Hiroshima Peace Science Volume 17
1994 発行

国際化時代における「日本事情」教育の課題 : グローバル教育の視点から

Nihonjijo' reconsidered : The possibilities of global perspective
The terms 'Nihongo-Nihonjijo' (Japanese language, Japan's cultural background) were originally promulgated by the Ministry of Education to all the national & private universities in 1957. The terms seemed intended to describe a special subject area which the Japanese university would be well advised to offer in their curriculum for foreign undergraduates. In the period since that time, the field of Japanese as a Second Language has made tremendous advances as an academic field, but the area of Japan's cultural backgound has been largely neglected. With the government support of foreign student education, there has been a sizeable increase in the numbers of faculty involved in Nihongo-Nihonjijo: despite this boom, surprisingly little has been done to clarify the focus of Nihonjijo within the curriculum. This negIect was not only on the part of the educational policymakers but also on the part of researchers involved in discussions of the internationalization of Japanese higher education and foreign student education. The vacuum of constructive criticism remains despite the only-too-apparent lack of consensus among educators in the field about educational goals, curriculum content, and methodology and despite the widespread dissent in educational philosophy. One noticiable thing in excisting criticism is the lack of global perspective, although the issue of the importance of globalism became an issue in the field of education in the late 1980's. This article reviews the trend in research in the Nihongo-Nihonjijo area in the last few decades with an eye to analyzing the neglect of Nihonjijo. The article then attempts to suggest the need for reform and development in the field of Nihonjijo from the new perspective of global education for foreign students. The actualization of globalism involves a difficult task as it always risks confrontation with strong elements in the self guarding against change, elements like traditionalism, patriotism, and ethnocentricity. The process often requires a surrender of vested inter