Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Using the Lowy Institute Asia Power Index to Teach Social Science: A Plan for a Facilitated Discussion

The Lowy Institute, one of Australia’s most well-regarded think tanks, released its second annual Asia Power Index in May 2019 (available at https://power.lowyinstitute.org). High school and college educators can use this resource to get students doing hands-on explorations of Asian political, military, economic, and diplomatic power using data. Students can learn about Asia while enhancing their data literacy and critical-thinking skills. This essay provides a plan for an interactive discussi...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching about the Comfort Women during World War II and the Use of Personal Stories of the Victims

[caption id="attachment_7067" align="alignnone" width="1113"] Four Korean comfort women after they were liberated by US-China Allied Forces outside Songshan, Yunnan Province, China on September 7, 1944. Source: The Hankyoreh website at https://tinyurl.com/y4dddxjn. Photo by Charles H. Hatfield, US 164th Signal Photo Company. Note: The original photo is available in the National Archives Catalog at https://tinyurl.com/yyumu88z.[/caption] “Comfort women” refers to the system of sexual slave...

Film Review Essay, Resources

Dead Souls

Dead Souls Produced and Directed by Wang Bing Grasshopper Film and Icarus Films, 2018 DVD, 3 discs, 8 hours, 15 minutes, Color Mandarin / English subtitles Jiabiangou lies on the edge of the Gobi Desert near the city of Jiuquan, in the northwest pocket of China’s Gansu Province. Today, the region is home to China’s premier satellite launch center, but from 1957 to 1961, it was the nucleus of a labor camp complex in which more than 80 percent of the prisoners died, mostly of starvation. ...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Contextualizing Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko

Pachinko By Min Jin Lee New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2017 496 pages, ISBN: 978-1455563937, Hardcover Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko, nominee for the 2017 National Book Award for fiction, is a sweeping historical saga of one family’s experience living as “forever foreigners” in twentieth-century Japan. Despite its heft (496 pages in the hardcover edition), the novel is written in an accessible and engaging style appropriate for both undergraduates and high school students. Moreover, Pa...

Book Review Essay, Resources

The Weight of Our Sky

The Weight of Our Sky By Hanna Alkaf New York: Simon & Schuster, 2019 288 pages, ISBN 978-1534426085, Hardcover The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf centers on Melati, a Malaysian schoolgirl who is a fan of the Beatles and loves going to the cinema with her best friend. But one thing sets Melati apart: she believes she has a djinn inside of her, a creature out of Islamic mythology who regularly shows her scenes of death and pain, compelling her to count and tap to keep her loved ones saf...

Columns, Facts About Asia, Resources

Facts About Asia: South Korea and Singapore: Economic and Political Freedom

Editor’s Introduction: By the 1990s, the dynamic economic growth of four polities—Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan—earned them the nickname “Four Little Dragons.” Each of the “Little Dragons” also obtained moderate to significant levels of political freedom (Freedom House ranks South Korea and Taiwan as free and Hong Kong and Singapore as partly free). Please see our column from fall 2019 on the other two “Little Dragons”: Hong Kong and Taiwan. Economic ...

Columns, Editor's Message, Resources

Editor’s Message

I hope EAA readers are having a pleasant fall. This issue’s special section is “Entrepreneurship in Asia.” Merriam-Webster’s definition of entrepreneur—”a person who organizes and operates a business, or businesses taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so”—is technically correct in my opinion, but reveals nothing about the hard work, creativity, and incredible perseverance of successful entrepreneurs. Innovative entrepreneurs have always existed in Asia, bu...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching China Through the Lens of Girls’ and Women’s Lives

Illiterate paternal grandparents raised Jin Shan, a teenage girl living in rural China. Her parents, unable to afford milk for their child, had no choice but to become migrant workers when Shan was seven months old. Shan remained behind with her grandparents, who farmed in the town of Xixiashu in Jiangsu Province, and did not live with her parents again until the age of ten. Shan’s experience was not unusual. In fact, it was anything but rare. Her story places her among millions of “left-...

Book Review Essay, Key Issues in Asian Studies, Resources

Key Issues in Asian Studies: “Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture”

With her contribution to the Key Issues in Asian Studies series—INDONESIA: History, Heritage, Culture— Kathleen M. Adams has maintained and even enhanced its well-established reputation for quality. Writing a brief yet comprehensive book is challenging because specialists must restrain themselves from delving too far into their area of expertise. Instead of presenting an in-depth look at the specific, they must focus on engaging intelligent but uninformed readers so they can grasp the basics...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

The Nomads of the Steppe: Resources for Teachers

The nomadic pastoralists of the inner Asian steppe had an impact on history out of all proportion to their small population. The cultures and politics of societies across Asia experienced profound change at their hands. China presents a good example of this phenomenon. The nomads on the steppe posed a perennial challenge to the Chinese political structure, making management of the nomads always one of the chief concerns of every Chinese dynasty. The Great Wall of China is the most famous dem...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Peeling The Onion Stories: “China in Family Photographs: A People’s History of Revolution and Everyday Life”

China in Family Photographs A People’s History of  Revolution and  Everyday Life By Ed Krebs and Hanchao Lu Abingdon, UK: Routledge (Bridge21 Publications), 2017 355 pages, ISBN: 978-1626430549, Paperback Asked to write a review of China in Family Photographs, I quickly got caught up in the task. Using stories from a series begun in 1996, Ed Krebs and Professor Hanchao Lu translate the tales based on the pictures that accompany the text. They also wrote an introduction to each pie...

Columns, Resources

Facts About Asia: Taiwan and Hong Kong: Economic and Political Freedom

Editor’s Introduction: By the 1990s, the dynamic economic growth of four polities—Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan—earned them the nickname “Four Little Dragons.” Each of the little dragons also obtained moderate to significant levels of political freedom (Freedom House ranks South Korea and Taiwan as free and Hong Kong and Singapore as partly free). Hong Kong and Taiwan are featured in the first of two Facts About Asia columns on the Four Little Dragons. Economic Freedom...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

EngageAsia: An Entrepreneurial Approach to Creating Transnational Communities

EngageAsia (www.engageasia.org), a New York-based 501(c)(3) non- profit with the mission of building community in the Asia–Pacific through education, was born out of a need for a new organization with Asia-focused teacher professional development at its core, through intensive discussions between its cofounders and inaugural board, and on culling best practices from years of working with US–Japan teacher professional development programs. Most importantly, the creation of this new organizati...

NCTA Teaching Resources Essay, Resources

Challenging the Textbook to Develop Historical Thinking: Inquiry Lessons on the Mongol Invasions and Meiji Japan

Developing lessons and units of study in the current social studies climate requires finding an entry point with a topic that will facilitate an inquiry. One such entry point can be challenging textbook accounts. In Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen describes many of the problems with history textbooks and indicates a need to stop using textbooks as the authoritative source.1 Teaching students how to assess a source’s reliability and usefulness, including textbooks, is a key historical thi...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Chinese Naval Shipbuilding: An Ambitious and Uncertain Course

The thesis of Chinese Naval Shipbuilding: An Ambitious and Uncertain Course is that the People’s Republic of China, since 2000, has become the world leader in commercial shipping and that its navy is emerging as a rival to the dominance of the United States Navy (USN) in Asian waters. China’s fast rise in maritime power is yet another aspect of the country’s significance in world affairs. In China, naval forces constitute a branch of the People’s Liberation Army. The correct English tran...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Incarnations, a History of India in Fifty Lives

In his latest book, Incarnations, Sunil Khilnani, director of the Kings College London India Institute, helps broaden and deepen our understanding of and appreciation for the rich history of South Asia, particularly India. With the same smooth, bold, and engaging style that characterized his excellent 1997 award-winning book The Idea of India, Khilnani once again weaves an original narrative of the complex story of the Indian subcontinent. In Incarnations, the author deftly and concisely explain...

Columns, Digital Asia, Resources

MOOCS (Massive Online Open Courses) and Asian Studies

“Given that education has been calcified for 500 years, we really have to completely reimagine it. It’s like going from ox carts to the airplane.” This was the challenge laid out to a TED audience in January 2014 by Anant Agarwal, CEO of EdX. In his talk, Agarwal promised nothing less than to revolutionize education through MOOCs (or massively open online courses). By the end of the year, an article in the MIT Technology Review hit back, suggesting that “For all the hype, MOOCs are reall...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?

Most readers will likely find Graham Allison’s newest book, Destined for War, interesting and fresh. Many will agree with this reviewer that it is a work that may entitle Allison to join the ranks of Francis Fukuyama (The End of History) and Samuel Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations), who offer powerful templates, if not plausible theories, to help explain current international politics. This book is therefore highly recommended to students of US–China relations, strategic studies, in...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power

For the past several years, I have traveled in China at the end of September as the country ramps up for National Day on October 1. In the cities, one cannot avoid Xi Jinping’s China Dream campaign, with various attractive posters urging “Chinese spirit, Chinese culture, Chinese forms, Chinese expression.” On an internal flight, I watched Jackie Chan’s over-the-top “Kung-fu Yoga,” in which he plays a Chinese archaeologist working with a beautiful South Asian colleague to find missing...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World

Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World, by Graham Allison, Robert D. Blackwill, and Ali Wyne, provides a fascinating introduction to the thoughts and attitudes of one of the twentieth century’s most complex political leaders. Lee was the first prime minister of independent Singapore, continuing in that position from 1959 to 1990. After stepping down as prime minister at the age of sixty-seven, Lee continued to serve first as senior minister and t...

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