Fact Check: Ramayana has NOT been made compulsory in Japanese schools; here's the truth

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Posts are being circulated on social media with a claim that historical epic Ramayana has been made compulsory in schools in Japan.
“जापान ने माना रामायण पढ़ने से बुरा इंसान भी अच्छा इंसान बन जाता है। जापान ने अपने सभी स्कूलों में रामायण पढ़ाना अनिवार्य किया. जय श्री राम” the post read.
(Translation: Japan has accepted that a bad person also becomes good by reading Ramayana. Japan has made it mandatory to teach Ramayana in all its schools. Jai Shree Ram)

Here’s the link to the post.
More posts can be seen here, here and here.


NewsMobile fact-checked the post and found the claim to be false.
Firstly, we scanned through some prominent Japanese media organisations for related news articles but did not find any report to support the claim.
We also ran a keyword search but did not any report by Indian media outlets either.
We then when through the official website of Japan’s education ministry but did not find any such announcement or circular.

We also looked as the overview of textbooks in Japan’s schools but there was no special mention about Ramayana.

From the above information, it is established that the viral post holds no truth.
However, we found that Ramayana is not new to Japan.  According to an article in The Hindu, ‘with the spread of Buddhism, it came to be known as Ramaenna or Ramaensho’. 
Another blogpost by Indira Gandhi National Center For Arts states that a popular Japanese fiction collection ‘Hobutsushu’ is a compilation of short Ram Kathas.
Not just Japan, but different variations of Ramayana are popular in most of the other Asian countries including Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia.
Hence, from the above information it is clear that even though Ramayana is not new in Japan, the claim that it has been made compulsory in schools is false.

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