What Japanese (and American) history lessons leave out

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posted on May, 14 2013 @ 04:29 AM
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What Japanese history lessons leave out

Reading this article brought me back to my high school US history classes and their content about the Vietnam War. There was a big divide between what I learned in school and what I learned at home from family members who lived through it.

My father and all of my uncles are Vietnam War veterans, so I was taught quite bit about the war by listening to their first-hand accounts. My dad was a flag-waver until the end. He was very proud of his volunteer service, and loved meeting other vets from his era. He supported the VFW and American Legion financially and by volunteering his help (and on more than one occasion by volunteering his grumbling sons as well). He always maintained that the war was necessary, something I have never agreed with and that we had many friendly arguments about.

His teaching was not limited to actual war stories, but also about the impact that the war had back home and the context in which it happened. I particularly remember my dad receiving an invitation to his 30 year high school reunion that included a very long list of deceased members from his graduating class of 1966 and saying "That was the Vietnam War". He was very patriotic, but always stressed the importance of a patriot understanding that war is not all glory and parades.

In middle and high school I received a completely different education about the Vietnam War. It was always two or three pages contained in a very thick book, and a day or two of lecture and discussion. Because history was taught chronologically and the Vietnam War was relatively recent history it always happened to be during the last week or two of school, when everyone (teachers included) can hardly pretend to care anymore because we were all thinking about summer break.

Thinking back, I wonder why this war was glossed over in history class. Was it because it was, practically speaking, a US defeat? A political or moral embarrassment? Was it too recent to deserve coverage in public school? Many of my classmates (class of '99) were also sons and daughters of Vietnam veterans. Were they worried about teaching something that the parents may object to?

Are there any more recent graduates who could perhaps provide a more up-to-date account of how the history of the Vietnam War is taught in school?

Does anyone have any other input about memory holes in education?




posted on May, 14 2013 @ 05:02 AM
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S&F
Don't have much to add except, Aussie vets had a similar disservice bestowed to them upon their return.

Largely ignored or even frowned upon, because as you know, it was a very unpopular war.
Maybe the protests and music of the day helped generate a particularly negative attitude.

It was a very messy war - largely unprepared for, with a huge home turf advantage that was never over-come
entailing huge losses.

It is heartening to now see; those returned soldiers being given recognition and credit for their sacrifices.

Lest we forget.

ETA: Japanese 'history" lessons!??? Hahah! BS ... much!
edit on 14-5-2013 by Timely because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 06:07 AM
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I dont think anyone could write down all the holes they have left in history books ha. But i graduated a couple years back and although my school had an amazing history section by the end of the last mandatory year we barely even mentioned the war in vietnam, we mostly focused on all the # that was going on in america around that time like the issues with segregation and a lot more of people protesting the war than the actual war itself, i think the most discussion on the war had to be when we watched forest gump (i had a bad ass history class
). But what can you expect, no country wants to talk about a war that was just a complete embarrassment on their history, especially one that shouldnt have even happened in the first place.
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 06:17 AM
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reply to post by HaraNarada
 



But what can you expect, no country wants to talk about a war that was just a complete embarrassment on their history, especially one that shouldnt have even happened in the first place.


Those sound like a very good reasons why it should be studied in depth.



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 10:03 AM
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I think that history is a telling combination of two words
HIS STORY
In other words, history is always written from somebodys viewpoint no matter who writes it or how hard they try to present "just the facts"
To this end i have heard various accounts of most historical events.
We may examine the mechanical aspects of history far better than the emotional ones.
And its the emotional traumas that set the personalities of the survivors and their offspring.
Sometimes i think this psychological profile is what really goads human history down the paths that it has taken....



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 10:03 AM
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dble
edit on 14-5-2013 by stirling because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by Slugworth
reply to post by HaraNarada
 



But what can you expect, no country wants to talk about a war that was just a complete embarrassment on their history, especially one that shouldnt have even happened in the first place.


Those sound like a very good reasons why it should be studied in depth.


I think we should remove war from history completely, they make heroes and brave man out of criminals and murderers.



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 11:27 AM
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reply to post by XaniMatriX
 


How do you propose that we do that? Removing it from the history books is not going have any effect on the memories of those currently living who have experienced war. How would you silence those people? What about all of the literature that contains references to war? Should we start burning copies of Macbeth?



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 11:36 AM
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Originally posted by Slugworth
reply to post by XaniMatriX
 


How do you propose that we do that? Removing it from the history books is not going have any effect on the memories of those currently living who have experienced war. How would you silence those people? What about all of the literature that contains references to war? Should we start burning copies of Macbeth?


They can talk all they want it's not like we have to shut them up, and yes, remove all history that contains violence and is spoken of as heroic acts. These history lessons making younger generations believe that killing and invading countries is a honorable act, is just plain wrong.

Also there is nothing positive in learning about war, there are no benefits, and is irrelevant to everyday life, thus should be excluded from history.
edit on 14-5-2013 by XaniMatriX because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 11:38 AM
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I dont recall talking about any wars in school. My school was not big on history. To view this from an outside perspective, history is tied into culture, should take that into consideration.



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by Slugworth
reply to post by XaniMatriX
 


How do you propose that we do that? Removing it from the history books is not going have any effect on the memories of those currently living who have experienced war. How would you silence those people? What about all of the literature that contains references to war? Should we start burning copies of Macbeth?


I think you are answering your own questions. It is impossible to erase history. But think what is going to happen in the year 2500. That is a lot of history, think what history classes would be like and how much time this would take up.



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 11:45 AM
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reply to post by XaniMatriX
 



They can talk all they want it's not like we have to shut them up

Are they allowed to write? Under your plan would veterans be allowed to write history books? What about civilian victims of war? Would you silence them as well?

I'm really trying to wrap my head around what you are saying. It sounds like you are advocating censorship of anyone who wants to write about their war experience. Holocaust survivors would probably not appreciate it if you erased WWII from history.



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 11:54 AM
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Originally posted by Slugworth
reply to post by XaniMatriX
 



They can talk all they want it's not like we have to shut them up

Are they allowed to write? Under your plan would veterans be allowed to write history books? What about civilian victims of war? Would you silence them as well?

I'm really trying to wrap my head around what you are saying. It sounds like you are advocating censorship of anyone who wants to write about their war experience. Holocaust survivors would probably not appreciate it if you erased WWII from history.


This is gonna sound rude and disrespectful, but WW2 happened, it's done now so forget about it. The story of the Holocaust is exaggerated in history books to be something it wasn't. (my grandma is one of the survivors), and how they teach it in history class makes her laugh, because it's all upside down.

People can still write about their own experience but i have yet to meet a war veteran who wrote or spoke of their actions as heroic, only history books do that. Civilians of war are the ones that want to forget about those scenarios also, so teaching about WAR in history only does harm then any good.



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 02:19 PM
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reply to post by XaniMatriX
 


Following this premise, a newly printed history book would read "George W. Bush served as president from 2001-2009. His term as president was marked by many achievements of foreign policy. Notably, he assisted in the diplomatic restructuring of the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan."

I think the idea of throwing out large swaths of history is a dangerous notion, and impossible to implement. If you erase portions of history it ceases to be history. If you ignore the bad parts and only include the good parts it starts to look more like feel-good propaganda.



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 02:29 PM
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I remember my Uncle enlisting in 67 to avoid the draft.He returned home with severe PTSD syndrome for many years.The soldiers then are the same today,tools of the politicians.Its not like they themselves decide who to wage war against.One night he told me the dumbest thing to do would be join the military.



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 06:01 PM
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Originally posted by Slugworth
reply to post by XaniMatriX
 


Following this premise, a newly printed history book would read "George W. Bush served as president from 2001-2009. His term as president was marked by many achievements of foreign policy. Notably, he assisted in the diplomatic restructuring of the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan."

I think the idea of throwing out large swaths of history is a dangerous notion, and impossible to implement. If you erase portions of history it ceases to be history. If you ignore the bad parts and only include the good parts it starts to look more like feel-good propaganda.


Now you see, even that so called "newly printed" history book would be lying, they can say G.W. Bush was a president, but he hardly has a say in anything, actually he never had any power to begin with, teaching history including the "bad" moments is okay, not when it's all twisted to make the criminals look good.

So yeah, i still stand that history should be removed if it has information in it that doesn't represent the truth. Even in terms of Alexander the great, his story was twisted also, beginning with the fact that he was called "The great", when in reality he was nothing more then a blood thirsty criminal, but do they teach that in schools, absolutely not, they tell us that he was a great man who did lots of great things, which is bs. I don't stand for lying especially when it comes to an academic level.

Even in history when it comes to WW1 and 2, again the whole story is twisted, in reality, criminals started to fight, then that fight ended with millions dead. Making the people that had nothing to do with holocaust look guilty, like Hitler for example. It's just one technique they use to make something such as invading a foreign country acceptable.

In reality, 90% of the camps housed war criminals, all those nazi soldiers were Russians that dressed like Germans, and they were the ones to torture and burn Russians, criminals, a few jews, and anyone that didn't want to fight in the war, do they teach that in history class, no they don't. So is it okay to teach kids about events that have been twisted and reconstructed to fit an agenda?
edit on 14-5-2013 by XaniMatriX because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 06:04 PM
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and the korean war....



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 06:48 PM
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Now you see, even that so called "newly printed" history book would be lying, they can say G.W. Bush was a president, but he hardly has a say in anything, actually he never had any power to begin with, teaching history including the "bad" moments is okay, not when it's all twisted to make the criminals look good.

There is no lie contained in the statement about Bush's presidency. There is no claim of power made, only that he held office. The reason that statement is misleading is precisely because it omits a large part of the story, namely the method (war) that was used to restructure the Iraqi and Afghan governments. If you omit the part about the war you are left with only a small part of the story.

Describing Alexander as "blood-thirsty" is not factual unless you meant it literally and he really did drink blood. It is no different from saying he was a nice guy. A factual statement would be something like "there is evidence that thousands died as a result of Alexander's conquests."


So is it okay to teach kids about events that have been twisted and reconstructed to fit an agenda?

It is preferable to ignoring it completely. Studying history is not necessarily about memorizing facts. It is also about understanding the process of separating history from fiction or opinion, similar to the way that chemistry is not really about memorizing the periodic table as much as it is about understanding how the periodic table came to exist. It is about the process as much as it is about the product. I'm sure some history teachers gloss over the process of recording history and focus on what was recorded, just like some chemistry teachers skip the reasoning behind the periodic table and just make sure everyone has it memorized. A lazy teacher does not discredit the entire field of study.

Is there any historical event that you think should be taught to students? I'm looking for just one example of history that you think is worthy of academic attention. From what you have said so far I can't imagine that any historical record of anything, ever, since the beginning of recorded time would pass the standard that you are setting. Should history be studied at all?



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 06:55 PM
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High school history is just a brief overview of everything so there isn't really time to go that in-depth about anything.

You need to go to college for that.

Certain wars are almost completely skipped over because their impacts were relatively minor. Vietnam had major cultural impacts at the time but it didn't really change anything in the world.

You'll notice that WWII is usually the focus and WWI is almost hardly ever mentioned other than to say that it happened.

Nobody goes into detail about the Korean War either.



posted on May, 14 2013 @ 07:09 PM
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reply to post by Hopechest
 



Certain wars are almost completely skipped over because their impacts were relatively minor. Vietnam had major cultural impacts at the time but it didn't really change anything in the world.


The people of My Lai would probably disagree, as would the people of all of the other villages that were burned down or shot up, as would the thousands of soldiers and civilians from all sides who were killed, maimed, or psychologically traumatized by the war, as would their family members, as would every Vietnamese kid who has stepped on a landmine since the war ended, as would anyone who has since survived a non-combat trauma because they were airlifted to a hospital.





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