Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

Letter to the Editor

On Eric Cunningham’s “Cultivating Enlightenment: The Manifold Meaning of Japanese Zen Gardens” from winter 2016 From Todd Lewis, The College of the Holy Cross I write to critique the author’s use of terms. I have been researching, teaching, and trying to fund a campus Japanese garden/tea building for twenty-five years, and having visited dozens of gardens in Japan, and all major gardens in North America, and worked with scholars and designers in the field of Japanese gardens, I feel th...

Feature Article

Cultivating Enlightenment: The Manifold Meaning of Japanese Zen Gardens

While Zen gardens have been a fixture of Japanese aesthetics since the Muromachi Period (1336–1573), the purposes and meanings of these austere landscapes have been far less fixed, and indeed have changed somewhat since their first appearance as places for meditation in the Zen temples of medieval Japan. For those of us who have been fortunate enough to visit such magnificent sites as Ryōanji or Tenryūji, the primary function of Zen gardens today seems to be to remind the busloads of tour...

Feature Article

D. T. Suzuki: A Biographical Summary

It would be difficult to name any world religious or cultural figure of the twentieth century who did more to transform modern civilization than Zen Buddhist scholar Daisetsu Teitaro (D. T.) Suzuki (1870–1966). While we might look to such luminaries as the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, or Mother Teresa and note the profound changes their lives brought to postwar global consciousness, the influence they exercised was of a different species than Suzuki’s. D. T. Suzuki did not just hold ...

Essay, Resources

Three New Volumes: Key Issues in Asian Studies

Editor’s note: Key Issues in Asian Studies (KIAS) is a series of booklets engaging major cultural and historical themes in the Asian experience. KIAS booklets serve as vital educational materials that are both accessible and affordable for classroom use. This series is particularly intended for teachers and undergraduates at two- and four-year colleges as well as high school students and secondary school teachers engaged in teaching Asian studies in a comparative framework. What follows are br...

Feature Article

The Cold War in Northeast Asia

Although the Cold War began in 1945 as an argument between the United States and the Soviet Union over the administration of recently liberated European states, it rapidly became a large-scale ideological war involving every region of the world. The titanic clash between American-style democracy and Soviet communism always determined the abstract contours of the Cold War, but in the sites where the struggle was concretely fought—the Middle East, Latin America, and Northeast Asia—the Cold War...

Book Review, Columns

Shots in the Dark: Japan, Zen, and the West

Shoji Yamada’s Shots in the Dark is a smart book that offers a new perspective on the thriving project of unmasking false representations of Zen culture. A well-crafted work of clarity and logic, Shots challenges the common notion of Zen-as-the-embodiment-ofJapanese essence by historically deconstructing two of Zen’s most potent international emblems. The first of these is the long-accepted sagacity of Eugen Herrigel, author of Zen in the Art of Archery, the other is the aesthetic perfection...

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