Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Essay, Resources

Elgin Heinz Winners Teaching Ideas

from Patience Berkman The Doctor’s Wife by Ariyoshi Sawako URL: http://tinyurl.com/3arorhd This moving historical novel tells the story of Seishu Hanaoka (1760– 1835), a Japanese physician who specialized in breast cancer and pioneered the use of general anesthetics in surgery. The novel focuses on the courageous wife and domineering mother of this surgeon and personalizes the story. I highly recommend this novel for high school students. from Patricia Burleson Hiroshima Peace Site:...

Essay, Resources

Why Japan Matters

By Alejandro Echevarria Japan matters in the history classroom because its development as a modern country offers rich opportunities for comparison. Japan’s rapid change from a system with some characteristics of feudalism in the Tokugawa period to modernization in the Meiji period is unlike any other shift in world history. The economic, social, and political changes were so rapid that they destabilized the fabric of the nation and put them on the path toward conflict with the Wester...

Columns

Yokohama Boomtown Curriculum (From Visualizing Cultures): Foreigners in Treaty Port Japan (1859-1872)

The creators of the Yokohama Boomtown Web site, John W. Dower and Shigeru Miyagawa, describe Visualizing Cultures as units that wed “images and scholarly commentary in innovative ways to illuminate social and cultural history.” To date, twenty units are online for students and scholars to explore topics that range from the Canton trade system to Hiroshima’“Ground Zero” and the atomic bomb. To get a grasp on the Yokohama Boomtown unit, first visit the “Black Ships and Samurai” un...

Film Review Essay, Resources

Wings of Defeat

Wings of Defeat is a documentary that contains rare interviews with surviving kamikaze pilots, also known as the tokko or Tokkotai (Special Attack Forces). However, the film deals with much more than the kamikaze. Risa Morimoto, the director of the film, had an uncle in Japan who was a surviving tokko. Although she found this out after his death, she had many questions about his life. For many Americans, the kamikaze may be considered fanatical suicide bombers who did not value human life. yet, ...

Columns, Essay

Why Perspective Matters

Something happens in the humanities classroom when the student realizes that his/her world is infinite, without borders, and that knowledge is not solely confined to a textbook. They reach the understanding that they know. In my classroom, understanding and gaining perspective is the essential outcome I want for them. The memorization of historical dates and trivia, knowing the state standards, and scoring “above proficient” on standardized tests pale in comparison. In fact, I think none of ...

Book Review, Resources

The Koreas: A Global Studies Handbook

“You know, Korea’s the most interesting of the Asian cultures.” The author’s preface invites the reader to explore one of the richest, and most often ignored, cultures in East Asia. Many educators have left Korea out of their curricula mainly due to the lack of available material. This ambitious book seeks to remedy this problem by providing a general introduction to Korea through history, contemporary culture, and its economic and political development since 1945. Mary Connor has succee...

Book Review, Columns

Popular Buddhism in Japan: Shin Buddhist Religion and Culture

When most Westerners think about Buddhism, especially Japanese Buddhism, they envision Zen. From zazen, to tea ceremony, to rock gardens, the Western conception is that Zen is Japan. Esben Andreasen begins by dispelling this notion: “ . . . Zen is a minority sect and in many respects it is not very different from other branches of Buddhism” (ix). In fact, when delving deeper into Japanese Buddhism, the predominant sect to emerge is Shin Buddhism. And reasen’s intention in Popular Buddhism ...