“One Nation, One Language, One Language!”
oukoku e tsuzuku was the third part of the Meiji Restoration Project. It was introduced in order to introduce Japanese as the “whole language”one nation, one language” approach.
The intention of the Ministry of Education was to allow more Japanese to be taught in Japanese schools to help better bridge the gap between the Japanese and the non-Japanese. The resulting “minority students” in Japanese schools would be fluent enough to hold regular positions in both Japanese and non-Japanese organizations. Another objective was to promote and encourage a more bilingual work force.
In order to achieve this goal, Japanese educators came up with the idea of “one nation, one language,” i.e. the use of a Japanese textbook in Japanese and English classrooms. Japanese textbooks will help students understand what they’re studying.
However, the “minority students” of Japanese schools and organizations are more likely to be the Japanese immigrants from Japan who come from families of low social status. That is, the “non-minority students” are the children of the Nisei.
The children of the Nisei were often forced to work in labor camps in Japan. And even after being released, they had to deal with the embarrassment of looking Japanese. The knowledge of being Japanese was something that they never really got over.
But, one does not have to be born into the Nisei generation to be a part of the “minority students.” In fact, it has been found that some people can learn the Japanese language with enough practice. By learning the Japanese language through books, the writer gains a new language skill that he can use to communicate with others in his society.
With the introduction of Oukoku E Tsuzuku, it is hoped that the Nisei will also be able to benefit from its use in Japanese school and organizations. The Japanese school system will have an additional resource that will be able to offer the children of the Nisei educational opportunities beyond that which they were already able to access through their teachers.
In addition, there is also the hope that the non-Japanese community will view these foreign students as not being as bad as other international student. And, if they do accept these international students, at least they will know that the society and environment where these students are living are much different than what they may be used to.