Education About Asia

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

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Book Review Essay, Resources

A Concise History of Korea From Antiquity to the Present, Second Edition

Michael Seth’s A Concise History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present provides readers with a clear, comprehensive, objective, and illuminating survey of Korean history from ancient times to the present. Readers will be inspired by Seth’s extensive knowledge of Korean history combined with his understanding of East Asian and world history. Throughout, comparisons are drawn between developments on the Korean peninsula and those in neighboring regions, especially China and Japan. Seth discu...

Book Review Essay, Resources

The Osamu Tezuka Story: A Life in Manga and Anime

Tezuka Osamu is hardly a household name in the United States, even in the fan communities that so eagerly consume the products of the Japanese pop culture industry that Tezuka was instrumental in building after World War II. In Japan, however, Tezuka is revered as a “god of manga,” a pioneer in the development of comics and animation, and, as one recent biographer described him, an almost-superhuman figure, “like Walt Disney, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Tim Burton, Arthur C. Clarke, and Carl Sag...

Book Review Essay, Resources

China’s Geography: Globalization and the Dynamics of Political, Economic, and Social Change, Third Edition

I must disclose at the outset of this review that I have a special attachment to this text. As an undergraduate student majoring in geography in the 1980s, the textbook for my Geography of Asia class was a 1983 book titled China: The Geography of Development and Modernization by Clifton W. Pannell and Lawrence J. C. Ma. This book, and how it presented China, initiated a lifelong interest for me in the physical and human geography of the country. In 2007, twenty-four years after the publication o...

Book Review, Resources

Foundations of Chinese Civilization The Yellow Emperor to the Han Dynasty (2697 BCE–220 CE) Understanding China through Comics, Volume 1

Here’s the opening line: “After 17,434 disasters, 3,791 wars, 663 emperors, and ninety-five dynasties, the 5,000-year-old Chinese civilization marches on.” What an entrance onto the world history stage! This nonfiction “graphic novel,” an informational comic book of 168 pages, combines breezy style with historical rigor to strike just the right gong-tone for a middle school audience approaching the vast scope of Chinese history. It could also serve well as an introductory text for high...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching with Kristin Stapleton’s Fact in Fiction: 1920s China and Ba Jin’s Family

Historian Lawrence Stone once noted that “a diet of statistics makes a dry and unpalatable meal unless washed down with the wine of human personality.” History courses often come alive when personal narratives are assigned. Even so, sometimes those narratives lack the verve to maintain the reader’s interest (ask anyone who has read Marco Polo’s Travels cover to cover). Then there is the possibility of bringing fictional accounts into the class, yet doing so raises the issue of how to use...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

In Search of a Universal Language: Past, Present, and Future

Ever since the Tower of Babel, humans have pursued developing a universal language to use to communicate with more—ideally all— people. However, they have been only marginally successful, as indicated by both the history of a large number of failed efforts and the current situation. Also, these efforts have their detractors. A language becomes larger when it weakens or replaces another language. This often involves “language genocide” and/or represents “language imperialism.” Atta...

Asia: Experiential Learning, Resources

Asia: Experiential Learning (Guest Editor, Tommy Lamont) The Power of Food: Students and Local Women Cooking Together in Rural Japan

All of us have several meals a day, yet few among us have thought about the power of food and how it affects a region’s culture, history, and people. Different people like different food—something we noticed during our program titled Local/Global Food as Revitalization in a small rural town called Shintotsukawa, located two hours northwest of Sapporo, a city with a population of 1.9 million and located in the center of Japan’s northmost island Hokkaidō. Local/Global Food as Revitalizat...

Columns, Web Gleanings

The Best of Web Gleanings

A Tribute to Judith Ames It is with some regret, but enormous gratitude, that I share the news that Judith Ames, who almost certainly holds the record for the most number of words published in EAA, recently informed me that she decided to retire as the columnist for “Web Gleanings.” Back in 1995 when I posted announcements for EAA editors, Judith, who previously was associated with the Japan Society in New York and has worked, among other endeavors, as an editorial and computer consultant, ...

Columns, Resources

In Memorial: James M. Becker

A tireless champion for international understanding, often cited as the “Father of Global Education,” James M. Becker (Jim) passed away at age ninety-seven. He is survived by his four children, seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Professor emeritus at Indiana University’s School of Education, Jim was extolled by many at a memorial service January 28, 2017, at the education building. Friends and family recounted numerous academic accomplishments, as well as a wicked sense of h...

Editor's Message

Editor’s Message

I hope readers are looking forward to an enjoyable summer. This issue marks the retirement of two invaluable members of the EAA family. Rita Kipp has served as Editorial Advisory Board Chair since the EAB was founded in 2004 and did a masterful job in offering carefully considered counsel on too many occasions to count. Both Rita and I are delighted and grateful that Kristin Stapleton, whose EAA experience includes serving as an Associate Editor and member of the EAB, agreed to take Rita’s pla...

Online Supplement

How Free Are Postcolonial Polities? Select Nation Profiles

Freedom House is an independent organization that advocates for increased freedom and democracy around the world. Partnering with frontline human rights activists to advance democratic change, Freedom House recognizes that freedom is only possible within the context of a democratic government that is accountable to its own people. Established in New York City in 1941, Freedom House has expanded to include offices in a dozen countries. Furthermore, among its goals include collaboration with li...

Online Supplement

Modeling Asia: An East China Sea Simulation

Tensions in the East China Sea have risen dramatically in the last decade between China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and a number of Southeast Asian countries. This conflict has been driven primarily by territorial contestations over islands each country claims as their own, for example, the Senkakau/Diaoyu Islands the Japanese and Chinese both claim. Add to the fray growing nationalist sentiments in many East Asian countries, a United States tied to Japan by treaty, unintentional military clash...

Feature Article

Who Did What in a Chinese Lady’s Autobiography?: A Text and Lesson Plan on Li Qingzhao’s Ambiguous Narrative

Students eagerly ask about women in Chinese history and literature. The Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368–1911) provide plenty of primary sources in translation, but only one woman poet and critic of Song times (960–1279) has won lasting fame, Li Qingzhao (1084–1150s). Her autobiography touchingly portrays her relationship with her husband, his untimely death in 1129 amidst the Jin invasion of Northern Song, and her troubles thereafter, including a failed second marriage. Yet because Classical...

Feature Article

More Than a Meal: School Lunch in Japan

For many children in school, little compares to the hunger felt waiting for lunch. Breakfast is a memory, and it is the promise of the midday meal that strengthens the spirit through the morning lessons. In some corners of the world, the lunch hour is considered a time of respite, a chance for students and teachers to enjoy a break from their classes, scarf down a meal, and socialize with friends. In Japan, by contrast, lunchtime is an important part of shokuiku, or food education. The midday ho...

Feature Article

Building Nationhood through Broadcast Media in Postcolonial India

The role of broadcast media in building patriotism and nationhood in postcolonial India is enormous. While television is a latecomer, radio was an essential vehicle from the early twentieth century onward in promoting the culture that would define the new nation, so most of this essay is devoted to radio. Although the recent rise of private TV is briefly discussed in this essay, in the case of both radio and TV, the role of government media in nation-building receives center stage....

Feature Article, Film Review Essay, Special Segment: Koreans and Japanese: Honoring Colonial Lives

So Long Asleep: Waking the Ghosts of a War

So Long Asleep: Waking the Ghosts of a War is a well-produced documentary that traces the finding, excavation, and repatriation in 2015 of the remains of 115 Korean conscript laborers whom the Japanese forced to work in Hokkaidō, Japan, and who died during World War II (referred to as the Asia–Pacific War in the documentary). The documentary focuses mostly on interviews with the volunteers who traveled to Hokkaidō to exhume the remains of the laborers, footage of the work itself, and sites o...

Feature Article, Special Segment: Koreans and Japanese: Honoring Colonial Lives

Out of a War’s Ashes

A chance encounter drew me into the work of repatriating the remains of Korean men who died doing forced labor in Hokkaidō during the Asia–Pacific War. In 1989, I was engaged in field research for a doctoral dissertation on Japanese day care centers. People suggested that I visit the center directed by Tonohira Yoshihiko, chief priest of a rural Buddhist temple. There, I learned that Reverend Tonohira was also leading local volunteers excavating the remains of victims from wartime constructio...

Feature Article

Taiwan’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

This essay is a basic introduction to Taiwan’s vibrant small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In what follows, we define SMEs, provide an overview of their importance to Taiwan’s economy, explain SME organization and management, and share case studies of two successful SMEs. SMEs are businesses whose employees are below a certain limit. The European Union limits small enterprises to fifty people and medium-sized enterprises to 250 people. In contrast, Taiwan’s government separates SMEs in...

Feature Article

Postcolonial Religious Conflict in Southeast Asia

“All religions teach people to be good people,” or so the Thai saying goes. This fits in with the general belief throughout Southeast Asia that religion is a good thing—though of course each person believes his/her religion to be the highest good. It is not surprising, then, that religious belief and practice remain key elements in Southeast Asian private and public life, with secularism little more than a theory. Religion continues to define the majority of people’s sense of self in Sou...

Feature Article

Understanding Democracy, Security, and Change in Post-2015 Myanmar

Developments in Myanmar, epitomized by images of long-oppressed Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi, now in high office, have recently attracted great interest in how the country is emerging from decades of slow decline under authoritarian rule. When the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) government initiated wide-ranging reforms in 2011, a number of potential foreign investors began to conceptualize Myanmar as a “last frontier” market replete with promise...