Literacy and Script Reform in Occupation Japan: Reading Between the Lines / Edition 1

Literacy and Script Reform in Occupation Japan: Reading Between the Lines / Edition 1

by J. Marshall Unger
     
 

ISBN-10: 0195101669

ISBN-13: 9780195101669

Pub. Date: 08/28/1996

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

This book challenges the widespread belief that overzealous Americans forced unnecessary script reforms on an unprepared, unenthusiastic, but helpless Japan during the Occupation. Unger presents neglected historical evidence showing that the reforms implemented from 1946 to 1959 were both necessary and moderate. Although the United States Education Mission of 1946

Overview

This book challenges the widespread belief that overzealous Americans forced unnecessary script reforms on an unprepared, unenthusiastic, but helpless Japan during the Occupation. Unger presents neglected historical evidence showing that the reforms implemented from 1946 to 1959 were both necessary and moderate. Although the United States Education Mission of 1946 recommended that the Japanese give serious consideration to the introduction of alphabetic writing, key American officials in the Civil Information and Education Section of GHQ/SCAP delayed and effectively killed action on this recommendation. Japanese advocates of romanization nevertheless managed to obtain CI&E approval for an experiment in elementary schools to test the hypothesis that schoolchildren could make faster progress if spared the necessity of studying Chinese characters as part of non-language courses such as arithmetic. Though not conclusive, the experiment's results supported the hypothesis and suggested the need for more and better testing. Yet work was brought to a halt a year ahead of schedule; the Ministry of Education was ordered to prepare a report that misrepresented the goal of the experiment and claimed it proved nothing. The whole episode dropped from official and scholarly view—until the publication of this book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195101669
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
08/28/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
5.81(w) x 8.63(h) x 0.76(d)

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