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ERIC Number: ED401419
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Adult Education for a Multiethnic Community: Japan's Challenge.
Sasagawa, Koichi
Modern education in Japan from 1868 to 1945 stressed "national education" in order to promote a sense of belonging to the Japanese state. The Japanese culture was thought to be superior to that of its "less advanced" East Asian neighbors, and Japanese people were encouraged to adopt a "Yamato" identity (the seat of an ancient Japanese kingdom). Foreign nationals, most of whom lived in Japan as a result of Japanese colonization, were subjected to prejudice and discrimination. After World War II, imperial Japan's national education was subjected to extensive criticism, although this criticism did not extend to the education of non-Japanese in the country. Over time, however, local governments and community leaders began initiatives to improve the situation of ethnic minorities. In 1986, Kawasaki, the third largest city in Metropolitan Tokyo, established guidelines for educating foreigners and began to support community movements for minority education. The city set up a number of "Houses for Mutual Understanding" for Korean residents that were designed to help them understand and assimilate into Japanese culture while preserving their heritage and developing friendships with people of different cultures. Since then, a number of programs of adult education have developed in Japan, emphasizing both Japanese culture and the need for a multiethnic society for the future. At present, Kawasaki is seeking a nationwide adult education network for multiethnic communities covering approximately 3,300 local governments. A 1995 conference on social education was attended by nearly 1,000 grassroots activists and university teachers. An obstacle to a multiethnic society is national pride both in the Japanese and other East Asian cultures. A contributing factor to this obstacle is the influence of Confucianism, which demands blind loyalty to the state. Some leaders are promoting an alternate philosophy of "Laoze-Changze" that promotes oneness of people with nature and deemphasizes competition among states. (KC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan