The Rescript Essay

428 WordsJul 30, 20142 Pages
The Imperial Rescript on Education was signed by Emperor Meiji of Japan on 30 October 1890 to articulate government policy on the guiding principles of education on the Empire of Japan. It was written for all the Japanese students, letting all the children hark back to ‘the glory of the fundamental character of Our Empire’ and to ‘render illustrious the best traditions of your forefathers’. The intent of the Rescript was to ensure support and devotion for the cause of the state. The ethical base was loyalty to the Emperor and filial piety to one’s father. To spread these conceptions, the Rescript system was firmly established. In order to further this new directive, it was important that school children be thoroughly indoctrinated with the Rescript through rote memorization. That’s the reason why all Japanese students should study the Rescript. In 1891(Meiji 24), the government instituted an approval system for textbooks. At first, the textbooks were divided into those focused on virtues, of which there were more, and textbooks about virtuous people. The virtues included loyalty, friendship, benevolence, love and trust, reverence, and being modest and respectful to others. Each of these concepts was repeated every school year. The Imperial Rescript on Education re-enforced those traditional ideas. The outlines of Educational Rules for elementary school, issued by the Education Ministry in 1891, directed that elementary curriculum be based upon the Rescript. After it was issued, this Rescript was served to indoctrinate generations of school children. This document was read aloud at all important school events, and students were required to study and memorize the text. Every school-day a period of time was designated for children to listen to the Rescript. As the children became the subjects of indoctrination, and the government tried to eliminate scientific

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