The Japanese history textbook debate is one that keeps making the news, particularly with reference to claims that Japan has never 'apologised properly' for its actions between 1931 and 1945, and that it is one of the few liberal, democratic countries in which textbooks are controlled and authorised by the central government. There are frequent protests, both from within Japan and from overseas, that a biased, nationalistic history is taught in Japanese schools. This is the first time that all the authorised textbooks currently in use have been analysed using a critical discourse that is anchored firmly in the theory of 'language within society', elucidating the meanings and associated ideologies created by the language of the textbooks.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The Rape of Nanking: Processes and Participants
Chapter 3: The Attacks by Germany and Japan: The Ideology of Irresponsibility
Chapter 4: The Surrenders of Germany and Japan: The Ideology of Face-Protection
Chapter 5: Conclusion Locating the Findings in a Wider Context
Christopher Barnard is Associate Professor in the Department of Anglo-American Language and Culture, Teikyo University, Tokyo.
'[An] extensively researched and important study ... a unique insight into one vital aspect of Japanese thinking.' - Contemporary Review
'[Barnard] is to be congratulated on opening up a new dimension of understanding, and he has certainly justified his claim that content-type analyses of textbooks need to be supplemented by close scrutiny of the style of language in which they are written.' - Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society