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Press translations [Japan]. Social Series 0168, 1946-01-14.
Supreme Commander for The Allied Powers. Allied Translator and Interpreter Section.

translation-number: social-0757

call-number: DS801 .S84

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No. 757 Date: 14 Jan 46


ITEM 1 Review of Japanese History (Conclusion) - Yomiuri-Hochi - 12 Jan 46. Translator: Y. Akabane.
YOMIURI: Then what will be our historical educational policy in the future?
HIYANE: It means there will be special textbooks compiled by the Education Ministry as well as newspapers, magazines and radio broadcasts. In connection with the compilation of textbooks on history, I recollect a passage of President TRUMAN's message from the White House on Christmas Eve to the effect that there are no questions that cannot be solved by Christ's Sermon on the Mount, although there may be many difficult ones both in AMERICA and the other countries of the world. I recollect two things in this regard which should attract the attention of the Japanese in general as well as the Japanese historians. One is a Christian teaching that those who stand with swords will be conquered by swords; the other is that the meek are happy, and those who seek peace are happy. These teachings have impressed me, and the present plight of JAPAN affords a practical education to those who have acted against those teachings and acts.
I will suggest a few important points on which I am going to place special emphasis in the compilation of textbooks. First, the Japanese are a part of humanity, and if they perform good acts on the same level with other countries, things will go smoothly; if on the contrary they commit evil acts, they will be ruined. I emphasize the idea that JAPAN is a world country and that the Japanese are a part of humanity. Secondly, the peace of the world and international friendship must be emphasized in the new textbooks. Third, respect for women, sympathy for the poor, and the spirit of love for the weak should also be stressed, as these are almost completely ignored in the existing Japanese histories. Fourth, Japanese history has paid too much attention to the political aspect, but hereafter phases of social history, especially history viewed from an economic standpoint and the changes in the times observed as economic phenomena, must also be taught in the secondary schools and colleges.
NISHIOKA: The life of the people has been too much ignored in our history, so it must be taken up hereafter as stated by Mr. HIYANE. By so doing, Japanese history may be learned, not as isolated within Japan, but from the standpoint of oriental or universal history.
IZU: Until quite recently, history has been abused as a weapon of the ruling classes for attaining their political purposes. The real nature of history exists in clarifying facts, which contribute to the future development of the Nation and the progress of the world in the proper sense of the word. Accordingly, the existing mistaken notions on education concerning history should be completely

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SOCIAL SERIES: 168 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
wiped out together with the militalistic and feudalistic conceptions; instead, there must appear a view of history truely free and accurate.
I have no confidence in the current Education Ministry as it has not the ability to compile a correct history. From the MEIJI Era up to now, textbooks on history, made by this bureaucratic structure, arbitrarily planted mistaken fundamental ideas in the Nation. We cannot, therefore, expect a correct history if the compilation of historical textbooks is left to the Education Ministry. Textbooks are not limited to one history alone, and schools must be free to choose any history they like from among many.
TSUCHIYA: I think we must first establish an overall view of history, though it may be difficult. This overall picture of history will be, in short, synonymous with an overall view of life. Benjamin FRANKLIN once said, "Men are creatures to make tools." To make tools means to create techniques, which will be realized through production or economies bearing fruit in increased popular welfare and cultural developments. In the modern community national science connects directly with techniques which are produced by science, and, simultaneously, the development of science is accelerated by various techniques and economies. These three may compositely be called the material civilization which will become the foundation of culture. The elevation of popular understanding and concern and its dissemination are, therefore, thought to be very important in a healthy modern society.
The science of history must be based on the histories of economics and science, and the development of various cultural processes must be studied. In this way, the life of the people will be rightly grasped, and we can get rid of the wrong tendency of considering histories of politics and wars as the most important. The views of great personages will be changed from attaching too much importance to politicians and soldiers to paying due respect to those who contributed greatly to the promotion of human culture. From such a point of view, we can objectively observe the Japanese as a part of world humanity, and the Japanese history as a link in world history, as a result of which scientific study of Japanese history will be made possible, there being no room for the existence of anti-foreign idea or consciousness of a" chosen people" idea. This also will coincide with the democratic and humanitalian standpoints. JAPAN's fundamental future policy should be its reconstruction as a democratic cultural country to be able to contribute to the eternal peace of the world.
HANI: I pay respect to the YOMIURI which has expressed its cognizance of its war responsibility, declaring that it can not write even a line without being democratized. I was imprisoned in March last year and was not well, but have come here as I am afraid that the YOMIURI paper might be stained by irresponsible utterances of unthinking historians, not aware of the war responsibility. I must first say, "Know thy shame." All historians ought to reflect and consider what they have written in the past. Their responsibility for leading the people to their present plight is great. Historians pens are smeared with the Nation's blood; their mouths deceived the Nation. We can by no means place confidence in thorn nor whatever they say and write in the future. We can only consider them unprincipled. I frankly suggest they scrutinize themselves deeply before they scrutinize or teach Japanese history. It was the leaders' voices that declared the war was one of justice and would be won. Historians glorified this propaganda to make people believe it, and, therefore, they too should assume responsibility for the war.
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SOCIAL SERIES: 168 (Continued)
ITEM 1 (Continued)
Some popular opinions strongly demand the retirement of officials in the lending positions above HANNIN rank. Mr. OZAKI, the Parliamentarian, said in effect, "Parliamentarians of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association must refrain from executing their public offices or at least leave their posts and reeducate themselves for a few years as mere citizens, and then stand for election after obtaining popular confidence." I heartily support these opinions. The people will not believe what the politicians say and do no matter how hard they try, as long as do not resort to some means or other to recover the confidence of the people. Accordingly, historians must be concious of their shame and acknowledge their errors before teaching new history. By so doing, they will be in a position to command popular confidence, and the people will be able to get rid of the unpleasant feeling after having been deceived by the historians.
ITEM 2 On the "New Education" - Tokyo Shimbun - 12 Jan 46. Translator: T. Ogawa.
In response to complaints in the Diet and by the intellectual classes regarding the pamphlets entitled "The Way of the Subjects" (SHIMMIN) NO MICHI) and "The Basic Principles of Our National Polity" (KOKUTAI HONGI), which have been inspiring the public with militarism, the Education Ministry authorities have ordered that the printing of these pamphlets be halted.
In this connection our reporter interviewed Mr. NAKANE, Chief to the General Affairs Section of the Education Ministry. During the interview the reporter asked Mr. NAKANE the Ministry's plans for changing the trends of thought they have been directing for so many years and whether or not they are planning to edit new books replacing the abovementioned pamphlets. Mr. NAKANE's answer to these questions was as follows:
"It is true that we have put these pamphlets out of print, as the Education Minister stated at the Diet. We must, however, clean up the misguided thoughts of the past by means of a new educational policy. It is a duty which is imposed on us. We are planning to establish a new system as a first step by reforming the existing educational system in order to wipe out militarism. We have already decided to adopt the Imperial Rescript issued on New Years Day as a primary basis for future education. The interpretations of the Imperial Rescript, written by various learned and experienced men, will be our reference. A thorough carrying out of civic education methods, based on the new interpretation of the Imperial Rescript on Education, is also planned. The latter is the most unique plan that has ever been drafted since the institution of our educational system. This is indicative of our new policy to dispel the uniform guidance which has been practised heretofore."
The concrete steps to be taken in the extension of this new policy to educators as well as to the Teachers Re-education Institute are points under consideration. Nevertheless, with regard to the problem of whether or not new books should be edited by the Education Ministry before publication, we think it is reasonable that they should not be edited. We further believe that the very fact that such books are not subject to editing is democracy, and it is preferable to leave the matter to the discretion of the educators.
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SOCIAL SERIES: 168 (Continued)
ITEM 3 Hound-table Discussion on Cultural Reconstruction of JAPAN (Part One) - Mainichi Shimbun - 13 Jan 46. Translator: C. Gilbert.
TANAKA, Kotaro, Chief of School Department in the Ministry of Culture - "Up till now Japanese school education was concentrated on the teaching of subjects useful to the state. What was useful was determined by the statesmen or militarists in power. The question is whether the educational policy determined by the men in power was actually useful to the State. In other words, it is questionable whether the rulers of a state at any time can determine what is really useful to the state. Therefore, it is considered desirable in the educational circles to teach truth objectively and regardless of State interests. In other words, the submission of truth and education to State policies is regarded as undesirable as it enslaves the scientist and the educator. The new education must, therefore, be built on a respect for personality, character building, and rational scientific education."
KATAYAMA, Tetsu, Chief secretary of the Social-Democrats - "JAPAN did not attain its educational object up to the present, because, it tried to compress everything into an unreasonable pattern, neglecting human education as well as the teaching of truth."
TANAKA - "All schools, with the possible exception of universities, wore subjugated in this way to serve the purpose of Imperial JAPAN. The universities were permitted even during the war to study natural sciences without restrictions, except restrictions borne out of the necessity for material economy. The study of all other subjects, with the exception of restrictions in the field of social sciences, was permitted. On the other hand, there were severe administrative and political restrictions in the primary and middle schools, combined with a pronounced emphasis on military education. In the future not only must such military education be entirely removed, but all school education freed from administrative and political interference. In other words, school education must be kept free from interference by party politics as well as State administration."
TANAKA believes that is the meaning of a true democratic education.
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HomePress translations [Japan]. Social Series 0168, 1946-01-14.
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