Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Editor's Message

Editor’s Message

Lauren Collins in “Teaching Taiwan: An Experiential Learning Essay” demonstrates why understanding Taiwan is essential for teachers and students. She provides convincing and compelling evidence that student involvement in co-creating the curriculum in a short-term study abroad program enhanced the quality of the experience for the entire group. Although not consciously planned, the next three features focus exclusively on significant events that resulted in the deaths and impoverishment o...

Editor's Message

A Farewell Editorial Message

This issue of Education About Asia will be my last since I am resigning as editor. This was my decision and not a result of pressure from the AAS Staff, the AAS Board of Directors, or EAA contributors. My reasons for resignation include the cumulative effects of decades of exceptionally heavy year-round workloads, a desire to spend more time with my family, and because of my age, aspirations to be of service to others in different ways that would be impossible without increased time opportunitie...

Feature Article

Teaching about Myanmar and the Rohingya through One Man’s Eyes

Teaching about Myanmar and the Rohingya through One Man’s Eyes Introduction by EAA Editorial Office Background Facts for Teachers and Students Physical and Human Geography [caption id="attachment_24503" align="alignright" width="300"] Image 1: Myanmar (Burma) superimposed on the United States. Source: The CIA’s World Factbook at[/caption] Myanmar (Burma) is the forty-second of 257 countries in size, encompassing 676,578 square kilometers (approximat...

Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching About Asian War Refugees and Diaspora Experiences through Graphic Novels

Throughout history, humans have sought new environments, often voluntarily in search of greater economic opportunities, but also because they are fleeing natural disasters, invasion, civil war, human rights abuses, and exploitative governments. In the three graphic novels discussed below, the hardships that the protagonists and their families endure do not end when they arrive in another land. The migrants struggle to integrate economically and culturally into societies that view them with skept...

Feature Article

Museums, Monuments, and Memorials: Commemorating the American War in Vietnam

The Vietnam War was the first major conflict that the United States lost.1 This theme of loss is made corporeal by a smooth black granite wall on the National Mall into which is etched the names of the more than 58,000 Americans who died. Unlike the monuments nearby that celebrate America’s victory over fascism in World War II or heroic troops cast in steel depicted bravely weathering the elements in Korea, the memorial to Vietnam is in effect a collective headstone. In America’s histories, ...

Book Review Essay

Freedom Swimmer

Freedom Swimmer By Wai Chim New York: Scholastic Press, 2021 256 pages, ISBN: 978- 1338656138, Hardcover Reviewed by Clayton D. Brown In the decades since the Cultural Revolution, there have been numerous valuable memoirs of that tumultuous period published in English, many of which combine coming-of-age stories with firsthand accounts of life as a young Red Guard. These include Son of the Revolution by Liang Heng and Judith Shapiro, Wild Swans by Jung Chang, Blood Red Sunset by Ma ...

Asia: Experiential Learning

Teaching Taiwan: An Experiential Learning Essay

One of my favorite undergraduate courses to teach is Memory and the Politics of Heritage in Asia. This class uses examinations of material objects (not only museums, monuments, and memorials, but also archives, school curriculum, and oral histories) to explore how history does not exist as a passive, fixed account, but is instead an active and ongoing struggle to shape narratives, preserve memory, and influence collective consciousness. In this class, we explore history as a living, contested te...

Facts About Asia

Facts About Asia: The Modi Government and Religious Freedom

CONTEXT   India’s population is approximately 1.39 billion (2023 estimate), making it the second-most populous country in the world. The religious affiliation of India’s population is 80 percent Hindu, 14 percent Muslim, 2 percent Christian, 2 percent Sikh, and 2 percent other. India gained independence from the United Kingdom on August 15, 1947. India’s Constitution opens with words stating that the country is both a republic and a democracy. In the preamble of its constitution, Indi...

Film Review Essay

RRR (Rise, Roar, Revolt)

RRR (Rise, Roar, Revolt) Directed by S. S. Rajamouli Produced by D.V.V. Entertainment Runtime: 3 hours, 7 minutes; Color, 2022 Language: Telugu with English Subtitles Available on Netflix Reviewed by Jessica Johnson           Most Westerners are perhaps familiar with the Mumbai-based, Hindi-language “Bollywood” and may assume that Bollywood represents the entire Indian film industry, but it’s much more complex. Mumbai’s Bollywood has a rival of sorts in southern Hyder...

Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching Christopher Harding’s The Japanese: A History in Twenty Lives in High Schools

The Japanese A History in Twenty Lives By Christopher Harding London: Allen Lane, 2020 528 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0241434505, Hardcover Globally, most secondary school curricula have world history requirements. Ideally, the curriculum for history in high schools includes multiple perspectives when needed. As such, the contemporary curriculum endeavors to remember the impacts on all the participants involved, in a critical sense, both positive and negative. This is to not selectively for...

Feature Article

How Singapore Sustains Its Market Autocracy

[caption id="attachment_24297" align="aligncenter" width="519"] Singapore panorama skyline at night, Marina bay. © Tomas1111 |[/caption] Economists generally agree that democracy is an important contributor to a nation’s economic development. Representative government via regular general elections seems to be one of the best methods humans have yet devised for controlling predatory states. It is thus not surprising that, across the globe, representative democracy and economi...

Television Review Essay

Pachinko Season 1

      Pachinko SEASON 1 By Showrunner Soo Hugh Produced by Blue Marble Pictures, A.Han.Bok Dream Production Media Res for the Apple TV+ streaming service Based on the 2017 novel by Min Jin Lee 8 episodes, approximately 1 hour run time each Color; Languages: Korean, Japanese, and English (English subtitles available) Available on Apple TV at Reviewed by Jeffrey Wallace In an overview of the Zainichi population of Japan, John Lie writes in h...

Feature Article

Understanding Daily Life in Wartime Japan, 1937-1945

[caption id="attachment_24280" align="aligncenter" width="466"] Family and friends pose for a photo at a celebration for the soldier sitting in the foreground. The banners to the right and left read (top to bottom): “Congratulations, Going to war, Mr. Masaharu Shinoda.” Source: Children in History website at zejwjk5a.[/caption] In my first years as a college instructor, whenever I gave my lecture on the Japanese home front during the Asia-Pacific War (1937–1945), I ...

Editor's Message

Editor’s Message

I hope EAA readers have time for creative and interesting projects this summer and find our second non-thematic issue in over two decades to be lively, thought-provoking, substantive, and useful. Please subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter, the EAA Digest, for regular updates on EAA and exclusive content on using EAA articles and additional recommended Asia-related resources at Please also like us on Facebook and encourage your colleagues to do the same!

Book Review, Resources

Highlights of the 2022 Freeman and South Asia Book Award Winners

The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA), the Com­mittee on Teaching about Asia (CTA) of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), and Asia for Educators (AFE) at Columbia University sponsor the annual Freeman Book Awards for new young adult and children’s literature. The awards recognize quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of East and Southeast Asia. Awards are given in two categories: Children’s and Young Adult on sever...

Book Review Essay, Feature Article

The Story of a Family Divided by the Communist Revolution in China

Many books have been written on the experience of Chinese intellectuals and pre-1949 capitalists during the Mao years, including those with relatives who had fled to Taiwan, and some have described re­unification of Taiwan and mainland branches of a family after cross-Strait tensions began to ease in the 1980s. Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden is the first volume I have seen describing the parallel lives of family members separated accidentally in 1949, and reunited decades later. Part h...

Feature Article

The Problem That Has No Name

Being born and growing up in a patriarchal culture is never easy. Gender inequality is inherent in my culture and begins with the birth of a female child that is unwanted and comes to this world against the wishes of parents for a male offspring. In a patriarchal society there is an interplay of culture, religion, and law that always restricts women’s rights. For example, the Islamic religion and Pakistani legal system clearly specify the laws of inheritance for women, but culturally, Pakis...

Feature Article

Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden in the Classroom

Zhuqing Li’s Daughters of the Flower Fra­grant Garden offers an exciting new twist on a classic Civil War motif, the “brother against brother” narrative. This story is not about two brothers who chose to fight on opposite sides of a bitter war against each other on personal or moral grounds, but rather two sisters who, con­trary to their own desires, and even at odds with their own convictions, were separated from each other by a conflict that lasted most of their adult lives. The Civil ...

Feature Article

A Family Separated by the Bamboo Curtain

As a child in Mao-era Fuzhou, Zhuqing Li’s walk to school followed a path that took her past a secluded compound built atop Cangqian Hill. Only residents of the complex—high-level administrators at a teach­er’s college—could pass through the gate guard­ed by sentries and see what lay hidden behind solid stone walls. “Like something from a fairy tale,” Li remembers, the compound loomed over the city below it, “forbidding and aloof.” One day, Li pursued a runaway ball through ...

EAA Interview, Resources

An EAA Interview with Lauren McKee Author of Japanese Government and Politics An AAS Key Issues in Asian Studies Publication

Lauren McKee is Associate Professor of Political Science and Asian Studies at Berea College. She first joined the faculty of Berea College in 2014 as an ASIANetwork-Luce Foundation postdoc­toral teaching fellow after receiving a PhD in International Studies from Old Dominion Universi­ty. Dr. McKee regularly works with the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) and has been published in Education about Asia. She enjoys teaching classes on comparative and East Asian poli­tics and ha...