井の中の蛙

7/27/2005

Recent Links

These all deserve separate posts, but here are some links I found in the last few days that I wanted to write about but didn’t have time for (perhaps others can write in response to these links):

  • Alan Christy at Takecrew has posted a generous and sensitive review of great historian Kano Masanao’s latest book, Heishi de aru koto: Doin to jugun no seishinshi (Being a Soldier: A History of Mobilization and Military Service). (And he wrote this while drinking Chilean wine…I gotta grab me that Sam Adams in my fridge)
  • Herbert Bix, the Pulitzer Prize historian who wrote Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, has published an article titled “Hirohito and History: Japanese and American Perspectives on the Emperor and World War II in Asia” for the online journal Japan Focus. In this article he elaborates on the same concluding message of his two most recent Japan Focus articles (here and here): that the onset of the Cold War had frozen over the historical consciousness at work in East Asian countries. In his chracteristically clear prose he reveals how the geopolitics between Japan and the United States had helped create a historical amnesia about the Emperor and the legacy of wartime militarism.
  • Lastly, Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, the group of right-wing historians also known as tsukurukai or 新しい歴史教科書を作る会, has just published translations of their infamous textbook for middle-school students titled New History Textbook: Revised Edition (『改訂版 新しい歴史教科書』) in English, Korean, and Chinese (simplified and traditional). The site has these translations as pdf files, and as far as I can tell the English one covers different chapters than the Chinese and Korean ones. (Hmmm…I wonder what they’re thinking, I should probably download them all before they take them down.) The group has also made some sections of the book available online here in Japanese.

    I was stunned when I skimmed through the first page. Here’s just one paragraph:

    The history you are about to study is the history of Japan. In other words, you will be familiarizing yourselves with the stories of your ancestors — your blood relatives. Your closest ancestors your parents, who were preceded by your four grandparents. As you go back further in time, number of ancestors increases with each generation. Then you realize that the humans populated the Japanese Archipelago are ancestors you share with the other students in classroom. In every era, Japanese history was made by ancestors common to all of us.

One Response to “Recent Links”

  1. watoro says:

    わが国中学校歴史教科書の外国語翻訳およびホームページへの掲載について
    平成17年8月23日
    外務省は、民間会社に委託し、わが国の中学校歴史教科書(全8種類)の近現代史のうち、わが国と近隣諸国関係部分の一部を中国語および韓国語に翻訳し、明24日(水曜日)、インターネット・ホームページに掲載する予定である。掲載するのは民間会社のホームページ(http://www.je-kaleidoscope.jp/index_ja.html)であり、外務省ホームページからリンクを設定する。
    わが国の中学校歴史教科書については、周辺諸国において関心が高まっているが、これら周辺諸国における議論には、わが国の歴史教科書についての正確な理解に基づかないものも多く見られる。こうした中、本件広報は、わが国の中学校歴史教科書の実際の記述を外国語で紹介することにより、諸外国におけるわが国の歴史教科書・歴史教育の実態に対する理解を促進することを目的として行うものである。
    英語訳についても、追ってホームページに掲載する予定である。また、教科書の近現代史の残りの部分についても、今後翻訳を進めていくことを検討している。
    広報文化交流部 総合計画課

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