- 教育研究 国際基督教大学学報 1-A 国際基督教大学学報 01 A (ISSN:04523318)
- no.22, pp.p41-69, 1979-03
The separation of religion and politics as a fundamental human right in modern civil society was developed through many difficulties and struggles between the church and the state. These struggles resulted in the transfer of the right to administrate education from the church to the state and the establishment of a theory of "secularization" of public education. The latter theory stated that the freedom of religion of taxpayers and of pupils. receiving education should not be violated by the state which offers that education. Freedom of religion also ensured the right to have religious education at private schools. The Meiji Restoration though was begun based on the idea of the unity of the church and the state, seeking to make Shintoism the religion of the state. As the result, the government both emphasized the fostering of traditional patriotism (nationalism) and loyalty to the state along with an arrangement of national education based on a modern educational system. In order to accomplish this, religious and moral education played a large part of the role. Under these circumstances then, though secularization of public education in Japan was advanced, it entailed a deep internal contradiction. The Meiji government set up a policy that ensured neutrality of education on the principle of the separation of religion and politics. But they gave the same position to State Shintoism as a state religion and put the Emperor at the apex who was sacred and inviolate. People were thus forced to worship the Emperor and his family. The Imperial Constitution confined freedom of religion within the range of the Emperor system. All religions except for State Shintoism were subordinate to it. Religious ceremonies of State Shintoism were introduced into school education from the 1890's by means of the Imperial Rescript on Education so that religions except for State Shintoism were completely removed from schools. Order No. 12, issued in 1899 by the Ministry of Education, prescribed the exclusion of all religious education and religious ceremonies from schools, even from private schools. The Order superficially provided for strict separation of religion and politics, but its chief purpose was to omit religions other than State Shintoism from all school education. The rapid growth of capitalism and class struggles in Japan though, made it difficult for cultural and moral ideas alone to maintain national unity. In addition, there was the problem that many students and teachers believed in Socialism. With the outbreak of the "Manchurian Incident" which marked the beginning of the subsequent Japanese aggression, the government presented a policy to foster religious sentiment in order to counter Marxism. It was at this time that the Ministory of Eucation issued a notice in the name of the Vice-Minister of Education concerning "Cultivation of Religious Sentiment" in 1935, which was an arbitrary interpretation of Order No. 12. The government, in the notice, encouraged "religious sentiment" education in public schools. The "religious sentiment" was prescribed as "something religious" or "religiosity" that should not incline toward a particular religion or denomination. Many theories were written to ensure justification of the notice. However, since there was no such entity as religion in general, this gave rise to confusion in the classrooms. Consequently, education preaching loyalty to the Emperor was introduced in the form of non-sectarian "religious sentiment" prescribed by the Ministry of Education.