Visiting Scholar Lecture:
The Threat of Revisionism to Japanese History Textbooks: State Intervention and Citizen Resistance

Nobuyoshi Takashima, University of the Ryukyus, Japan
Wednesday 14 October 2015, 12:30-2:00 pm (light lunch at 12:00 pm)
University of BC, Faculty of Education, Scarfe Building, Room 310

The video recording of this lecture can be viewed on YouTube at

Over the past two decades, Japan’s junior high school history textbooks have been highly politicized. Conservative scholars, politicians, and journalists have attempted to justify Imperial Japan’s military aggression in Asia, culminating in the publication of two junior high school history textbooks written from a revisionist perspective. However, many teachers and scholars have resisted this movement by describing historical facts accurately in other textbooks. Working collaboratively with schoolteachers from 1975 onward, I carried out fieldwork collecting documents and testimonies on the atrocities committed by the Japanese the Japanese Imperial Army in Southeast Asia. Current and retired teachers have also edited an alternative textbook to be implemented from 2016. This talk will examine the political backdrop of revisionism and ongoing resistance efforts.   

Nobuyoshi Takashima is Professor Emeritus of the University of the Ryukyus in Japan. He has worked as a high school social studies teacher, a teacher educator, and an author of history textbooks. In the 1970s, he began conducting research on the Imperial Japanese Army’s atrocities committed in Southeast Asia. He has also investigated Japanese civilians’ sufferings during the Battle of Okinawa and the politics of history textbooks in Japan. Since 1983, he has organized an annual study tour for Japanese teachers to learn about Imperial Japan’s invasion of Southeast Asia. His numerous publications include: Hachijûnen dai no kyôkasho mondai [Textbook Controversies in the 1980s] (1984); Tabi shiyô tônan ajia e [An Invitation to Southeast Asia Travel] (1987); and Ryokô gaido ni nai ajia o aruku: Marêshia [Off the Beaten Track in Asia: Malaysia] (2010).

This lecture was supported by the Centre for Japanese Research, the Department of History, and the Department of Language and Literacy Education.

For a comprehensive list of related events, please visit the Upcoming Events page on the site of The History Education Network / Histoire et éducation en réseau (THEN|HiER).


New Directions in Assessing Historical Thinking
Edited by Kadriye Ercikan and Peter Seixas

In this volume, leading European and North American scholars and practitioners tackle one of the most important, yet most neglected, topics in the field - assessment. History educators at all levels will benefit from the wide range of practical, thought-provoking, and cutting-edge insights into "how we know" what students know and how they reason in history. More than a work only about assessment, this book maps out a landscape of competing ideas about it means to think historically.

For more information and to order, please download the flyer.

The Big Six Historical Thinking Concepts
Peter Seixas and Tom Morton

Big-SixSeixas, Peter, and Tom Morton. The Big Six Historical Thinking Concepts. Toronto: Nelson, 2012.

This beautiful and thought-provoking PD resource will help educators to better understand historical thinking and to integrate six historical thinking concepts into classrooms through model activities and teaching strategies.

Each chapter begins with a discussion of how a prominent Canadian author has engaged one of the six concepts while writing a work of history or historical fiction. The second half of each chapter provides practical teaching strategies for working with the concepts at different grade levels, and levels of sophistication.

Table of Contents:

  1. Historical Significance
  2. Evidence
  3. Continuity and Change
  4. Cause and Consequence
  5. Historical Perspectives
  6. The Ethical Dimension

DVD-ROM includes:

To order, please visit Nelson Education.


Seixas, Peter, et Tom Morton. Les six concepts de la pensée historique. Montréal : Modulo, 2013. (Traduction de The Big Six Historical Thinking Concepts.)

Conçu de facture élégante pour inspirer la réflexion, le livre propose des modèles d’activités et des stratégies d’enseignement afin d’aider les enseignants à mieux comprendre la pensée historique et à intégrer les six concepts de la pensée historique dans leur enseignement.

Chacun des chapitres débute par un exposé sur la façon dont un auteur canadien de renom s’est inspiré d’un des six concepts lors de la rédaction d’une recherche ou d’une fiction historique. La seconde partie offre des stratégies pratiques d’enseignement pour utiliser les concepts, et ce, à divers niveaux d’enseignement et de complexité.

Table des matières :

  1. La pertinence historique
  2. La preuve
  3. La continuité et le changement
  4. Les causes et les conséquences
  5. La perspective historique
  6. La dimension éthique

Le DVD inclut :

Informations de commande: Modulo


New Possibilities for the Past: Shaping History Education in Canada

Penney Clark (ed.)


The place of history in school curricula has sparked heated debate in Canada. Is Canadian history dead? Who killed it? Should history be put in the service of nation? Can any history be truly inclusive?

In this volume, museum educators, secondary school teachers, and leading and emerging historians and history educators define a new agenda for history education research by shifting the focus from content to method, from what should be included in narratives about the past to how to think about and teach history. They document the state of history education theory, research, and practice and consider the implications of research for classrooms from kindergarten to graduate school and in other contexts, including museums, virtual environments, and public institutional settings. They also consider the perspectives of indigenous peoples, the citizens of Quebec, and advocates of citizenship education.

Reflecting current critical engagement among historians, educators, and the Canadian public, New Possibilities for the Past sets a comprehensive research agenda both to help students at all levels learn about the past, and, more importantly, to understand how we construct history from its infinite possibilities.

To order, please visit UBC Press.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Centre for the Study of Historical Consciousness
Faculty of Education
Scarfe Building, Room 1326
2125 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia