International Education Journal

WCCES 2001 Commission 6 Special Congress Issue: Japanese Education in Transition

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Citizenship Challenges for Japanese Education for the 21st Century: "Pure" or "Multicultural"? Multicultural Citizenship Education in Japan


David Blake Willis
Soai University, Osaka, Japan
dwillis108@aol.com

 

 

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Abstract

With the so-called Third Opening (or internationalisation) of Japan, the rush of globalisation, and a concern for the direction of national cultural identity in the Japanese nation, courses for citizenship have recently been promoted in schools with titles such as 'Education for International Understanding' and 'Global Education,' among others. Twin surges, one of an awareness of a diverse, multicultural Japanese society, and the other of an apparent neo-nationalism, have been noted in the mass media. Both have been introduced into school contexts, resulting in considerable tension and dissonance. Concern has been raised about the dilution of Japanese identity, manifesting itself in enforced singing in schools of the national anthem, required national flag-raising at ceremonies, and the contents of school textbooks. This paper explores dilemmas and directions for citizenship education in Japan, indicating possible future directions for educational institutions in the transmission of values for the Japanese (multi-) cultural identity.

Multicultural Education, Diversity, Citizenship Education, Nationalism, Identity

 

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Willis, D.B. (2002) Citizenship Challenges for Japanese Education for the 21st Century: "Pure" or "Multicultural"? Multicultural Citizenship Education in Japan. International Education Journal, 3 (5), 16-32.
http://iej.cjb.net

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