Education About Asia

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

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

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...

Book Review, Supplemental Online Article

Understanding Contemporary India, 2nd Edition

NEIL DEVOTTA, EDITOR LYNNE RIENNER PUBLISHERS, 2010 341 PAGES, ISBN: 978-1588267153, PAPERBACK Reviewed by Christopher Shaw Professors in the evolving field of global and area studies continuously confront the challenge of “coverage.” What might a course on the Indian subcontinent, for example, responsibly omit? If the focus is on political and economic challenges, to what extent does the teacher examine modern versus ancient history? Refer to trade patterns versus regional diplomacy...

Feature Article, Focus on Japanese Democracy: Part 2

Will Japan Change?

Is Japan once again changing? Unlike 1868, when the newly empowered Meiji emperor moved to Tokyo to preside over a series of dramatic changes that became more generally known as the Meiji Restoration, or 1945, when the Allied Occupation allied with relatively progressive Japanese to create a new constitution and institute a set of major reforms, Japan has yet to see a truly dramatic leader or many public protests. Yet a less dramatic series of political, economic, and social developments, combin...

Feature Article

Globalizing Asian Cuisines: From Eating for Strength to Culinary Cosmopolitanism —A Long History of Culinary Globalization

Visit a restaurant or home kitchen in America or Europe today, and you inevitably find a salt and pepper shaker on the table or by the stove. While salt is a physiological necessity for human beings, pepper is a culinary necessity with negligible nutritional value. Its origins as a cultural necessity for Western peoples lie in very ancient patterns of culinary globalization. In 30 BCE Rome, under Octavian, conquered the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt. For the next five centuries, annual fleets of ov...

Feature Article

Pizza In Japan

As a lover of onsen (hot springs), I often frequented them during my five-year sojourn in Japan. Once, I went to Lake Kawaguchi to enjoy the onsen and the view of Mount Fuji. Arriving in time for lunch, I asked the hotel receptionist for food suggestions. It must have been because I am Italian, or perhaps because the hotel could just sense I was researching Japanese pizza, that rather than recommending a noodle shop, she suggested the pizza at the Mt. Fuji Smoke House, which was located in a nea...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society

VICTORIA BESTOR, THEODOREC. BESTOR, AND AKIKO YAMAGATA, EDITORS NEW YORK: ROUTLEDGE, 2011 344 PAGES, ISBN: 978-0415436496, HARDCOVER Educators seeking a text to introduce their students to Japan will find the Routledge Handbook of Japanese Culture and Society unparalleled in both breadth and depth. The Handbook includes twenty-two chapters from leading scholars of Japan that cover an amazing range of topics, including Japanese language and politics, religion, law, architecture, food, pop cu...

Online Supplement

Viewing China: Observations of China’s Cultural Landscapes

Twenty-nine photos accompany this article Most Americans lack accurate mental images of what China looks like. For example, geography textbooks often present students with a limited range of Chinese images such as terraced rice fields, a modern city skyline, or historical landscapes such as the Forbidden City or the Great Wall. As a result, Americans have an extremely limited, often inaccurate, perception of the structures in China’s everyday built environment. Many Westerners have difficulty...

Book Review, Resources

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

BY KATHERINE BOO NEW YORK: RANDOMHOUSE, 2012 288 PAGES, ISBN: 978-1400067558, HARDBACK At the 2012 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Asia Conference, keynote speaker Professor Yasmeen Mohiuddin concluded that India’s greatest challenge in the future is to spread its concentrated wealth among more of its citizens. Katherine Boo’s nonfiction book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, portrays that challenge in heart-wrenching detail. This is an excellent read for high school and college stud...

Feature Article

China’s Weibo: Political and Social Implications?

Sina Weibo, China’s microblogging answer to Twitter, has become one of the most popular sites in China’s cyberspace since its debut in 2009. Today, the microblog has about 140 million active users. (note 1) Compared to noninteractive communication channels, Weibo and similar social networking sites have the potential to challenge China’s authoritarian rule. (note 2) What follows are depictions of how this microblogging technology is being used in China as a source of news, as a tool for c...

Feature Article

New Media in Korea and Japan: Emergent Trends

Japan and the Republic of Korea (South Korea henceforth) have highly developed mobile and broadband Internet infrastructures and enthusiastic, innovative mobile media cultures. Japan pioneered new forms of communication and entertainment, and Japanese society still produces startling innovations in the use of technology, for example, using robots as surrogate pets and as nursing attendants. South Korea has more recently overtaken Japan and everyone else to enjoy the world’s best Internet servi...

Key Issues in Asian Studies, Online Supplement, Resources

Key Issues in Asian Studies: East Asian Societies

Editor’s note: Authors of the two most recent Key Issues in Asian Studies have each contributed an essay about their volume. For more information about this pedagogical resource, visit www.asian-studies.org/publications/KIAS.htm Few students approach their study of Asia with a blank slate; rather, most start with a mixture of stereotypes, misconceptions, and fragments of accurate information. East Asian Societies attempts to convey the excitement and significance of East Asia to American te...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Japanese Education in an Era of Globalization: Culture, Politics, and Equity

This eleven-chapter book grew from a series of meetings after the launch of the Japan Special Interest Group in the Comparative and International Education Society in 2007. It documents educational changes in Japan since the 1990 burst of their “Bubble Economy” and the onset of nearly two decades of recession. The editors highlight the following five themes: (1) Global Interaction, especially the PISA (Programme for International Student Achievement) test results; (2) Changing School Context...

Feature Article

Lessons for America from China?

Having written a book in 1979 suggesting that Japan had institutional practices that provided lessons for America, I am often asked if there are lessons the United States could learn from China. Learning institutional practices from another country is, at best, difficult. In the 1980s, as I argued that there were lessons America could learn from Japan, I was often asked how we could learn from a country with such a different culture. My answer was simple. Yes, there are large cultural difference...

EAA Interview, Resources

The 2015 Franklin R. Buchanan Prize Winners for “My Cambodia” and “My Cambodian America”

This is our nineteenth consecutive interview with the recipients of the AAS Franklin R. Buchanan Prize. This year’s winners are Rylan Sekiguchi and Risa Morimoto, who developed the free multimedia education package My Cambodia and My Cambodian America, published by the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) online at stanford.io/1sI162V. SPICE serves as a bridge between Stanford University and K–12 schools and community colleges by developing multidisciplinary...

Curriculum Materials Review, Curriculum Review, Resources

“My Cambodia” and “My Cambodian America”

Editor’s Note: A second review of My Cambodia and My Cambodian America by Van Anh Tran is available in the online supplements for this issue. My interest in Asia dates back to when I was a child. My interest in Cambodia started when I began my teaching career in Attleboro, Massachusetts. Attleboro was one of the places where a large group of Cambodian families moved after leaving the refugee camps in Thailand after the Khmer Rouge period. My first Cambodian students in 1999 were born in Thail...

Curriculum Materials Review, Curriculum Review, Online Supplement

“My Cambodia” and “My Cambodian America”

Directed by Risa Morimoto Produced by Rylan Sekiguchi and Risa Morimoto Edgewood Pictures, 2014 18 minutes (My Cambodia), 13 minutes (My Cambodian America), color Curriculum materials are by Rylan Sekiguchi for the Stanford University Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE). Films and related materials are available at stanford.io/1sI162V. The traditional high school history classroom presents dominant narratives as facts. This is not a surprise. It was not until after ...

Book Review, Resources

Confucianism as a World Religion: Contested Histories and Contemporary Realities

Is Confucianism a religion? In one way or another, this question has been asked for as long as Westerners have tried to make sense of China—from the earliest translations done by the Jesuits half a millennium ago right up until the present. It can even be argued quite persuasively that thinkers from China and its East Asian neighbors have asked a similar kind of question almost since Confucius’s Analects began to be distributed in the centuries after the sage’s death. The broader matter th...

Book Review, Resources

North Korea Confidential: Private Markets, Fashion Trends, Prison Camps, Dissenters, and Defectors

As its title suggests, North Korea Confidential is written by two highly knowledgeable British journalists whose main aim is to counter the usual view that all North Koreans are either “brainwashed worshipers” of North Korea’s founding father, Kim Ilsung, or “helpless victims” of his grandson, Kim Jong-un, the third leader of this unusual semi-Marxist dynasty. Their work has the normal chapters on the strength of the current regime, the horrific prison system, and the prospects for the...

Online Supplement

What Soccer Means To Me: National Integration through the Prism of Soccer in Singapore

For Singaporeans of my generation born in the 1960s, soccer dominates our lives. It’s hard now to imagine an era where children did not have fancy gadgets with bells, lights, and sound effects—let alone television. But that was the reality of growing up in post-Independence Singapore, where poverty was endemic and forms of recreation for children were limited. Yet for me, like so many Singaporean children growing up in the 1970s, our lives revolved around soccer. I started playing soccer ...

EAA Interview, Feature Article

Vocational Students and International Education: An EAA Interview with United States–Japan Foundation Elgin Heinz Prizewinner, Robert Clavelle

Robert (Bob) Clavelle is the Instructor of the Building Trades Program at the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center in White River Junction, Vermont. He has a strong passion for Japan, its people, and culture. In the summer of 2000, he was provided an opportunity to be a participant in the University of Vermont’s Asian Studies Outreach Program Institute in Japan, a three-week study program funded by the United States–Japan Foundation (USJF) with a focus on learning Japanese culture and ...