Indigenous in Japan? The Reluctance of the Japanese State to Acknowledge Indigenous Peoples and Their Need for Education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

  • Madoka Hammine


This chapter explores the history and current situation of indigenous education in the Ryūkyūs, comparing it with the case of the Ainu, the only nationally recognised indigenous group of Japan. I investigate (1) how Japan has dealt with education for its indigenous population, and (2) how indigenous groups pursue their indigenous identities in the current Japanese educational system. Japan is often considered a culturally homogeneous nation. Educational policies reproducing the dominant ideology of a monolingual, monocultural, and monoethnic nation have played an important role in shaping the discourse of the largely invisible indigenous peoples in Japan. I conclude that educational policies in Japan need to provide choices and tolerance for indigenous peoples, for the sake of the indigenous peoples to have a real choice to be indigenous in Japan.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSámi Educational History in a Comparative International Perspective
EditorsOtso Kortekangas, Pigga Keskitalo, Jukka Nyyssönen, Andrej Kotljarchuk, Merja Paksuniemi, David Sjögren
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages 225-245
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-24112-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-24111-7
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 2019
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book