Terawaki Ken quits

Aaron Gerow aaron.gerow
Tue Oct 17 19:51:12 EDT 2006

The Mainichi and Asahi are reporting that Terawaki Ken will be leaving 
the Ministry of Education by the end of this month. Terawaki is most 
famous in Japan as an advocate of "yutori kyoiku," which tries to free 
children from the exam hell and give them room to grow on their own, so 
one can see his departure as a sign the government is rejecting that 
policy (the Abe government is making education "reform" a central 
plank, calling for tougher basic and "patriotic" education).

But more significant for us is the fact that Terawaki has long been 
active as a film critic (especially for pink films) and was one of the 
most active supporters of cinema in the Ministry of Education. In one 
way or another, he was a central figure in many of the Ministry's film 
policies, or those of its Agency for Cultural Affairs, where he was 
posted for a while. I've long heard people speculate that the Ministry 
will lose interest in film when Terawaki leaves, so this is problem 
worth keeping an eye on.

Terawaki says he will devote more time to his writing on film, rakugo 
and educational issues. He is currently vice-director of the Nihon Eiga 
Eizo Bunka Shinko Senta, a post at which I assume he will remain.

Aaron Gerow
KineJapan owner

Assistant Professor
Film Studies Program/East Asian Languages and Literatures
Yale University

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