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 - Home School Legal Defense Association -



Homeschooling and Christian school movement in Japan
   By Hiro Inaba - President of Chea Japan

Dear brothers and sisters,

Thank you for your concern for the update situation of home schooling andChristian schools in Japan.  I also appreciate your consern for Chea Japan,Church and Home Educators Association Japan.  I really appreciate you.

Praise the Lord!

I will put an information about homeschooling situation in Japan, CheaJapan's activity ( nation wide homeschooling and Chrsitian schoolorganization since May 2000) .

If I say one sentence about the homeschooling situation in Japan, it is likea situation of 20 years ago of the United States. As there is very smallnumbera of Christian school ( about 20 right now), maybe I should say 40
years ago of the United States.  ( We will use a term, Chrisatian school,which will not include Mission school in Japan.  !40,000 students are goingto Mission school in Japan.  However, the schools useally use textbooks
which are authorised by the Japanese government, based on revolution curriculum.  In these two years, In addition to homeschooling, Christianschools have also increased, which have a deisre to teach children
independently based on Bible (Creation ) based curriculum.

Two years ago, when we started Chea Japan, there are very few Japanese knew about homeschooling, except some homeschooling missionaries friends.  But there are huge and serious needs right now about education or spiritual hunger in the Christian families.

Therefore, this is indeed `the timing` .  It is beginning period, but watershed period.  Therefore, I really appreciate that you had the concern about Japan in this timing.

This is the update report of Chea Japan, homeschooling and Christian school in Japan. ( May 10. 2002)

A.Chea Japan's status

The number of telephone, letters and mails to get counseling for homeschooling and Christian school to Chea
4,000/ 2001

The number of monthly news letters
1,200

The number of our quarterly magazine `Chea Japan' ( 100 pages )
4,000 - 5,000

How large is the number of homeschooling families in Japan right now?

Right now, some Japanese media say about 3,000 to 5,000.  However, nobody knows precise number.

Since Chea Japan has started since 2000 May, Japanese Christians has began to consider to start homeschooling to build up in Christ and to make them as a disciple of Jesus. Chea Japan has sent monthly news letter to 1,200 homeschoolers, Christian school, and churches right now.  About 5,000 people are reading our quartaly magazine.

How large is the number of Christian school in Japan?

About 30 Christian schools have started or have prepared to start in these two years.

How many students do not go to school and why are they not in schools?

The government calculates 130,000 elementary and junior high students do not go to school right now.  If we count high school students and the students who do not go to school part time, like two or three days per week, media will estimate the total number will be 500,000 students.  Recently, among the people in the educational industry say that the number is 1 million students.

Education of Japan is in confusion stage right now.  Obviously, the students will not go to school because of economical reason.  The main reasons are as follows:  Depression, Apathy with losing clear motivation and purpose for study.  In Japan, to enter excellent university and to be hired a big university and getting reputation and money was one of a successful goal of life. The children needed to study hard to win the race to achieve this goal.  However, many children could know now the achievement of that goal is not real happiness of life.

The communication and human relationship problem among friends, teachers and parents. Pressure from high competitive curriculum. Drop out for the curriculum which is very high speed and too much contents, Jubilee delinquency, lack of patience.  Children has sensed the problems of mass teaching system at school.  Spiritual hunger among children and Christian parents.

How is the legal situation ?

It is like a situation in 20 years ago in United States.  The law is very vague.  There are no clear home schooling law in Japan.  Many people think that it is illegal against a compulsory education law.  However, the
government do not arrest us, as they know if we fight at the court, they know they will be defeated.  The constitution of Japan and the United States is the same except a few article like an emperor.  It means that the
Japanese constitution support homeschooling as the US constitution supports homeschooling.  As the Japanese government knows the result in US, they are not against us openly.  As few Japanese still have a confidence about the Japanese education, the government can not give the strong pressure to this movement.

The Japanese second largest party, Democrats Party has taken pro homeschooling policy.  The staff of the party came to Chea Japan and they exchanged the opinion with us.  They have given their report about homeschooling debate in the Japanese Diet for Chea Magazine 3.

However, local educational committee people do not have such a wide knowledge and threaten many homeschooling candidates.  The social pressure from relatives and neighbors are also strong.  Therefore, one of the top questions to Chea among 4000  calling is how to resolve the relationship with school and educational committee.

Of course, with good preparation ( knowledge, materials, alternative curriculum plan...etc ) and confidence in Christ, most of the cases we have won and they started smoothly.  Right now, the key issue is to build up the strong conviction about homeschooling in each Christians who have a calling and commandment from God to do so.  Compared with two years ago, the atmosphere has been really changed.  The understanding and acceptance about the choise of homechooling are increasing rapidly among the public school and local educational commitees. Of course, it depends on each principal and each member of local educational committee.  However, this spring, every application for homeschooling , which were reported to Chea, were accepted by pubic schools and local government peacefully.  There was no threatning by them this year like two years ago.

We think main reasons are as follows;

  1. The information have been spread little by little.
  2. The confusion and needs in publich school have been increasing.
  3. The preparation and presentation by homeschooling candidates have been improved a lot.
  4. Jesus, the Holy Spirit is working for this issue very strongly to protect and develop this movement.

We Chea Japan has started the bible based textbook publication project to promote this movement.  The first one was published on March 2001.  We translated and printed `Bible Truth 2 ` of Bob Jones University.

How is the sales of Bob Jones " Bible Truth 2", which is the first attempt of bible based Japanese text book in Japan?

For these 10 months, 1,200 textbooks and 700 teacher's edition has been sold.  The first market goal has been achieved. The amount of the sales were about $45,000.

The cost of printing, designing and so forth was $70,000. Therefore, we need
to keep our effort more and more.

However, it is a miraculous result.  Chea Japan did not have a willing to publish the textbooks, as it took a lot of costs, people and energies. After the first Chea's conference, May 2000,  the demands for Bible based textbooks for homeschoolers and Christian school were huge.  I asked major Japanese Christian publishers to publish them, though they agreed the purpose and the importance, but they rejected because they thought that it
would be difficult financially because of the small market. 1,000 books was a goal and the first estimation number which we asked to several printing companies.  We could achieved the goal wit grace of God. The achievement in the first year was a just God's work.

What is the point Bible based text books were spread well among the Japanese?

 

  1. Bible Bible Bible
    The strong conviction of the Words are the most important element for the home schooling and Christian school movement in Japan.  As there were not such a deep and abundant biblical textbooks for children, it was spread with mouth to mouth reputation.
  2. Great teacher's guide:
    The Japanese parents can be confident with this well prepared teacher's guide.  No other Japanese textbooks has this level of manual. It is great manual for the parents.
  3. Fun for children ! Thinking rather than just memorizing.
    The curriculum is divided very detail and tiny steps in each level to think about deeply.  There are many colorful and funny questions at the same time, at the same time, the questions  to think deeply and to understand deeply.
  4. Japanese Media's power
     Almost all major Japanese Christian news papers, magazines, TV program have informed this movement through Chea Japan and the publication project repeatedly and repeatedly as a top article.  Chea magazine (quartely magazine ), which issues 5,000 copies also follow more detail information to foster this movement as the guide magazine. God used the power of the media well.

What is the next publication plan?

June
2002
Japanese -English bilingual book
( A Problem of Yam... A son will surise his father's brave act in God, after he became Christian. )
BJU Science 1
July CD of Bible Truth 2
Fall BJU Bible Truth 3
Science 3
Winter Science 2
CD of Bible Truth 3
2003 Bible Truth 4
CD of Bible Truth 4
Science 4
Bible Truth 5
CD of Bible Truth 5
Science 5
World History

We would like to add Math project in this schedule.
 The coming project.

March 2002  The forth nation wide  homeschooling seminars through out Japan.
( I will be a speaker and go to Japan 3/21 - 4/15.)
July 2002     Chea Convention
 September 2002   5th seminars
November 2002     6th seminars

Finally, I will present my family's report, because I also would like to ask for your prayer.

My wife, Wendy (Wakiko) stopped to pursuing to apply the residency program to be a medical doctor. ( She passed the examinations on July 1999 and she tried to apply residency program to practice her carrier.  She thought that it was more important to do homeschooling with Makishi(10) and Emily(5) than to be a doctor.  I had a plan to help her with being homeschooling dad in my family.  However, she thought that it was impossible as I was too busy for Chea and biblical movie production ( That is also my ministry. ) .
 In 2001, I went to Japan 9 times and east coast for 7 times and Hawaii for 5 times. It is very hard decision for her as the license of doctor will expire this year. She sensed that she should stop the life as doctor. Therefore, sometimes she got depressed.  However, she convinced that it was His plan and she would like to be obedient to God's calling and she is very happy as homeschooling mam. Please pray for her, too. I was sad for her choice in the beginning but now, I really appreciate her very much.

As a conclusion, homeschooling in Japan, including our family's homeschooling is really beginning period, like in the USA at 20 years ago. It is very important period. Therefore, your concern is really significant. And your prayer, encouragement, and any kinds of support are really important to foster spiritual movements in Japan and world mission. 

I really appreciate God that I could contact with you.

Hiro

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