- Japan Society for Southeast Asian Studies
- 東南アジア -歴史と文化- (ISSN:03869040)
- vol.1998, no.27, pp.73-96, 1998-06-01 (Released:2010-02-25)
It has been pointed out that there are some crucial differences about the nature of the Japanese language education in the Japanese territories of Southeast Asia. It, however, is difficult for us to recognize the differences because “assimilation policy” and “kominka policy” have been interpreted imprecisely.The aim of this paper is to compare and contrast the case in Malaya with that in the other territories of Southeast Asia on the Japanese language education under the Japanese occupation (1941-45) and direct our attention to the case in Malaya within the framework of the history of Japanese language education.In the early period Military Administration of the Japanese occupation, the Gunseikambu (Military Administration) attached a great deal of importanceto primary education as a means of popularizing the Japanese language. In the middle period Military Administration, however, it shifted the emphasis to the Japanese teaching coordinated with the spiritual training of Rensei Kyoiku. In the late period Military Administration, it emphasized more on strengthening Japanese language education and primary education.But at the final stage of the late period, the Gunseikambu shifted to relaxing its language policy, because the policy that instructors employed only Japanese as a teaching language was implemented too soon, so that it failed.For the reasons stated above, the Gunseikambu played a minimal role in the education policy, particularly during the initial and middle periods of the Japanese occupation. We can confirm that the Japanese language education policy in Malaya during the late period was more directly influenced by the Japanese language education policy of the Japanese government than that in the other Japanese territories of Southeast Asia.This policy in Malaya, however, was entirely based on the kokugo (national language) ideology, and the same teaching methodology used to teach in Japan and the Japanese colonies was employed in Malaya. Therefore, we can say that the Japanese language education policy in Malaya was ideologically a copy of the internal Japanese language education policy itself in some school, and it was most influenced by the kokugo ideology in the Japanese territories of Southeast Asia. But it eventually failed in Malaya because Japanese was not a Malayan common language nor the kokugo Malayans. In this sense, the nature of the Japanese language education in Malaya was different from that in the Japanese colonies.