CMP Review 2023-12-28

CMP Review 2023-12-28

December 28, 2023

As her final year of high school was approaching, my daughter asked if she could study Japanese as part of her language requirement. I said yes but only if she could find her own teacher. This she did without hesitation, discovering a native speaker in our community who was happy to share both her language and her culture with my daughter.

These early lessons were about more than just hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Vocabulary was a doorway leading to an ever-deepening interest in the literature, history, and foods of a different land. But according to Charlotte Mason, the study of language transcends even this:

There is a subject or class of subjects which has an imperative moral claim upon us,” she wrote. “It is the duty of the nation to maintain relations of brotherly kindness with other nations; therefore it is the duty of every family, as an integral part of the nation, to be able to hold brotherly speech with the families of other nations as opportunities arise; therefore to acquire the speech of neighbouring nations is not only to secure an inlet of knowledge and a means of culture, but is a duty of that higher morality (the morality of the family) which aims at universal brotherhood.

Under the tree for my daughter this year was Nancy Singleton Hachisu’s 2018 Japan: The Cookbook which was seized upon with zeal. And discussions with extended family turned to plans for an upcoming visit to Tokyo. So far language has led to culture; my hope and prayer is that it will lead to brotherhood too.