Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Asian Studies

First Advisor's Name

Steven Heine

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Matthew Marr

Third Advisor's Name

Paul Kowert


Japan, History Textbook Controversy, Sino-Japanese Relations, Nanjing, Comfort Women, Japanese Language

Date of Defense



The relations between China and Japan are strained and continue to foster negative emotions partly because of China’s grievances about Japan’s actions during World War II and the allegedly false historiographical accounts found in Japanese history textbooks. This study will utilize historical analysis of the events leading up to the Nanjing Massacre in December of 1937, examine the Japanese Ministry of Education’s (MEXT) critical and contentious role in the selection of textbooks, used for primary and secondary schools, and will also juxtapose the controversial 2001 Atarashii rekishi kyōkasho with current Japanese history textbooks. The study will also include a syntactical analysis of key terms through my own original translations of multiple Japanese history textbooks, which are currently used in the Japanese school curriculum, to reveal that the textbook publishers, MEXT, and regulation councils are involved in adjusting the content causing the information to reveal various degrees of whitewashing.





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