Do Japanese People Learn World History?

Japan is a country with a rich cultural heritage and a fascinating history. It is well-known for its technological advancements, vibrant nightlife, and delicious cuisine.

However, many people wonder if Japanese people learn about world history in their education system. In this article, we will explore this question in depth.

Overview of Japanese Education System

The Japanese education system is highly regarded around the world for its rigorous curriculum and emphasis on discipline. Children attend elementary school for six years from the age of six, followed by three years of junior high school and three years of high school. After high school, students have the option to attend university or vocational schools.

History Curriculum in Japan

While the Japanese education system places a strong emphasis on teaching students about their own country’s history, it also includes lessons on world history. The Ministry of Education sets guidelines for what should be taught at each grade level.

In elementary school, students learn about ancient civilizations such as Greece and Rome. They also learn about important events like the Renaissance and the Age of Exploration.

In junior high school, the focus shifts to modern world history. Students study topics such as World War I and II, the Cold War era, and major political events like the Russian Revolution.

In high school, students have more freedom to choose their courses based on their interests. However, they are still required to take classes in world history as part of their graduation requirements.

Criticism of History Education in Japan

Despite efforts to provide a comprehensive education on both Japanese and world history, some critics argue that Japan’s education system downplays or ignores certain aspects of its own past.

For example, Japan’s role in World War II is often glossed over or omitted entirely from textbooks. The country’s treatment of its Asian neighbors during this time is a sensitive topic that has caused tension between Japan and other countries in the region.

In recent years, there have been efforts to revise history textbooks to provide a more balanced view of Japan’s past. However, these efforts have faced resistance from conservative politicians and groups who believe that acknowledging Japan’s past wrongdoings would be detrimental to the country’s image.


To answer the question, “Do Japanese people learn world history”, the answer is yes. The Japanese education system places a strong emphasis on teaching students about both their own country’s history and events that shaped the world as we know it today.

However, like any education system, there are criticisms and areas for improvement. While efforts have been made to provide a more comprehensive view of Japan’s past, there is still work to be done to ensure that students have a full understanding of their country’s role in world events.

  • Key Takeaways:
  • Japanese education system includes lessons on world history in addition to Japanese history
  • Critics argue that certain aspects of Japan’s past are downplayed or ignored
  • Efforts have been made to revise history textbooks for a more balanced view