Dowa Problem in Japanese School

In Japanese Society class, we learn about Dowa problem. As we confirm in the class, almost all Japanese students learned about Dowa problem in elementary school and junior high school. We Japanese learn about Dowa problem in moral education class. Moral education class is a class about moral, citizenship, and behavior pattern. In that class, students learn about right and wrong from a moral point of view. Japanese elementary and junior high school have moral education class. The moral education textbook usually have several stories that make students think about better citizen. The stories are typically heartwarming stories. The stories stimulate students to act kindly. However, it might be a problem that students learn about Dowa problem in such class. Because it is not a moral issue but social issue. Not only Dowa issue, but when we learn about discrimination issue, we tend to think it is not “our issue” but it is “their issue”. We learn about discrimination and tend to think some kind of people (not me) is discriminated and other kind of people (not me) discriminate them. However, all of us can be discriminated and can discriminate others. The solution of discrimination is not to change individual’s mind, but discrimination is human rights abuse. When Japanese students learn about Dowa problem in a moral education class, they would think “discrimination is bad thing! ‘They’ (people who discriminate others) have to change their mind!” Because Dowa issue is social problem, it should be taught as a human rights problem not as a moral problem in school.

by Nana Uno

3 thoughts on “Dowa Problem in Japanese School

  1. I also think that we are apt to regard such discrimination problems not as our problems but as their problems in learning them.

    We should know that we ourselves also may discriminate against someone or be discriminated against by someone through viewing the discrimination problems from various viewpoints.

  2. Akimi-san,
    Thank you for your comment.
    I learned this idea in other class. I was very impressed when I noticed that we take discrimination problem as “their issue”, so I’m glad to you also notice and agree with this idea.

  3. Hi! I really agree on what you said, so please let me comment ^0^
    I also think that Dowa problem is not a moral issue, but is a social issue; since the problem of “buraku” discrimination started because of the caste system set in the Edo period. Meaning, the primary cause of the discrimination was started by the politics, and was incorporated into the social structure.

    However, I think that for us to understand the problem in elementary school, we need to somehow learn it as a familiar case to first know how the discrimination makes the people feel, and how bad it is to treat people differently.
    And then, we should give a social education, cover the topics of human rights.
    So in my opinion, the combination of both moral and social education will lead to a better Dowa education in Japan.
    Thank you!

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