満洲国における「国語」政策 : 「新学制」にみる「国家」と「国語」像 [in Japanese] A STUDY OF MANCHUKUO'S LANGUAGE POLICY : THE REPRESENTATION OF NATION AND NATIONAL LANGUAGE IN THE NEW SCHOOL SYSTEM [in Japanese]
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During the colonization of Manchukuo, it was decided to have more than one national language; not only Japanese, but also Chinese and Mongolian were formally defined as the languages of the state. This language policy, different from that of other Japanese colonies such as Korea and Taiwan, was derived from Manchukuo's official ideology of Minzoku Kyowa (ethnic harmony). Japanese, however, was in fact the primary language and assigned to a special status as the common language in spite of the fact that native Japanese speakers accounted for less than 1% of the entire Manchukuo population. Consequently, Japanese language was given priority in education as seen in the New School System, proclaimed in 1937. In this education system, Japanese was officially announced as one of the national languages of Manchukuo and became a compulsory subject for all the children in Manchukuo, no matter what ethnic group they belonged to, while the other national languages were not required for non-native speakers. To justify the discrepancy between tatemae (the ideology of multilingualism) and honne (the reality of the precedence of Japanese), Japanese colonizers employed the concept of ethnic and linguistic hierarchy in which Japanese people and language were at the top. In the discussion of justification, Japanese language, as the common language of Manchukuo, was expected to work as "glue" that would unite people of various ethnic origins and turn them into the Manchukuo nation. The purpose of this essay is to examine the language policy in Manchukuo in order to clarify the nature of Japanese colonizers' conceptualization of their own language. Also, referring to such concepts as nationalism and modernity, this essay places Manchukuo's language policy into a wider historical and ideological context. In this way, the language policy will be understood as an integral part of the Japanese colonizers' project of making a modern nation-state.