstances. Thus, it is impossible to have the usual entrance examinations in March.
In middle school, supplementary courses, which arc not compulsory, will be given for three months, and students will be graduated formally in March. Therefore, entrance examinations to universities will be given in October, and to higher schools in June or July.
Concerning entrance examinations, some claim that they should be written, but the authorities decided that the examinations will be in the same form as before. Hence, the entrance will be decided by written answers, oral answers, reports from the schools from which the students were graduated, and a physical examination.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Social Series 0147, 1946-01-06.
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