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: Experiences in Asia –Travel Journals and Blogs

JAPAN A Life in Japan (Video) URL: http://www.alifeinjapan.com/ This documentary is almost one hour and twenty minutes long. It can be downloaded to one’s computer or watched on the Web page in a variety of formats, including English (with or without subtitles), Japanese, and Swedish. Several people from different countries respond on screen to questions – like “What is your purpose in coming to Japan?” posed by the filmmaker. It is interesting to hear the responses which, in so...

Online Supplement, Resources

Online Links for “Mapping ‘Made in China'”

Data Sources Information on water pollution in China and the United States’ harmonized tariff schedule: “China Pollution Map Database,” Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, last modified February 2, 2014, http://tinyurl.com/kvznrlx. “About the Harmonized Tariff Schedule,” US International Trade Commission, accessed February 26, 2014, http://tinyurl.com/7jtvor9. Working with Google Earth Instructions for the creation of a narrated tour in Google Earth and othe...

Book Review, Resources

Modern Japan: A Historical Survey (Fifth Edition)

Revisiting this classic textbook in its fifth edition, I am reminded of how well the late Mikiso Hane and, now, Louis Perez have told the complex story of modern Japan. Throughout this volume’s long life (the first edition, by Hane, appeared in 1986), critics have rightly focused on the way in which people—both high and lowborn, insiders and the marginalized—figure prominently in the book’s narrative. This is, indeed, one of the book’s perennial strong points and is doubtless a big rea...

Key Issues in Asian Studies, Online Supplement, Resources

Key Issues in Asian Studies: Japan Since 1945

No American high school or young college student can recall when Japan appeared to be on the brink of displacing the United States as the leader of global capitalism. Yet, this challenge from Japan in the late 1980s prompted a real sense of crisis and loss of self-confidence among many in the US. Some Americans were bitter that a nation we had supposedly put back on the path to democracy and had militarily protected for several decades was now outcompeting us in important industries such as auto...

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...

Online Supplement

Globalizing Science and Engineering Through On-Site Project-Based Learning

Introduction Ease of international travel, instant communication, and new corporate structures that span multiple countries all point to the necessity of globalizing the way we teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. In fact, corporations involved in applied research have evolved into operations with fluid frameworks that span multiple countries, with headquarters in one country, sourcing in a second, marketing in a third, and research laboratories in yet another. Sci...

Resources

Teaching the Cultural Revolution in China: Contested Pasts and Public History

On a hot July afternoon in 2012, an elderly man was found unconscious by police on a highway close to Huangshe Village, in the province of Zhejiang in China. (note 1) The man was recognized as Qiu Riren, the subject of a 1986 arrest warrant for his part in the murder of Hong Yunke during the Cultural Revolution. Qiu Riren was part of a local militia who strangled the doctor in December 1967. While the rest of the group was tried in 1986, Qiu Riren left the area and since then had been presumed d...

Feature Article, Focus on Korea: Korean Democratization

Kim Dae-jung’s Role in the Democratization of South Korea

South Korea in the twenty-first century is a very different place than it was two centuries ago. In the nineteenth century, it was an absolute monarchy. Today, South Korea is a vibrant democracy with a president and parliament selected through hotly contested elections. Two centuries ago, the Korean economy was overwhelmingly agrarian, and Korea engaged in very little foreign trade. Today, South Korea is an industrial and commercial powerhouse producing automobiles and smartphones that are in gr...

Feature Article, Focus on Korea: Korean Democratization

Korea’s Rough Road to Democracy

On October 17 2013, I took part in a one-day conference in Seoul titled Dialogue with Ambassadors. It was sponsored by the Korea Foundation in Seoul and the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, DC. Participants were six former Korean ambassadors to Washington and five former American ambassadors to Seoul, of which I was the earliest, having served from 1989–1993. There was general agreement among the eleven participants that the Korean-American alliance was in ve...

Feature Article, Focus on Korea: Korean Democratization

Americans and the Development of Civil Society in Modern Korea

Vibrant civil societies, communities of citizens linked by common interests and collective identities, are critical for the perpetuation of free societies. (note 1) South Korea today is widely regarded as a successful democracy that rests on the solid foundation of a civil society. The building blocks of this foundation include a strong and thriving middle class; a constitution that guarantees basic freedoms, such as a free press and the freedom to associate; a political system that is supported...

Feature Article, Focus on Korea: Korean Democratization

Early Visions of Reform and Modernity: Sirhak and Religious Movements in Choson Korea

South Korea in the twenty-first century is a very different place than it was two centuries ago. In the nineteenth century, it was an absolute monarchy. Today, South Korea is a vibrant democracy with a president and parliament selected through hotly contested elections. Two centuries ago, the Korean economy was overwhelmingly agrarian, and Korea engaged in very little foreign trade. Today, South Korea is an industrial and commercial powerhouse producing automobiles and smartphones that are in gr...

Feature Article

Fang yazi—Releasing the Ducks: The University of North Dakota’s Short-Term Faculty-Led Study Program in China

In the summer of 2000, students at our university participated in the first China Summer Study Program (CSSP), a short-term, faculty-led program sponsored by the College of Business and Public Administration. It was designed as a study abroad experience that would allow students to accomplish specific tasks on their own rather than being transported from place to place on a tour bus or spending time in classrooms and factory reception halls. In this program, students walk or use public transport...

Feature Article

Sensory Experiences as Elements of Asian Studies Field Trips

Wingate University is a comprehensive university twenty-five miles east of Charlotte, North Carolina, with an undergraduate population of about 2,000. Almost 80 percent of our students are from North Carolina and many are from small towns. The student body is 60 percent female and 75 percent Caucasian. Although some of our students are well-traveled, a significant number have never been out of the country, and many have never been on an airplane. As part of Wingate’s emphasis on global edu...

Feature Article

Islam Encountered: Confronting Stereotypes and Fostering Knowledge

In this article, I discuss how field trips offer unique opportunities to craft a more nuanced and grounded understanding of religion in Southeast Asia, particularly Islam. I argue that rather than exert a lot of energy on “mythbusting” religious stereotypes through direct counterfactuals, encouraging students to channel these stereotypes towards a reflexive introspection has proven to be pedagogically beneficial. I then discuss field trips as a potentially fruitful opportunity to embody reli...

Feature Article

International Engagement Through Experiential Learning: Southeast Asian Case Studies

Our world today is defined by rapid and pervasive connections, whether in our globally interlinked economic systems and financial networks, the movement of goods and services, or the interactions of people and communities. Technological advances are further facilitating and expanding these connections, providing multiple platforms for sharing information, ideas, and innovations while collapsing boundaries and distances. Technology is also changing the ways we think about friendship, culture, com...

Feature Article

New York City as Classroom: Exploring Buddhism Through Experiential Learning

Experiential learning can be particularly useful when teaching about Asia, as few students in an introductory course come with much knowledge about the region’s vast history, distinct cultures, and complicated political and social structures. Nevertheless, how does an instructor provide students direct experience of Asia without planning expensive study abroad opportunities or site visits? How does an educator encourage engagement with Asia without relying entirely on guest speakers or informa...

Feature Article

Mapping “Made in China”: Tracing the Economic, Social, and Environmental Impacts of Global Trade

Editor’s Note: Links to related additional teaching resources are provided in the online supplement to this article. Few instructors can offer their students a field trip to China, but nearly every student comes into contact with products made in China every day. By tracing the routes that brought these products to them, students can learn a lot about the economics of global trade and the history and politics that affect the lives of people involved along the way. Online research and websi...

Feature Article

How “Green” Is Japan?: Studying Environmental Issues in the Field

There is no shared definition of what makes a country, business, or person “green” or environmentally friendly. However, based upon its landscape, policies, technologies, and practices, Japan appears to be more eco-friendly than most nations. Approximately 70 percent of Japan is forested—a much higher percentage than other countries. It has a history of celebrating nature in the arts, from landscape gardens and flower arrangement to the haiku of Basho and anime of Hayao Miyazaki. (note 1) ...

Feature Article

Looking for Confucius at the Asian Art Museum

Students in my East Asian civilization course learn about Daoism in part by practicing Tai Chi with a credentialed Tai Chi master who brings both a saber and a sword to class for a demonstration. Our outdoors practice session produces some Daoist awareness of the natural world; many students comment later that they had heard things while practicing that they had not heard on campus before, such as the wind in the trees or birds singing. We learn about Zen Buddhism in part by practicing seated me...

Feature Article

“Give Me Blood, and I Will Give You Freedom”: Bhagat Singh, Subhas Chandra Bose, and the Uses of Violence in India’s Independence Movement

Last April, two Indian students visited my high school for a few weeks and joined my world history class. One day, during a discussion of the Indian independence movement, I asked all of my students in the class to hold up their hand if they had ever heard of Bhagat Singh or Subhas Chandra Bose. Only two hands went up, those belonging to our visitors from India. Our Indian guests expressed shock and dismay that their American peers had never heard these two names that are so familiar to Indians....