Education About Asia

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

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Feature Article

Asia in the Twentieth Century

By William H. McNeill Recent events offer an apt metaphor for Asia's twentieth century. Between 1900 and 2000, a North Atlantic human tsunami crested and then withdrew, leaving behind radically changed social landscapes after ten decades of widespread disruption. Asia was not alone. The whole world went through the same experience- not least Europe and America, located at the epicenter of the entire upheaval. After-effects still persist, and intensified communication means that rapid readjust...

Essay, Resources

The Demographics of Islam in Asia

By Douglas P. Sjoquist A sensible beginning point for the study of Islam in Asia is a demographic analysis of Asia’s Muslim population. Granted, there is always a risk involved in examining population statistics—especially religious ones—but certain useful and enlightening generalizations can be drawn from such an examination. What countries in Asia with substantial Muslim populations have the highest and lowest literacy rates or life expectancy rates? Which predominantly Muslim countri...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

Two Essays on Japan’s Peace Constitution: The Constitution of Japan

Editor’s Note: Japan’s 1947 Constitution, imposed upon the country by US Occupation authorities, has never been amended. Currently, fierce political debate is occurring over the question of whether to amend Article 9 of the Constitution, the famous Renunciation of War section of the document. The full text of the article is as follows: Article 9 1) Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the n...

AEMS Film Review Section, Film Review Essay

Dam/Age A Film with Arundhati Roy

 COLOR, 50 MINUTES, 2002, CLOSED-CAPTIONED FIRST RUN/ICARUS FILMS 32 COURT STREET, 21ST FLOOR BROOKLYN, NY 11201 www.frif.com This documentary, accessible to students from upper-level high school to college, is direct and compelling, and layered in such a way that it poses questions that linger long after the credits roll. Its primary focus is Arundhati Roy, the graciously articulate author from southern India whose principled and daring stands on behalf of social justice have provoked...

Columns, Curriculum Materials Review

The Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century. Small Farms, Big Cities: Northern Japan and Tokyo

Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century is an educational video series for high school and college students that teaches the geographic skills and concepts necessary to understand the modern world. The series is divided into ten units, including an introduction. In all, twenty-six half-hour video programs—fifty sites in thirty-six countries—are coordinated with a textbook and an excellent Web site of value to student and instructor: http://www.learner.org/ resources/series180.html. Th...

Feature Article

We Need 50,000 Babies a Year: Marriage and the Family in Singapore

By Chris Hudson For the last four decades, issues around marriage and the family in Singapore have been prominent in public discourse and have been represented by the government as features of the economic and political agenda. It seems that, of all the social institutions in Singapore society, marriage and the family are those most often cited as integral to the long-term prosperity of the city-state. The Singapore government has a reputation for authoritarian-style management and a well doc...

Feature Article

Ten Years of Extraordinary Change in Indonesia

CHANGES IN INDONESIA over the past ten years have affected the whole country to varying degrees and left almost no one untouched. Whether political, economic, social, or environmental, the changes have been rapid and unprecedented. Just ten years ago, Suharto and his military government were in power; the country had yet to experience the economic crisis of 1997–98, which brought considerable poverty and lowering of standards of living to tens of millions of people; relationships among members...

Feature Article

The Late Qing Empire in Global History

By Pamela Kyle Crossley The role of the Chinese empires in global history at the height of their economic power (roughly 1400–1800) has been well described in powerful books by Andre Gunder Frank, Kenneth Pomeranz, and Bin Wong. In that period, China’s advanced technology and commercial economy, as well as access to their markets over sea and land, created a market that drove technological development, efficiency in industrial organization, and an increasing volume of long-distance trade....

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Asia’s Missing Millions: How Policy and Social Pressure Made Millions of Women Disappear

In 1990, Nobel Prize-winning Indian economist Amartya Sen noticed something remarkable. By his count, there were approximately 100 million “missing women” in Asia. They hadn’t been kidnapped or stolen or died as the victims of a female-specific plague or war . . . Yet a population equivalent to every single girl and woman in the United Kingdom, France, and Italy was missing. Using records collected by governments, Sen observed that relative to the number of men, there were far too few wome...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Aging Populations: A Comparison between Japan and Germany

When comparing population trends of Japan and Germany, numerous similarities stand out. Both countries have an identical total fertility rate (TFR) per woman of 1.4 with a population growth rate of -0.2 percent (Table 1). While both countries have high life expectancies, Japan’s eighty-five-year life expectancy is among the world’s longest, leading to a higher elderly dependency ratio in 2017 (Table 1). Similarities between the countries related to below-replacement-rate population growth, a...

Online Supplement

Digital Pedagogical Resources from “Japan’s Declining Population: Beyond the Textbook”

Population Data UN population division: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/ Japanese Ministry of Health: http://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/ Topic Introduction Jonathan Soble, “Japan, Short on Babies, Reaches a Worrisome Milestone,” The New York Times, June 2, 2017, https://tinyurl.com/y8hny6ua Impacts Shrinking workforce: https://tinyurl.com/y8tzfu4v Potential abortion restrictions: https://tinyurl.com/yb2q88rl Budgetary impact: https://tinyurl.com/y8acdb98 ...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Japan’s Declining Population: Beyond the Textbook

Geography, as a discipline, allows students to explore, analyze, and understand the places that comprise our world. Most geography curricula focus on both physical and human geography, often in the context of "issues"-based learning; this serves to demonstrate the dynamic and applicable nature of the subject to learners. Within the context of human geography, population is an area of study that enables geographers to plan the use of Earth’s resources, make sense of the underlying factors influ...

Online Supplement

Dreaming, Making, and Breaking Family and Kinship in Contemporary South Korea

While South Korea makes headlines much more frequently nowadays for its vibrant and lucrative popular culture industry, until the 2000s, South Korea was known to outsiders first and foremost as a “family-centric” society. This family-centrism has been the underlying focus of a large number of Korean anthropological studies, covering “education fever,” extended family networks, hierarchical business culture, and ancestor worship. North Korea is also noticed for its family-centrism—namel...

Feature Article

India:“The Emergency” and the Politics of Mass Sterilization

Overpopulation has been India’s major concern for almost five decades. In June 2017, the United Nations reported that India’s population will rise to 1.5 billion by 2050. In order to limit its population growth rate, India has been using sterilization as a method of population control since 1951. According to the United Nations, India alone was responsible for 37 percent of the world’s female sterilization in 2011. Although sterilization has produced the desired outcome—fertility rates d...

Feature Article

Singapore Immigration and Changing Public Policies

The demographic composition of the contemporary population of Singapore reflects a complex and vibrant history of a melting pot nation that has grown out of successive waves of immigration stretching back nearly 200 years. As an immigrant society, Singapore is a product of the forces of globalization that have been a constitutive feature of the historical development of many nations. When Britain’s Sir Stamford Raffles signed a treaty in 1819 with local rulers, a swampy little island was trans...

Feature Article

Indonesia Doesn’t Want to Be Number Three

When it comes to Asian populations, China and India get all the attention. According to the US Census Bureau, China’s population, the largest in the world, is about 1.38 billion people, with India close behind at 1.28 billion. Together, the two nations’ people comprise more than 35 percent of the global population. Unbeknownst to many, though, is that Indonesia, an archipelagic nation in Southeast Asia that stretches across an expanse of ocean larger than the continental United States, is th...

Feature Article

Japan’s Changing Demographics and the Impact on Its Military

Modern Japan has long been a prosperous country with a growing population, but over the past couple of decades, its economy has struggled and its birth rate has been declining while its population is rapidly aging. Japan’s population reached a peak of 128,057,352 people in October 2010, but it has been declining for seven straight years. At the present rate, Japan’s population is expected to decline another thirty million (to ninety-nine million) by the year 2053 (Figure 1). (More drastic pr...

Feature Article

Child Poverty in a Rich Country: Measuring and Influencing Policies in Contemporary Japan

Japan is a wealthy developed country. It has the third-largest economy in the world after the United States and China in terms of gross domestic product, it is a top-performing country among member states of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in terms of the quality of its educational system, and Japanese men and women enjoy ever-longer and healthier life spans. But stereotypes of Japan as a middle-class society with exceptional equality in income and wealth have c...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching with China’s Great Migration: How the Poor Built a Prosperous Nation

Syrian refugees on rafts in the Mediterranean Sea, Rohingya fleeing ethnic cleansing in Burma, Somalians and Sudanese fleeing military conflict and famine on the rim of Ethiopia—migration is perpetual headline news. In the US, the story is of stemming the tide of migrants from Mexico and the Caribbean. In all cases, migration is viewed as a problem to be controlled or stopped. While news reports focus on migration across national borders, the benefits of migration are best illustrated withi...
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