Shino Yokotsuka, a Tokyo native and a PhD student in Boston, joins Matt and John to compare school prayer practices in United States and Japan.
- Did you know Japanese school children must dye their hair black if their hair isn't naturally black?
- Can western-style religious freedom be exported verbatim into collective cultures?
- Whose deity is referred to by "under God" in the U.S.A.'s Pledge of Allegiance?
- Also, is it really religious freedom if you must bow to an emperor?
- Embracing Religious Freedom?: A Battle Over Public School Prayer in the USA and Japan | Oxford Journal of Law and Religion | (Pay wall) — This article examines why the USA and Japan have different public reactions to the issues of public school prayer, despite the fact that the countries have almost identical constitutional frameworks on religious freedom. Recent religious freedom studies tend to centre around the debates that prioritize Western perspectives of religion in public schools. In contrast, this article focuses on the specific social and cultural contexts emphasizing their importance in understanding the governance issues arising from an ever-widening religious gap. This study particularly addresses the role cultural differences play in the unequal interpretations of religious freedom within different national backgrounds. Using a comparative case study analysis, I argue that these cultural differences directly impact the varying perspectives on religious freedom as applied in policy, law, and practice across the countries.
- Embracing Religious Freedom?: A Battle Over Public School Prayer in the USA and Japan (free, pre-revision)