War Memory, Nationalism and Education in Postwar Japan: The Japanese History Textbook Controversy and Ienaga Saburo's Court Challenges

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Routledge, Jun 23, 2008 - History - 224 pages

The controversy over official state-approved history textbooks in Japan, which omit or play down many episodes of Japan’s occupation of neighbouring countries during the Asia-Pacific War (1931-1945), and which have been challenged by critics who favour more critical, peace and justice perspectives, goes to the heart of Japan’s sense of itself as a nation. The degree to which Japan is willing to confront its past is not just about history, but also about how Japan defines itself at present, and going forward. This book examines the history textbook controversy in Japan. It sets the controversy in the context of debates about memory, and education, and in relation to evolving politics both within Japan, and in Japan’s relations with its neighbours and former colonies and countries it invaded. It discusses in particular the struggles of Ienaga Saburo, who has made crucial contributions, including through three epic lawsuits, in challenging the official government position.

Winner of the American Educational Research Association 2009 Outstanding Book Award in the Curriculum Studies category.

 

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Contents

Japans defeat and educational reforms The struggle over the Japanese national narrative and identity in the early postwar years 19451965
1
The politics over education Oppositional forces and Ienaga Saburos first and second textbook lawsuits 1950s1970s
26
Countermemories of the AsiaPacific War The history controversy and school textbooks in the 1970s
49
Ienaga Saburos third lawsuit and strategic conjunctures Changing intra and international relations and the history textbook controversy in the 1980s
72
What is historical fact? Dispute over historical research and education in court
94
Court decisions on Ienaga Saburos lawsuits Critical trends in history textbooks the late 1980s1997
122
Nationalism democracy and the textbook market Rightwing nationalist history textbook projects 19822007
136
The Japanese history textbook controversy and the significance of Ienaga Saburos textbook lawsuits
152
Notes
157
Index
189
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