Should Japanese schools teach multiculturalism?

by Masataka Yamamoto

Recently, the world internationalizes in everywhere and a lot of people’s exchange is going on in society. To understand the people who came from different places requires some knowledge of different cultures. Japan is one of the developed countries in the world so we have to know other cultures to play a role in international society as Japan.

I don’t think any Japanese schools teach multiculturalism so far. The word multiculturalism describes that the education of human race, ethnicity, gender, economic hierarchy, handicap problem, and sexual orientation. It is necessary to support students to realize who they are in many groups so they can understand what really they are. However, many old people try to protect Japanese culture itself from other cultures’ intervention. Also Japanese geographical features are island so it has fewer relations with other cultures, compared to countries which are located on the continent. Japan has fewer chances to touch with other cultures so Japan should more freely to know other cultures.

In my opinion, Japanese school should teach multiculturalism in every school. It is because I have an experience of living in countryside of the United States and there were many black people and fewer Asian people. White people and black people were friendly to each other, but not to Asians. They called us like narrow eyes, kamikaze, yellow monkey, whatever that describes Asian or Japanese people badly. I felt very uncomfortable by being called such discriminatory words, so I thought it needs to disappear. This happened in the U.S., and Japan has fewer chances to get with other cultures than the U.S. If many foreigners go to Japanese elementary school or junior high and Japanese students don’t have multicultural education, what will happen? I think students will have discrimination against different cultures. To prevent this from happening, every Japanese school should teach multiculturalism for understanding of other cultures. Also knowing other cultures have merits when people going to other countries. For example, people in U.S. are mixed together as German, Russian, African, Chinese, etc. so to know other cultures is important in international society.

In conclusion, Japanese school should teach multiculturalism to understand other cultures and learning multiculturalism will need when people go to another places. People are exchanging everywhere in this International society so learning of multiculturalism will be main tool to have a communication with people from different places.

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