Culture and Education
The institutions of education which are shaping the minds of todays' youth do not all teach the same facts and curriculum. Throughout the world there are differing opinions on what, when, and how certain facts, theories, and concepts should be taught. Not all children are taught the same truths; this statement might sound unfair, or maybe incomprehensible. How, one may ask, could accepted truths not be taught as such; and what decides whether they will be or not? Cultural constructs such as norms, morals, and shared religious beliefs play a role in what education consists of and looks like for different groups of children all over the world.
Let’s take a look at the common History class. When taking a History class in the United States you will most likely be learning U.S. History, and even if you take a World History class it will still focus on the U.S. and how it interacted with and impacted other countries. In Japan you would be learning Japanese History. However if you were to read through certain Japanese history text books you might be alarmed to find that Japan is portrayed not only as a victim instead of an aggressor in the context of WWII and that there is a lack of general information regarding their participation in the war all together. Largely in debate is the Nanking Massacre in which the Japanese allegedly systematically kill 300,000 people including both civilians and soldiers. There are two schools of thought, The Massacre Denial and The Massacre Affirmative. Japan’s culture is one of honor which makes it difficult for them to acknowledge their mistakes, and thus largely try to ignore the Nanking incident in a sort of sweep it under the rug fashion.
In Japanese Universities many teachers will teach that while the event did happen the numbers were closer to 10,000 and included only soldiers while some classes do not cover the topic at all. In China they teach that it did in fact happen and claim the body count...
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