Education About Asia

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

NOTE: Archive articles may be downloaded and reproduced for personal or classroom use only.

Resources, Web Gleanings

Website Resources: Asian Visual and Performing Arts, Part II

VISUAL ARTS ASIA, GENERAL Art of Asia Home Page URL: http://www.mfa.org/collections/asia The Museum of Fine Arts Boston has a noteworthy collection of Asian art. Their site has hundreds of images from the collection. The focus is Chinese and Japanese works of art, including paintings and prints. The images are easily accessible through the links at the bottom of the home page. Asia Contemporary Art Show URL: http://www.asiacontemporaryart.com/gallery/ Over fifty art galleries have...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

What Is Teachable about Japanese Tea Practice?

The Japanese art known as the “way of tea” (chadō or chanoyu—often translated into English as the slightly misleading “tea ceremony”) is the highly stylized and artistically nuanced preparation of matcha (powdered green tea), often in a tearoom or freestanding structure specifically designed for that purpose. (note 1) While the consumption of tea in Japan began as a largely aristocratic activity during the twelfth century, by the sixteenth century, tea drinking had matured into a high...

Online Supplement

Audio and Performance Samples to accompany the feature article “A Tour of Music Cultures in South Asia: Classical and Devotional Music”

Listed below are the audio and performance examples of the music discussed in “A Tour of Music Cultures in South Asia” from the Spring 2013 (vol. 18, no. 1) issue of Education About Asia....

Online Supplement

Links to Internet Materials to accompany the feature article “The Qin: China’s Most Revered Musical Instrument”

INTRODUCTION TO THE QIN UNESCO‘s intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity site includes a short description of the Qin, photographs, and a brief video (just over four minutes) narrated in English. the music includes singing with the qin, and some strains of yang Guan san Die are heard in the background. Playing techniques and some of the symbolism involved in the Qin’s construction are also discussed. url: http://tiny.cc/p7cksw CONTEXT, HISTORY, AND SYMBOLISM OF THE QIN Wang Fei and her ...

Online Supplement

Emily of Emerald Hill: A Reaffirmation of Peranakan Culture

Stella Kon’s Emily of Emerald Hill is one of Singapore’s most enduring plays. Written in English and interspersed with Singlish (colloquially spoken English) expressions, this one-woman play recounts Emily’s life in the 1950s. Through her memories, the audience learns about the life, culture, and traditions of the Peranakans, a group of overseas Chinese long-resident in Penang and Malacca, who adopted Malay language and culture. Known variously as Babas, Straits Chinese, Melaka Men, and Pe...

Feature Article

A Tour of Music Cultures in South Asia: Classical and Devotional Music

An audience of about 3,000 descends on the open-air Nazrul Manch Theater in South Kolkata (Calcutta) every winter at the Dover Lane Music Festival to hear the senior legends and the emerging stars of North Indian classical (or Hindustani) music. The crowd, made up of the urbane intellectuals of Kolkata and a good number of foreigners, is lively. Audience members move in and out of the hall for tea and snacks between performances, but every seat is filled for the senior artists who perform betwee...

Film Review Essay, Resources

Water Puppetry in Vietnam: An Ancient Tradition in a Modern World

Water Puppetry in Vietnam An Ancient Tradition in a Modern World PRODUCED BY SAM PECK 31 MINUTES, COLOR BERKELEY MEDIA LLC, 2012 Water  puppetry arose in the Red River delta and other rice-growing regions of northern Việt Nam a thousand years ago, during the Lý dynasty. Villagers staged water puppet performances to celebrate the end of the rice harvest, at religious festivals, and simply for entertainment. Today, watching a performance of this unique folk art has come to be mandatory fo...

Feature Article

The Qin: China’s Most Revered Musical Instrument

Editor’s Note: Readers can visit the EAA spring online supplement for audio and performance examples of the music specifically discussed in this essay. China is home to numerous distinctively Chinese musical instruments, but none is more revered than the qin (pronounced something like the English word “chin” and sometimes written “ch’in”). The instrument’s name is often translated as “Chinese lute” or “ancient lute” (guqin). The qin is associated with the elite class of s...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

The Lion’s Roar in Taiwan: Genealogy of a Traditional Dance

The colorfully dynamic spectacle of the Lion Dance is now a seemingly requisite part of celebratory events in Chinese communities around the world. Documentary evidence for the performance of dances featuring lions can be traced back over a thousand years. But since lions have never been a part of China’s natural environment, how did they come to be such iconic inhabitants of the Chinese cultural landscape? In this article, I will focus on changes and developments in the Lion Dance in response...

Course Syllabi, Online Supplement

“Beyond Cultural Tourism: Experiencing the Arts in Bali” Syllabus

Editor’s Note: The syllabus that follows complements “Beyond Cultural Tourism: Experiencing the Arts in Bali” by Jui-Ching Wang from the EAA spring 2016 issue online supplements (vol. 21, no. 1). If you have any questions about the readings and course materials listed in the syllabus, you may contact Jui-Ching Wang at jcwang@niu.edu. Experiencing the Arts in Bali July 4 – July 25, 2014 Study Abroad Office, the School of Music, and the School of Art Northern Illinois University PROGR...

Online Supplement

Beyond Cultural Tourism: Experiencing the Arts in Bali

Music, dance, theater, and arts and crafts are important parts of Balinese culture. Their ceremonial nature reflects the multiple layers of Balinese Hindu religious practices and philosophies within the complex social-cultural structure of Balinese society. The inseparable relationships among these arts provide a vivid soundscape and landscape for students to experience the functions of arts in a living environment. Since the early twentieth century, Bali has been staged for the consumption of c...

Course Syllabi, Online Supplement

“Shadow R & J and The Girl Who Flew: Introducing Asia through Theater in an Interdisciplinary Honors Program” Syllabus

Editor’s Note: The syllabus that follows complements “Shadow R & J and The Girl Who Flew: Introducing Asia through Theater in an Interdisciplinary Honors Program” by Adam Frank from the online supplements of the EAA spring 2016 issue (vol. 21, no. 1). The syllabus is for a course taught for the first time in spring 2016 and doesn't fully reflect how the course ended up being organized. Two 10-15 minute plays, The Girl Who Flew and Call to Arms were organized. While Call to Arms was or...

Online Supplement

“Shadow R & J” and “The Girl Who Flew”: Introducing Asia through Theater in an Interdisciplinary Honors Program

Readers of Education About Asia who have no background in Asian theater should take heart that they, too, can incorporate Asian theater as a tool for teaching about Asia. The caveat is that when one adopts a form of theater that traditionally takes decades to master, one must openly embrace ignorance, value hybridity, and measure success not in terms of whether students have rendered a style authentically, but whether they have captured some spirit of a particular style in order to tell the stor...

Course Syllabi, Online Supplement

“Cutting-Edge Samurai Theatre: Noh Then, Noh Now, Noh Tomorrow” by Matthew R. Dubroff and “In the Noh: Using Samurai Theater in the History Classroom” by Eric G. Dinmore Syllabi

Editor’s Note: The syllabi that follow complement “Cutting-Edge Samurai Theatre: Noh Then, Noh Now, Noh Tomorrow” by Matthew R. Dubroff and “In the Noh: Using Samurai Theater in the History Classroom” by Eric G. Dinmore from the EAA spring 2016 issue (vol. 21, no. 1, p. 34-40). If you have any questions about the readings and course materials listed in the syllabi, you may contact Matthew R. Dubroff at mdubroff@hsc.edu or Eric G. Dinmore at edinmore@hsc.edu. HONS 101.01 – Samurai C...

Course Syllabi, Online Supplement

Walk Like a Samurai Using Japanese: Performing and Martial Arts to Teach Historical Inquiry Syllabus

Editor’s Note: The syllabus that follows complements “Walk Like a Samurai: Using Japanese Performing and Martial Arts to Teach Historical Inquiry” by Tim Cooper from the EAA spring 2016 issue (vol. 21, no. 1, p. 41-43). If you have any questions about the readings and course materials listed in the syllabus, you may contact Tim Cooper at tcooper@siena.edu. Course Description HIST401: Traditional Japan This course will introduce students to the history of Japan from earliest times to ...

Feature Article, Special Segment on Japanese Noh Theater

Walk Like a Samurai: Using Japanese Performing and Martial Arts to Teach Historical Inquiry

The Need for Historical Inquiry In his Winter 2010 EAA article, “Can Samurai Teach Critical Thinking? Primary Sources in the Classroom,” Ethan Segal offers several constructive methods to help students discern truth from fiction regarding the historical samurai. Woodblock prints of Saigō Takamori garbed in Western military uniform; images from the Mongol Invasion Scrolls depicting the disorderly chaos of samurai warfare; and the historical fiction of The Tale of the Heike, which for centur...

Feature Article, Special Segment on Japanese Noh Theater

In the Noh: Using Samurai Theater in the History Classroom

I teach Japanese and East Asian history at a 240-year-old, all-male liberal arts college known as an institution where the Old South lives on and students revere Virginia’s military heritage. Unsurprisingly, one of the most popular seminar topics I have offered over my nine-year career at Hampden-Sydney College has been Warrior Culture in Japanese History. As I developed my approach to the topic, I profited from reading Ethan Segal’s Winter 2010 article in this journal, “Can Samurai Teach ...

Feature Article, Special Segment on Japanese Noh Theater

Cutting-Edge Samurai Theater: Noh Then, Noh Now, Noh Tomorrow

Noh is the sung, danced, masked dramatic form of Japan. The performers depict stories where the shite, the main masked actor, interacts with the waki, a side actor, and the kyogen, an interlude performer. A Noh stage is a roofed pavilion (even indoors) that has an entry bridgeway and a back wall with a painted pine tree. The orchestra consists of two or three drummers and a flute player at the back of the stage in full view during performance, along with an eight-member chorus that sits to the s...