Saturday, April 13, 2013

Japan doen't deserve bad reputation, according to Stanford Professor of Asian History

This is a translated article to English from a personal blog originally posted on The detailed information is posted in reference, and strongly recommended to read them for further study on the history during the World War II.

Japan well control over the history without agitation of war and patriotism: The historical disputes over the past great war among the countries possibly remain the conflictive tension of the international relationship in the East Asia region. The Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University examined the comparative roles of high school history textbooks among Japan, China, South Korea, United State and Taiwan, and it concluded that the japanese history textbook is the most disciplined among them without admiring wars. The major members of the research center, Peter Duus and Daniel C. Sneider, reported their consequence and objectives of the research.

Japanese textbook: The Japanese textbook is the least contained of the patriotism and encouragement for a war. The textbook well describes the Seno-Japanese war based on the historical facts. It also concludes that political leaders and the military forces at the war time was the most responsible for the war. The Japanese textbook is well-balanced description based on the facts and dispassion.

Korean textbook: The Korean textbook focuses on its nationalism. It describes the detailed incidents about the koreans. It less describes other foreign facts such as the war in China.  Korea is only indifferent in the foreign histories. It is only interested in insisting themselves as the war victims caused by Japan. [Duus] was surprised at, for instance, that the Korean textbook has no description about the nuclear attack on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Therefore, Korea clearly considers the history as its self-sentered sufficient tool.

United States textbook: The United States textbook describes only a few incidents about the Japan-China war. It also intentionally focuses rather on the war relationship between U.S and Europe than the relationship between U.S and Asia. It has many  description about Nuremberg trials, but Tokyo trails.

Chinese textbook: In the academically historical view of the research, Chinese textbook has many problems in education. It is rather simply a propagandizing tool [than an educational textbook.] The Chinese Communist Party with the full of its ideology uses the textbook for its political purpose. It neither contained describes about the Pacific War nor the nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although China revised the textbook in 2004, it inflame the nation the patriotism and emphasize the anti-Japan war in their view after the revision. The revised textbook increases their war victorious stories of anti-Japan war instead it excludes the national conflict in China. It adds many description about atrocities caused by the Japanese forces during the WWII, including the Nanking incident.

Taiwan textbook: During under the rule of the Chinese Nationalist Party, The old Taiwanese textbook only contained the dynastic history of China. But the new textbook focuses rather on the Taiwanese national view and its history than the Chinese history. Both China and Taiwan less emphasize the national conflict for different reasons in their views. The new Taiwanese textbook excludes dynamically the Nanking incident and less describes about the Sino-Japanese war. It analyzes the annexation of Taiwan by Japan with detailed factual research of both the inter-political relationship between Taiwan and Japan, and the atrocity there caused by Japanese force during the war time.

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