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Indigenous in Japan? The Reluctance of the Japanese State to Acknowledge Indigenous Peoples and Their Need for Education

  • Madoka Hammine
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter explores the history and current situation of indigenous education in the Ryūkyūs, comparing it with the case of the Ainu, the only nationally recognised indigenous group of Japan. I investigate (1) how Japan has dealt with education for its indigenous population, and (2) how indigenous groups pursue their indigenous identities in the current Japanese educational system. Japan is often considered a culturally homogeneous nation. Educational policies reproducing the dominant ideology of a monolingual, monocultural, and monoethnic nation have played an important role in shaping the discourse of the largely invisible indigenous peoples in Japan. I conclude that educational policies in Japan need to provide choices and tolerance for indigenous peoples, for the sake of the indigenous peoples to have a real choice to be indigenous in Japan.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Sayaka Mizuki, Utae Ehara, Adriana Dobanda Shiro Kayano, Kenji Sekine, Jeffry Gayman, Hiroshi Maruyama, Hideaki Uemura, Robert Duckworth for providing encouragement, and for giving constructive feedback during the writing process.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madoka Hammine
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationUniversity of LaplandRovaniemiFinland

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