Education About Asia: Online Archives

NEW FOR 2023: Beginning with Spring 2023, subscribers to the print edition of Education About Asia (EAA) will receive additional exclusive digital access to the current year’s three issues (spring, fall, and winter) as an online flipbook for the duration of their active subscription. Articles from the three print issues for 2023 will be uploaded to the EAA Digital archives in 2024. View the TOC and Editor’s Message for the Spring 2023 issue. Subscribe today to stay up to date with EAA!

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Book Review, Columns, Resources

A Buddhist in the Classroom

In the Theravada Buddhist tradition of Southeast Asia, the Buddha was not a god or a savior, but a teacher. Sid Brown, who has a background as a Buddhist nun and now teaches Asian Studies at Sewanee: The University of the South, asked herself the question, “How does Buddhism influence the way I teach in twenty-first century America?” Her thoughts on that topic became the delightful book A Buddhist in the Classroom.

Book Review Essay, Resources

The Poetry of Zen

“Nothing’s worth noting that is not seen with fresh eyes,” Bashō says. Sam Hamhill and J. P. Seton’s The Poetry of Zen is a surprising, delightful new anthology of Zen. The first surprise is the poets the book includes. The first, Lao Tzu, is perhaps not too much of a stretch since, as the authors say, “Zen is Taoist Buddhism,” or “Zen is Buddhist Taoism.” But, I never expected the Confucian poet Tu Fu or the Shingon poet Saigyō. The authors cast a wide net, including “poets ...

Book Review, Columns

A Yankee in Meiji Japan: The Crusading Journalist Edward W. House

James L. Huffman adopts an unusual but highly effective technique in a new biography, A Yankee in Meiji Japan: The Crusading Journalist Edward W. House. Assuming, correctly, that most of us don’t know much about Meiji Japan, Huffman devotes every odd chapter to an overview of several years of Japanese history during this critical period. In the even chapters, then, Huffman writes his biographical portrait of House, an important journalist who helped to shape Western and especially American att...

Book Review, Resources

The Rise of Modern Japan

It’s amazing how, post-9/11, the great cultural debate over whether or not we need a global curriculum has just gone away. We need one, and it’s hard to find anyone who still wants to argue that European and American history are sufficient for American students. But where are the teachers with the background to teach non-Western classes? And where are the resources to help them? The Rise of Modern Japan is an important new textbook that anyone from the Asian Studies neophyte to the Asian Stu...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Three Zen Books

Zen is popping out all over. A recent search on turned up 1,686 book hits for “Zen,” and the local bookstore has as many books on Zen as it has on all the rest of Buddhism. Which of these books, though, can the educator use? Zen’s Chinese Heritage, The Zen Teachings of Master Lin-chi, and Zen and the Art of Anything are three that have some potential for the classroom.

Film Review Essay, Resources

Hinduism and Buddhism

A BILL MOYERS SPECIAL FILMS FOR THE HUMANITIES AND SCIENCES 1996. 58 MINUTES Hinduism and Buddhism, the first part of Bill Moyers’ conversations with Huston Smith in The Wisdom of Faith series, is not a systematic introduction to these two religions. Those teachers who eagerly watch it as a potential replacement for The Long Search series (which, filmed in the ’70s, is getting a bit long in the tooth) will be disappointed. Rather, this film is largely about Huston Smith himself, and es...


Going Beyond Hesse’s Siddhartha

For years I used Hesse’s Siddhartha in my 11th-grade world religions course; now I don’t. Here’s why. Siddhartha fulfills most teachers’ desires for a text (and no book fulfills them all). It’s an engaging read that’s accessible to even the weaker students and yet is thoughtful enough for even the best. Students do, as Mossman says, often get very enthusiastic about it, and just about anything that fosters a love of reading and encourages thoughtfulness is worth assigning. Siddhar...