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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

April 01, 2005
What's the length of a nation's conscience?

About 50 years?

One way to have a well-informed populace is to teach the children honestly. This can't be done with dishonest textbooks.

The right-wing activists...are seeking to whitewash the country's militaristic past by publishing a new history textbook more distorted than the previous one..

Right about now you may be picturing the Right-wing or neo-con machine. Maybe those lunatics in the South still determined to re-write the history of the Civil War to turn themselves into noble agrarian pioneers or something. No, it's not the USofA, although the machinations of various groups to re-write history to suit their private agendas would shock you, it's Japan.

As the world in general are preparing to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the victory over Fascism later this year, the right-wing activists in Japan, however, are seeking to whitewash the country's militaristic past by publishing a new history textbook more distorted than the previous one.

The new textbook, subject to the Education Ministry's screening in early April, gives yet another vivid and shocking example on how desperately Japanese right-wingers want to negate history and defy justice.
Packed with lies, contradictions and even myths, the textbook rewrites the history, particularly in the first half of last century when Japan launched aggression to many Asia-Pacific countries and imposed extended colonial rule in much of the region.

Some of the texts are sheer absurdity. For instance, the reason that the Japanese are superior to others in the world, the textbook concludes, is that the nation is endowed with a monarchy of impeccable pedigree whose royal blood has run thousands of generations.

Really, a very interesting commentary.

Again, about 50 years?

Stop and count...how long did it take for Nazism to go from being Germany's shame to a rallying point for a new wave of "patriotism?" To glorify the behavior of the German people, they have to glorify the behavior of those the populace willingly followed, yes, but the SS? My skin crawls....

I sympathize with the desire of the German populace to wipe out the stain of having incubated the horrors of Nazism, but re-writing history to make it all seem so much more noble and so much less heinous than it was? So not the way.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:21 PM