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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Education for loyalty in prewar and postwar Japan Redekop, William Bernard


The study consisted of an analysis and comparison of Japanese moral education before and after World War Two in terms of its teachings in loyalty. The samples on which the study was based were two elementary school morals courses dated 1940 19&2; they are referred to in Japanese as Shushin and Dotoku respectively. The problem was to determine whether the postwar version of the morals course—introduced twelve years after World War Two ended—reintroduces the attitudes toward loyalty for which Shushin had been famous and which were allegedly repudiated after the War. The hypothesis was that the course does, in fact, represent a return to the old values. For analytical purposes the term loyalty was defined in the narrow sense as an attitude of obedience, respect, reverence, and allegiance toward the Emperor. In the broader sense the definition included the same attitude with reference to the nation, government, law, teachers, and parents. Qualitative distinctions in the teaching of loyalty, such as its sanctions, its purposes, its functions or demands, its origin or formation, its focus, and its emotional tone provided the basis for further analysis of the attitudes implied in loyalty as taught in the two courses. Shushin was analyzed first; two courses, dated 1925 and 1940, were used for the purpose. By our definition of loyalty one of the textbooks in the Shushin course was more than four-fifths devoted to the subject of loyalty; the others also contained a strikingly high proportion of lessons on it. These were analyzed further as to the qualitative distinctions they revealed with regard to loyalty. Initially the same criteria of analysis were also applied to the lessons in the postwar Dotoku course. It was found, however, that the quantity of material on loyalty as originally defined was almost nil. Hence the tern: was redefined to include any reference at all to the nation, government, law, teachers, and parents. In addition, a survey was made to determine what had been included in Dotoku to replace the lessons on loyalty. Some of this data was included in the report. [ ... ]

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