The nail that sticks out is hammered down

July 27th, 2009

The nail that sticks out is hammered down is a Japanese saying, encapsulating their societies attitude to individuality, outsiders, weirdos, eccentrics and anyone who does not fit in:

Scary stuff ay?

While we are at it, take a look at this:

I recently met “Maria,” a college-age Brazilian of Japanese descent. She and her younger sister, “Nicola,” grew up as children of Brazilian laborers in Shizuoka Prefecture. With factories producing machinery, chemicals, tea, etc., their region contains about a third of Shizuoka Prefecture’s nearly 100,000 NJ residents.

They went to Japanese primary schools without incident.

In high school, however, Nicola ran afoul of school rules.

Nicola has wavy brown hair, unlike Maria’s straight black. So Nicola got snagged by the school’s “hair police.”

“Every week teachers would check if Nicola was dyeing her hair brown,” explained Maria. “Even though she said this is her natural color, she was instructed to straighten and dye it black.

“She did so once a week. But the ordeal traumatized her. She still has a complex about her appearance.”

Even after leaving the school, Nicola’s hair is still damaged.

Her health may also have suffered. Google “hair coloring” and “organ damage” and see what reputable sources, such as the American Journal of Epidemiology and the National Institutes of Health, have to say about side effects: lymphatic cancer, cataracts, toxins, burns from ammonium persulfate


More here. Absolutely unbelievable. To many people, these acts seem backwards, brutish, brainless, pointless and terrible; remember however, what happens in Japan, stays in Japan. What they do in their own country is their own business. If you do not like what they do, do not go and live there. They have been like that for a very long time, and even if they had not been like that, if you do not want THEM to come to your house and tell you what to do, you had better not go to THEIR houses and tell THEM how to live.

Before anyone says the same about Britain and its proposed changes to Home Education, i.e. if you don’t like it, LEAVE, you must realize that Home Education has been well established in the UK for generations, and that what is being planned is a complete change of the rules after the game has started. If someone came to live here thirty years ago because Britain was one sort of place, and invited them on that basis, it is totally wrong to ‘bait and switch’ and then change everything to garbage.

There is a meme circulating around the educationalist circles, ‘0-6’, ‘0-5’ ‘0-n’. These educational talibanistas are obviously all reading the same journal. Take a look at these two pieces, one from Japan and the other from India. The emphasis is mine:

Escalating Home Visits by Authorities in Japan and elsewhere

Kyoko Aizawa of Otherwise Japan (a homeschool support organization) sent out word of a new law that is effective as of July 1.   Kyoko states this new law authorizes arbitrary governmental visits of any child’s home. 

Wendy Priesnitz of Natural Life Magazine also pointed out The Long Arm of the Law in Japan – July 12, 2009

I’ve just received an email from my long-time contact in Japan, Kyoko Aizawa (Otherwise Japan) about a change in the law about homeschooling in Japan. Until now, the law has been rather murky there, with a few (estimated at under 1,000) families labeled as “school refusers.” Now, it seems, the government is cracking down with a new law that passed on July 1 governing people ages zero to forty, some of whom could be willfully unemployed or otherwise not comfortable functioning in society…or who choose to learn at home. Kyoko worries it is “really dangerous” because it gives the police the power, among other things, to enter people’s homes and force children under the age of 15 who don’t go to school either “into school or a mental hospital to be medicated.” This is, says Kyoko, “forcing parents to raise children according to the government’s childrearing practices…and endangers basic parental rights to education children according to their convictions.” The stated aim of the new law is “to support people who have problems living as normal members of society.” But the definition of “support” is one I’d have to disagree with and, in fact, this law appears to violate human rights in some serious ways.

Zero to five is a popular catch phrase in the United States now.   It describes a plan to get children “school ready”, from the time they are first born until they walk in the kindergarten door.  That oversight (including home visits) is suggested far and wide, from the right heading over to the left. Universal screening for mental health is often part of that package.

Kyoko has legitimate concerns in Japan and there are alarming comparisons in the United States.

From the Home Education Magazine 1998 archives about the ramifications of “school refusal”:

In Japan, Alternative Ed Linked To Truants And Dropouts- Linda Dobson

“Can Truants, Dropouts Find an Alternate Road to Education?” Mick Corliss, The Japan Times, January 4, 1998, pp. 1 & 2

In this one of an eight-part series of articles for this English language newspaper, reporter Mick Corliss takes a look at alternatives to state education in Japan. These alternatives appear not to be successful, viable family options, but options for kids who are truant or drop-outs, “the overlooked casualties of the rigid educational system.” “More than 77,000 students missed more than 50 days of school in 1996 for the expressed reason that they ‘hate school,’” states Corliss, admitting this is merely an official number, and when you add in those “who missed more than 30 days for other reasons, such as illness…the total exceeds 180,000.” Corliss notes a gradual change in society’s attitude toward these students; instead of problem youth they are “labeled” nonattendance students. Even the Education Ministry has been forced to acknowledge the country has a problem and accepts that “school refusal” can happen to any child and is not “akin to a sickness requiring treatment.”

Apparently the situation has not improved, as home education is still not legal in Japan.  The solutions for these problems don’t seem to be serving the children’s educational needs.  From Linda Dobson’s 1998 article:

Kyoko Aizawa, who runs the homeschool support organization Otherwise Japan and who attended the GWS conference last August, points out that Japan needs alternatives that are “not under government control.”

Genji Tsuda is an attorney who specializes in child welfare law.

“Ever since the Meiji Era,” says Tsuda, “Japan’s educational system has been designed to strengthen the nation-state. The emphasis has been on producing people who can help Japan become a great power…The inertia of the status quo has preserved this antiquated system, embedding it deeply in the social psyche.” I’d say Tsuda has put his finger on the pulse of what is wrong not only in Japan, but in America and elsewhere.


Home Ed Mag

And from the Times of India:

Children in the age group 0-6 years not covered

The Supreme Court’s historic Unnikrishnan judgment in 1993, gave all children up to 14 years of age a Fundamental Right to Education. The court contended that the Fundamental Right to Life (Article 21) of the Constitution should be read in ‘harmonious construction’ with the Directive in Article 45 to provide free and compulsory education to children of 0-14 years, including those below six years of age. However, the 86 th Constitutional Amendment Act, Article 21A, limited the fundamental right to education to 6-14 years and this Act will further this huge mistake by not recognising the importance of the early years. This is in contradiction to India’s own commitment at the Jomtien Conference (1990), acknowledging expansion of early childhood care and development activities as an integral part of the ‘Education for All’ objectives. Globally, recognition exists that the early years are the most critical years for lifelong development. This recognition comes from various quarters, including evidence from brain research that ‘…neurological and biological pathways that affect health, learning and behaviour throughout life, are set in the early years…’ (Mustard, 2007). Research has noted that neglect during the early years can often result in irreversible reduction in the full development of the brain’s potential. On the other hand, research the world over has underlined the short and long term benefits of good quality early childhood care and development programming especially in contexts of deprivation, leading to improvement in children’s health, cognitive ability and performance at school.

How can a Bill be enacted six decades after Independence and make this major error? India cannot afford to deprive its youngest 16-crore population of a right to nutrition, health and early childhood education as enshrined in the Convention of the Rights of Children, to which India is a signatory. By not including 0-6 years in the Bill, the country is also furthering gender discrimination, since it is always the girl who is left to take care of the younger siblings, thus, depriving her of her right to education.


Times of India

And there you have it. Renegade Parent wrote about how, in a near future Britain should ContactPoint be rolled out refusal to accept the ‘offer’ of a nursery place might land you with an accusation of being a bad parent; its clear that there is a move, internationally, to remove parents from the equation of child-rearing from ‘year zero’, and that this agenda is being deliberately and maliciously orchestrated.

We have to call it what it is, Fascism, in order to begin to put a stop to it.

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