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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Report of Film 'Against Coercion' Screening for Canadian Teachers カナダ教員向けの「君が代不起立」上映会報告

Dunc and Pat Shields, former teachers in North Vancouver kindly hosted a screening event of the film 'Kimigayo Fukiritsu (Against Coercion)' at their home on September 15th, 2007. We had about 20 participants, most of whom were current or former teachers who have worked in British Columbia. They were all surprised with the the fact that the Tokyo teachers were being punished just for not standing up for 'Kimigayo.' They wereall supportive of the persistent resistance by Kimiko Nezu and Junko Kawarai, and signed the petition to the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education for stopping the punishment. They were also impressed with the way Ms. Nezu welcomed diverse opinions over the issue, instead of expecting others to agree with her. I hope that this issue will gain more international attention and support by showing this film to more people in Canada.

The rest of this report is in Japanese.


上映後、参加者のから、「国歌を歌うときに立たないだけでこのような処分をされるとは、ただ、驚きだ」「これは公正 fair とは言えない」とのコメントが出た。前回と同様、「組合はなぜ何もしてくれないのか」との質問も出た。映画は、2006年9月、10・23通達に対する予防訴訟で、東京高裁での画期的勝訴判決という明るいニュースで終わった。しかし、都と都教委は控訴していること、教育基本法が改変されたこと、石原都知事が再選されたこと、根津さん、河原井さんらの処分は続いていること、等の「その後」を伝えたら、参加者は皆がっかりしている様子だった。

確かにカナダの学校でも国歌「オー・カナダ O Canada」を歌うことはある。何人かの先生に聞いたところ、歌う人も歌わない人もいるという。息子の学校で歌うときも同じような印象を受けた。歌わない人についてはそれは何か国歌に対して否定的な気持ちがあるというからでは必ずしもなく、ただ歌う気がしないから歌わないのであろうということである。移民の国カナダでは、私を含め、国歌の歌詞もよくわからないという人は多いし、それが問題にされるということはまずない。もし起立しない教師がいたらどうかと尋ねたら、「どうして立たないのかと思われるだろうけど、それに対して処分されるということは有り得ない」との答えが返ってきた。

もちろん、「君が代」と他国の国歌は単純に比較できるものではないだろう。どの国歌にも、異なる歴史的背景があるからだ。1980年に国歌の制定を受けた「オー・カナダ」は、当たり障りのない歌で、特定の歴史や戦争と関連づけられるということはまずない。日本の「君が代」の、君主制や軍国主義との関連を知るとほとんどのカナダ人は、イギリス国歌「女王陛下万歳 God Save the Queen」を連想するようだ。英国連邦の一国であるカナダでは、かつてはこの歌を国歌のように歌うことが習慣であったようだが、私が最近話すカナダ人は、ほとんどがこの歌について否定的な反応を示した。現在カナダの学校でこの歌が斉唱されるということは殆どないようである。参加者の中にイギリス出身者もいて、彼女によると、イギリスでも「女王陛下万歳」は、イングランド偏重の歌詞であり、スコットランド人をやっつけろ、といった歌詞も含まれるので、問題視する人は多いと言う。





Friday, September 21, 2007

Peace Boat Voyages for the Truth - a report by Yumiko Kikuno

(Here is a report by Yumiko Kikuno of the Peace Boat call to Vancouver in May 18th, 2007. This was their 56th world voyage, which I participated as a guest educator between Acapulco and Vancouver. See the index on the right and click 'Peace Boat' for related postings. Thank you Yumiko for sharing this report with us!)

At this time of year, I see various types of deluxe cruise ships docking at the international ports in Vancouver. I sometimes guess their destinations, imagine their luxurious lives on board, and feel a little “jealous.” In May 2007, the ship, which has “Peace Boat” written on its body, called at Canada Place. It did not look like a “floating gorgeous hotel,” but its name “Peace Boat” stimulated my inquiry.

The Peace Boat is an international NGO whose mission is to build a culture of peace by linking people around the world, providing passengers with unique educational programs during its voyage. The Peace Boat’s first voyage, which set sail on September 2, 1983, was organized by a group of Japanese university students. At that time, the Japanese government was criticized by neighboring countries because they distorted history in school text books about Japan’s past military aggression in the Asia-Pacific. Young people, therefore, who started to have questions about history education in Japan, established the Peace Boat to research the facts of history and to focus on international exchange--people to people-- with a goal to build peace around the Asia-Pacific.

The most important characteristic of the Peace Boat is what brings reality into the programs: mobility. Because participants learn the issues of a country through workshops and lectures on the way to the next destination, they are able to address the theme more deeply when they explore the city and communicate with the local people. In other words, just after participants learn the topics of a country, they will actually see the real situation, not on TV or in a movie, but in person. Another exciting contributing component of the Peace Boat is that passengers have plenty of time to develop their new perspective and to organize their opinions without the typical distractions of work and family responsibilities. Moreover, after workshops or lectures, specialists (guest speakers) are still on the ship; participants therefore have many opportunities to ask them about the topics anywhere: at a restaurant, on the deck, and even in a washroom.

While the Peace Boat was sailing up to Vancouver, passengers had opportunities to learn some issues about Canada. This 56th cruise, North Vancouver’s Peace Educator, Satoko Norimatsu, founder of the Peace Philosophy Center, a place to facilitate learning for peace and sustainability, boarded the ship in Acapulco, Mexico as a guest speaker. She demonstrated at her work shops how to understand intercultural communication with her unique perspectives and introduced multiculturalism in Canada and peace activities in Vancouver. In addition, Theresa and Carrielynn, a First Nation’s hip hop group in Vancouver, accepted an invitation from the Peace Boat because they thought it would be a great chance to access different audiences, share their story, and they liked one of the Peace Boat’s philosophies: building a great understanding in cross cultural integration. They gave a lecture to tell what exactly happened to First Nation’s communities after Europeans had arrived. For example, abuse had never happened in their society till the residential school, where aboriginal children were taken from their family and forced to be institutionalized, era started. In fact, First Nation’s people deal with many issues: poverty, drug addiction, abuse, and so on. Theresa said, “We still suffer from colonization, but I do not intend to blame somebody for our tragic history. I just want to eradicate the wrong doings.” Finding out the root cause should be one of the paths to healing. At the end of interview, at the office of KAYA (Knowledgeable Aboriginal Youth Association), her face looked bright with hope, the young aboriginal hip hop star said, “We have survived, we are still here, and I want to be an example of how to find a way to fit to contemporary society with our own traditions.” When arriving in Vancouver, some passengers participated in a tour, visiting the Museum of Anthropology at UBC and the Aboriginal Women’s Center, where they enjoyed traditional meals, workshops, and performances.

Vancouver will be the destination of the Peace Boat’s 58th voyage in September 2007. When I see the Peace Boat at Canada Place next time, it will remind me of the message from Theresa to young aboriginals: keep your boat afloat. There are many problems all over the world, such as war, environmental pollution, and poverty. We should find creative solutions to preserve the space ship “Earth” as the Peace Boat floats on the ocean.

For more details:
Peace Boat:

Yumiko Kikuno, peace journalist

Thursday, September 20, 2007

(Japanese) A-Bomb Exhibit Report 原爆展レポート

This is a report of the A-Bomb Exhibit on August 4th and 5th, 2007, presented by Vancouver Save Article 9 (VSA9) and Peace Philosophy Centre. This was written by Yumiko Kikuno, a peace journalist who is also a member of VSA9. Yumiko was instrumental in putting this exhibit together. One can only imagine how hard she worked for this. Thank you Yumiko!

For English and Chinese speakers, please see a report by Arc Han here.

8月4日(土)、5日(日)にバンクーバー九条の会とピース・フィロソフィーセンターが主催で「原爆と人間展」を開催した。その週末は、バンクーバーで1977年から続いている日系人のお祭り「パウエル祭」がオッペンハイマー公園で開かれており、その公園から徒歩5分のバンクーバー日本語学校の教室を展示会場とした。まず、「パウエル祭」開会式において、バンクーバーのサム・サリバン市長が毎年8月6日を「Hiroshima・Day」とし、戦争被害者への慰霊と核兵器廃絶、そして平和を訴える宣言文を読み上げた。これは、カナダ人退役軍人で長年核兵器廃絶運動に尽力しているDavid Laskey氏が市長に交渉して実現した。サリバン市長はその後、「原爆と人間展」にも足を運んだ。


  *戦争による加害、旧日本軍が近隣諸国に与えた苦しみに焦点をあてるため、従軍慰安婦関連の資料を展示 (カナダBC州を拠点とし、人権運動などに活発に取り組んでいる団体BC ALPHAによる資料パネルの提供)






ピースジャーナリスト 菊野由美子

Friday, September 14, 2007

(Japanese) 憲法をめぐる世論の動き

Good news! According to the Yomiuri Newspaper poll, public support for the current Japanese Constitution, specifically Article 9, is growing.












Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Film 'Against Coercion' Screening 「君が代不起立」上映

The film 'Against Coercion' will be screened at in North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Starting 1 PM

Saturday, September 15th

This film screening will be hosted by Dunc Shields.

Satoko Norimatsu will introduce the film and facilitate the discussion after the film.

For details, email

For your information, here is the review of the film when it was screened at Sophia University in Tokyo.

Related Articles:

Hinomaru, 'Kimigayo' express conflicts both past and future
(Japan Times)

Punished teachers lose 'Kimigayo' suit
Kyodo News
(Japan Times)

10 teachers lose 'Kimigayo' lawsuit against Tokyo (Japan Times)

Politicians, Teachers and the Japanese Constitution: Flag, Freedom and the State
(Japan Focus)

Conscience and a Music Teacher's Refusal to Play the National Anthem
by Tanaka Nobumasa

(Japan Focus)

Japan’s Education Law Reform and the Hearts of Children
Miyake Shoko
Translated by Adam Lebowitz

(Japan Focus)