Free «The Japanese History Textbook Controversy» Essay Sample

Each country has its own history including even “dark ages”. It is important for each citizen to know the most important facts about their country.

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Speaking about controversy, I cannot help mentioning Edward de Bono’s quote, “Argument is meant to reveal the truth, not to create it”. I completely agree with it. Controversy usually appears in order to prove one’s rightness. When people disagree about facts of history, it is rather hard to find out who is right. Each side tries to manifest its opinion so that finally to finish talking. What is more, some controversies may lead to strong disagreement. Because of this, it is not always easy for people to understand that controversy is not always a conflict; there are cases when it is just revealing of the truth considering opinions of both sides. What about controversies on history textbooks in Japan? It is much more interesting to think about. History will always remain like a puzzle or mystery which is difficult to reveal. Another thing is when we know the truth. History textbooks show a lot of interesting facts, while reading them you hope to discover the reality of your country’s past times, not just masked events. Moreover, if you want to read something unreal, you can read fairy-tales or science fiction books; when you want to read something that is written without essential facts, you can always read magazines or newspapers. I mean that when a student opens history textbook, he (or she) should be certain that he (she) is going to read the truth, not the facts that government considers better for studying.

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It is not a secret that authorities are afraid of the “dark ages” of their country. Dark history is a certain period of time which people of the state, maybe not everyone but some of them do not want to talk about or even mention about it. I appreciate those who are able to accept the reality and who are not afraid of talking about “bad times” of their country. It is important to know mistakes so that not to make them again. Besides, those who do not make mistakes do not do anything at all. Almost each country had something that is not worth mentioning about, but the past is inescapable. All we have to do is to take it the way it is.

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Ienaga Saburo was a Japanese historian and prominent figure of his country. What is more, he was rewarded with a Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. His role in the controversy over history textbooks was significant. It was he to show the truth about World War II, he had courage to write about history of Japan describing the facts the way they were in reality. Nevertheless, it was not accepted by the majority of the government and even people. Ienaga Saburo is the example to follow. In my opinion, it is important to study history with all positive and negative features as each country is responsible for its activity, and people should know about this.

Speaking about Nobukatsu Fujioka, it is important to mention that he was a stubborn nationalist. In contrast to Ienaga Saburo, he thought and even was certain that it is not rather important to write in history books all the facts from history of their country. On the other hand, it is better for parents and teachers to know that their children and pupils study the history of their country without violent facts. It may form better personalities when children would learn less violence. Nevertheless, history is about to tell us all the facts from the past of the country, not to make a fine story without truly events. What would you like your children to study? Would you like them to read fairy-tales or history textbooks? Why should we worry about the prestige of the country because of something that has already happened? I think that a person who does not know history of his/her country, does not know nothing at all. We should be aware of everything what happened in the past so that to be able to protect one’s country at present or even in future.

In conclusion, I must say that history textbooks are important enough to fight over as they form the impression about the country not only among students of this country but also abroad. Besides, these books can teach the future authorities how to act in life.

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