Education About Asia

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

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Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching Korean Politics through Cinema

Korean studies in the US have experienced a tremendous growth over the last decade in undergraduate institutions, as well as in some high schools. The numerical surge of Korean heritage students interested in learning their cultural background, the rising popularity of pop culture originating from South Korea, the frequency of North Korea appearing in the media headlines, and the aggressive expansion of funding by the Korean government may have all contributed to the enlarged visibility of Korea...

Feature Article

Teaching Chinese History and Culture through Film

For many of my students, China is a faceless, distant land. Others who teach undergraduates indicate that their students view China as an economic or national security threat. I have found the use of film in teaching about China to be most useful in giving students different perspectives on China than those directly connected with either economics or national security.  However, in my first attempts to show Chinese films in world history classes or other courses, I encountered resistance. Stude...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

My Favorite Asia-Related Digital Media: Korean and Japanese Films

My Sassy Girl Directed By KWAKJAE-YONG Produced By SHIN CHUL CINEMA SERVICE DVD, 123 MINUTES, 2001 Pingu-Pongu (Ping Pong) Directed By FUMIHIKO SORI Produced By TAMOTSUSHIINA (AND OTHERS) ASMIK ACE ENTERTAINMENT, TBS DVD, 114 MINUTES, 2002 “I believe . . . When you are not with me there are no stars in the sky. I believe . . . The way back to you will feel a little far. . . . I’ll be waiting. I do it for you.” These words, translated from the theme song “I Believe” from...

Film Review Essay, Online Supplement, Resources

Teaching Post-Mao China: Two Classic Films

Introduction The Story of Qiu Ju and Beijing Bicycle are two films that have been used in classrooms since they were produced (1992 and 2001, respectively). Today, these films are still relevant to high school and undergraduate students studying history, literature, and related courses about China, as they offer a picture of the grand scale of societal change that has happened in China in recent decades. Both films illustrate contemporary China and the dichotomy between urban and rural life the...

Film Review Essay, Online Supplement

Shifting Gender Roles in Postwar Japan: The On-Screen Life of Actress Hara Setsuko

Hara Setsuko (born Aida Masae, 1920) is one of Japan’s most admired actresses from its golden age of cinema. During her twenty-eight-year career, spanning the mid-1930s to early 1960s, she appeared in over one hundred feature films. Best known for her portrayals of ordinary, middle-class women, Hara’s performances were anything but ordinary. With large, expressive eyes and striking features, her unforgettable depictions of women from all stages of life, including daughters, wives, mothers an...

Film Review Essay, Online Supplement

Mrs. Judo: Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful

“Be strong, be gentle, be beautiful” is not only the essence of the art and sport of judo, but a clear six-word biographical description of the life of Fukuda Keiko, AKA Mrs. Judo. The only woman in judo’s history (since 1882) to achieve the difficult tenth-degree black belt, Fukuda’s life is not only the story of achievement in a sport, but the struggle to overcome tradition and sexism. Japan’s men expected their wives to be at home each evening, when judo classes were taught. But Fuk...

Feature Article

Teaching India’s History and Contemporary Society Through Film

Indian films, traditionally known as Hindi films but today more commonly referred to as “Bollywood” films, named in honor of Bombay (Mumbai today), offer a wonderful opportunity to teach students about the history and culture of India and South Asia. There are dozens of movies about Indian historical subjects and cultural issues that are accessible to American students. Many of the movies are typical Bollywood fare that include lots of upbeat songs and dancing. However, some, especially of l...

Feature Article

Sports and Indian Culture in Popular Film

India is more likely to be associated with Bollywood film culture than sports. So what does the largest film industry in the world, in terms of output, tell us about sports? And what is the place of sports in the national culture? Of the six films selected here (available through online retail stores such as Amazon) to answer these questions, two deal with cricket, two are biopics about Olympian athletes in track and field and boxing, and the other two deal with hockey and soccer. Half these fil...