Volume 129

Ryôta Nishino: Changing Histories. Japanese and South African Textbooks in Comparison (1945 -1995)

Göttingen: V&R unipress, 2011. 222 p. ISBN 978-3-89971-816-4

The teaching of history in South African and Japanese schools has attracted sustained criticism for the alleged attempts to conceal the controversial aspects of their countries’ past and to inculcate ideologies favourable to the ruling regimes. This book is the first attempt to systematically compare the ways in which education bureaucracy in both nations dealt with opposition and critics in the period from ca. 1945 to 1995, when both coun tries were dominated by single-party governments for most of the fifty years. The author argues that both South African and Japanese education bureaucracy did not overtly express its intentions in the curriculum documents or in the textbooks, but found ways to enhance its authority through a range of often subtle measures. A total of eight themes in 60 officially approved Standard 6 South African and Japanese middle-school history textbooks have been selected to demonstrate the changes and continuity.

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