Education About Asia

(culture, history, art, marriage, etc...)

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Book Review, Resources

Sun Yatsen: Seeking a Newer China

BY DAVID B. GORDON NEW YORK: PRENTICE HALL, 2010 192 PAGES ISBN: 978-0321333063, PAPERBACK Reviewed by David Kenley This eminently readable biography of Sun Yatsen offers high school and undergraduate students a window into the life of the “father of modern China.” Though Sun is frequently overshadowed by his more politically savvy successors, Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong, he is an excellent choice for the Library of World Biography series. More so than either Chiang or Mao, Sun epito...

Film Review, Resources

Can’t Go Native?

PRODUCED, DESIGNED, AND EDITED BY DAVID W. PLATH MEDIA PRODUCTION GROUP ASIAN EDUCATIONAL MEDIA SERVICE DVD, 56 MINUTES, 2010 Reviewed by David Huebner Can’t Go Native? is the intriguing and very personalized account of American anthropologist Keith Brown’s long relationship with the Japanese people. As a graduate student in 1961, Brown visited Japan for doctoral research. He fell in love with Japan and her peoples, culture, and customs. Brown’s numerous trips to Japan are chronic...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching the Geography of India through Virtual Itineraries

By Thomas Frederick Howard Like other teachers, I have grown disillusioned with the drawbacks of the undergraduate research paper. The rising tide of plagiarism and the easy availability of papers for sale on the Internet have made vigilance necessary, wearying, and demoralizing. In my Geography and History of South Asia course, I now ask students to create an itinerary for a three-week trip in India instead of a traditional paper. This highly individualized project may engage students more t...

Focus on Japanese Democracy: Part 1

Political Parties in Democratic Japan

By Alisa Gaunder Whether fairly or not, Japanese political institutions in the postwar period have always been examined with some suspicion by outside observers, especially in the West. Some claim the fact that these institutions were imposed by the US Occupation calls into question their legitimacy or effectiveness. However, those who make such arguments have a limited view of Japan’s history and of how the institutions of democracy have functioned in the postwar period. Japan’s experien...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Edwin O. Reischauer and the American Discovery of Japan

BY GEORGE R. PACKARD NEW YORK: COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2010 368 PAGES, ISBN: 978-0231143547, HARDBACK Reviewed by Robert Fish Is there a social studies teacher who has never been asked, “Why does studying history matter?” Edwin O. Reischauer’s career illustrates the direct impact history and “academic” ideas can have on contemporary life. George R. Packard’s Edwin O. Reischauer and the American Discovery of Japan guides the reader through the relationship between abstract idea...

Feature Article

Entry into China and Market Intelligence: Machine Tool Exporters as a Case Study in Human Geography

By Dawn M. Drake and Ronald Kalafsky This article presents the case study method as a pedagogical tool to study the geography and economics of Asia in middle school and high school classrooms, as well as in undergraduate courses, using the case of United States machine tool manufacturers in China. The case study method is generally associated with undergraduate and graduate business courses, although it is utilized in many disciplines and increasingly at various education levels. Case studies...

Book Review, Resources

Korean Spirituality

BY DON BAKER UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI`I PRESS, 2008 151 PAGES ISBN: 978-0-8248-3257-5, PAPERBACK Reviewed by Mary E. Connor Korean Spirituality by Don Baker, a professor at the University of British Columbia, is an accessible and engaging guidebook to the distinctive religious and philosophical belief systems on the Korean peninsula. Its value is manifold. Because Korea has one of the most vibrant and diverse religious cultures of any nation in the world, lucid exposure to its beliefs and practi...

Book Review, Resources

China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know

BY JEFFREY N. WASSERSTROM OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2010 155 PAGES ISBN: 978-0-19-539412-2, PAPERBACK Reviewed by Mary Cingcade Jeffrey Wasserstrom’s book China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know tempts the reader with its intriguing title. Written in question and- answer format, the volume features 108 questions culled from questions posed over two decades by lecture audiences. Wasserstrom writes, The goal of this book is to help normalize discussions of China . . . My aim ...

Feature Article

Democracy in Japan: Foreign Stimuli and Domestic Leadership

By Thomas W. Burkman In 1860, a few years after Commodore Perry forced open the doors of Japan, the Tokugawa Shogunate sent the first Japanese official mission to California. A member of the entourage asked his San Francisco hosts where the descendents of George Washington were living. He was shocked to find that the Americans had no clue. The Japanese could not fathom that the family of the nation’s founder had faded from public view. The Tokugawa Legacy In traditional Japan, the com...

Resources, Web Gleanings

Teaching the Geographies of Asia

Asia URL: http://continents.pppst.com/asia.html One can keep busy for days simply exploring the links on this site. For the most part, these are links to PowerPoint presentations by teachers. Some presentations are more detailed than others. The links are grouped by geographic region in Asia: Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia, etc., and by Asian country. HowStuffWorks: Geography of Asia URL: http://geography.howstuffworks.com/asia/geography-of-asia.htm The Discovery Company p...

Table of Contents

Education About Asia: Table of Contents

FEATURES THE US FOUNDERS AND CHINA The Origins of Chinese Cultural Influence on the United States By Dave Wang THE ASIAN SOUL OF TRANSCENDENTALISM By Todd Lewis and Kent Bicknell AMBASSADORS OF EXCHANGE The 1860 Japanese Mission to the US By Benita Stambler AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN MISSIONARIES IN EAST ASIA An Interview with Professor Donald Clark DEAN WORCESTER’S PHOTOGRAPHS AND AMERICAN PERCEPTIONS OF THE PHILIPPINES By Mark Rice    ...

Supplemental Online Article

Why Japan Matters

Essays from Elgin Heinz Outstanding Teacher Award Winners From the Editor: The Elgin Heinz Outstanding Teacher Award is sponsored by the United States- Japan Foundation and named for the late Mr. Heinz, who was a pioneer in Asian studies education. Winners receive this award based on their national leadership in teaching about Japan. The objectives of this online and print special segment are to stimulate readers to reflect upon why the study of Japan is critical for global understanding; to pr...

Essay, Resources

Why Japan Matters

By Alejandro Echevarria Japan matters in the history classroom because its development as a modern country offers rich opportunities for comparison. Japan’s rapid change from a system with some characteristics of feudalism in the Tokugawa period to modernization in the Meiji period is unlike any other shift in world history. The economic, social, and political changes were so rapid that they destabilized the fabric of the nation and put them on the path toward conflict with the Western nation...

Feature Article

Asia’s Turtle Crisis and Conservation: Environmental Education and Cultural Geography

By Bradley R. Reynolds and Thomas P. Wilson Turtles are heavily exploited in Asia, not only for the pet trade, but also as a food source and for use in traditional Asian folk medicines. Along with habitat destruction, increased urbanization, and pollution, such over-exploitation is driving what conservationists are calling the Asian turtle crisis, a precipitous decline in Asian turtle populations. Currently, over half of Asia’s ninety turtle species are classified as endangered or critically ...

Essay, Resources

Why Japan Matters

By Norman T. Masuda First Winner, Language Category, 2002 Japan has been in the news the past few months because of the natural and manmade disasters that have occurred in northeastern Japan. During the writing and broadcasting of the calamities that have struck the Japanese people, the news media pointed out the phenomenon of a population that waited patiently for food, water, and medical attention. Seeing and reading about the Japanese reaction to such devastation, one asks why this rea...

Book Review, Resources

India and Pakistan: Continued Conflict or Cooperation?

BY STANLEY WOLPERT BERKELEY: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS, 2010 144 PAGES, ISBN: 978-0520266773, HARDBACK Reviewed by Thomas Lamont Stanley Wolpert, one of America’s senior and foremost pundits on South Asia and India in particular, has given us a smart, concise, and accessible overview of Indian-Pakistani relations. This short book is primarily an intelligent explanation of the ongoing rivalry between India and Pakistan. Yet it is also an impassioned and eloquent call for better relatio...

EAA Interview, Resources

Teaching Asia: Exploring Online Curriculum with Catherine Higbee Ishida

Interviewed by Linda S. Wojtan Editor’s Note: What follows is an interview with Cathy Ishida, who is earning an excellent national reputation for her stellar work with teachers. Cathy is on the staff of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Program for Teaching East Asia (TEA), where she has a number of professional development responsibilities. In addition to her work with the TEA program, Cathy played a major role in building the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Asia Com...

Essay, Resources

Why Japan Matters

By Patricia Burleson There are many reasons that Japan still matters, most of them well founded in economic statistics and geopolitical analyses. For this commentary, I decided to bypass those and focus instead on my personal experiences and those of local high school students. Students quoted here were participants in one of eleven annual study tours I have led in Japan. I think that Japan matters because there are many lessons about life that can best be learned from the Japanese. Students...

Essay, Resources

Japan Matters: Promoting World Peace through Education, Science, and International Partnerships

By Patience Berkman First winner, Humanities Category, 2002 Headlines in 2011 have trumpeted China bypassing Japan as the second-largest economy in the world. Japan’s move to number three was not surprising, nor should it be alarming. What is remarkable is that Japan, with limited resources, smaller than the state of California, maintained a position of economic dominance for so long. After the devastating earthquake and tsunami, Japan, far from being in free-fall, continues to be a committe...

Book Review

Dharma

BY ALF HILTEBEITEL HONOLULU: UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI’I PRESS, 2010 208 PAGES, ISBN: 978-0824834869, PAPERBACK Reviewed by Catherine Benton Part of the University of Hawai`i series “Dimensions of Asian Spirituality,” Alf Hiltebeitel’s Dharma presents an enlightening discussion of dharma, a fundamental component of Hindu and Buddhist thinking. One of the goals of the “Dimensions of Asian Spirituality” series is to make available “short but comprehensive works [by distinguished schol...