(This article is continued from the previous article) At the dinner with Mr. Yoshi, I told him how I felt not knowing the fact about the war, and I asked politely how the modern history is taught to high school students generally. He was the best person to talk to because we have known each other for 6 years now since I was still a high school student and I trusted him as a very passionate teacher. His answer was that, schools in Japan cannot teach the exact details of the fact during the war time, because it is restricted by the government. The purpose of restricting it was to develop patriotic minds into the Japanese citizens, said Mr. Yoshi. And he also said that “Don’t point out only Japan, other countries are doing the same thing, hiding their shameful histories to their citizens! And it is very natural that a country should hide its shame to protect itself!”
I admire him for his amount of knowledge and his passion to take care of each students, but honestly, I didn’t want to believe what he told me this time. I didn’t understand what was the point of hiding the shameful history to develop patriotic minds of nations. Patriotism is something that comes naturally, isn’t it? Isn’t it much more shameful to expose our ignorance in front of people from other countries?
Later I found out that Germany is teaching young people about the Holocaust and everything that Nazis had done, not to forget their mistakes in the past. Also in the US, they are teaching young people, as a shameful history, about the fact that the Americans interned two thirds of the Japanese-Americans during the war time, only because their blood was Japanese. Australia teaches students about the British settlement as a merciless mistake, and trying its best to deal with the issues on left-over indigenous population. In my opinion, if it were not for its “mistake”, and if Australia did not regret what it had done in its history, it wouldn’t have welcomed so many immigrants from other countries, including myself.
A nation changes over its history, and there is no way we can change the history, it is all about the fact, not what is written in the text book. And thanks to the history, some nations are growing, some are stable, and it is the understanding of the history that enable governors to develop the nations together . Now that I understood the truth of Japanese history, I would like to pass it down to the next generation through education. I hope Japanese education to get out of the vicious circle of the traditional examination-hell system soon, before all the real war-experiencers are gone out of this world.