JE Kaleidoscope

Japan Echo, a journal about Japanese media set up a website, JE Kaleidoscope with translations of approved textbooks:

JE Kaleidoscope, a Japan Echo website, presents in-depth information to researchers and other people who need a deeper understanding of Japan. The main feature on the website now is a collection of translations of middle school textbooks. These are the Japanese history textbooks approved by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology for use in the school year beginning in April 2006; we present the sections on Japan’s early modern and modern history.

Foreign interest in Japan’s school textbooks is extremely high. The textbook translations have been commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which hopes to see this information accurately presented to people around the world. The translated material comes from all eight of the Japanese history books approved for the 2006 school year.

The data is not completely available yet, but you can already view partial English translations. The list of textbooks includes the controversial edition of Fushosha Publishing, that has been accused of whitewashing Japanese history in regard to World War II. The book is in use in 0.1% of Japans school – tendency rising – but the publishers hope for more acceptance this time.

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