Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Teaching Resources Essay

Lessons From Teaching East Asia: Korea and Korean American History

Teaching East Asia: Korea and Korean American History is a welcome resource for teachers wishing to include more breadth to their curriculum on East Asia by including Korea. Offering lessons and background material for all subjects, the resource is available not only in print, but also as a downloadable e-book at no charge by accessing the National Korean Studies Seminar website: The following lessons on “Korea and Confucianism” and the “Four Famous Koreans” fro...

Book Review Essay, Resources

A Concise History of Korea From Antiquity to the Present, Second Edition

Michael Seth’s A Concise History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present provides readers with a clear, comprehensive, objective, and illuminating survey of Korean history from ancient times to the present. Readers will be inspired by Seth’s extensive knowledge of Korean history combined with his understanding of East Asian and world history. Throughout, comparisons are drawn between developments on the Korean peninsula and those in neighboring regions, especially China and Japan. Seth discu...

Book Review, Resources

Tears of Blood: A Korean POW’s Fight for Freedom, Family, and Justice

Tears of Blood: A Korean POW’s Fight for Freedom, Family, and Justice by Young-Bok Yoo is a riveting, highly readable, and concise account of a survivor of the Korean War who suffered harsh imprisonment and forty-seven years of extreme hardship in North Korea until he escaped to freedom in South Korea at age seventy. Young-Bok Yoo’s narrative brings to life not only the chaos and suffering experienced by Koreans during the Korean War but also informs the reader about an aspect of the war tha...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Values Lesson Plan: How Currency Reveals Cultural Values

King Sejong is the most well-known and celebrated ruler in Korean history. Even though he lived more than 500 years ago, the Korean people continue to honor him for his relentless efforts to improve the lives of the common people. He governed with compassion and wisdom and led Korea into a golden age of cultural and scientific progress. In his youth, Sejong became known as “the reading prince” and began his lifelong quest to learn everything he could about the world around him. At the age of...

Book Review, Resources

Korean Spirituality

BY DON BAKER UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI`I PRESS, 2008 151 PAGES ISBN: 978-0-8248-3257-5, PAPERBACK Reviewed by Mary E. Connor Korean Spirituality by Don Baker, a professor at the University of British Columbia, is an accessible and engaging guidebook to the distinctive religious and philosophical belief systems on the Korean peninsula. Its value is manifold. Because Korea has one of the most vibrant and diverse religious cultures of any nation in the world, lucid exposure to its beliefs and practi...

Feature Article

Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF: South Korean Popular Religion in Motion

In Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF, Kendall skillfully examines the role of shamanism in contemporary Korea’spopular culture.Although many regard Shamanism as an anachronistic remnant of the past, the author explains how Korea’s oldest religion has adapted itself to changing circumstances,why it is thriving in South Korea, and how it plays a significant role in alleviating anxiety in the modern world.

Feature Article

Bring Korean Films into the Classroom

"Teachers exposed to Korean history and culture often want to learn more. Most teachers are amazed that Koreans not only invented metal movable type before Gutenberg, but also the world’s first iron-clad ship, known as a “Turtle Ship.” The beauty of ancient palaces, the spirituality of Buddhist sculpture, and the technical achievements of Koryŏ celadon potters inspire educators to learn more so they will be better able to teach about Asia. They will discover that the Silk Road did not end...

Book Review, Columns

Bipolar Orders: The Two Koreas Since 1989

Too often we fail to question conventional perspectives on the Koreas. In Bipolar Orders: The Two Koreas since 1989, Hyung Gu Lynn challenges us to examine whether reunification of North and South Korea is necessary or inevitable. The author explores how North and South Korea have developed diametrically opposed values and self-perceptions despite their common heritage and racial identities, a condition he diagnoses as “bipolar orders.” His objective is to inform the reader of the existing p...

Book Review, Resources

A Concise History of Korea: From the Neolithic Period through the Nineteenth Century

Michael J. Seth’s A Concise History of Korea: From the Neolithic Period through the Nineteenth Century (2006) is exceptional and in many ways tops nearly every chronological narrative I have read on Korean history and culture. His book provides an appreciation of the remarkable durability and stability of pre-modern Korea, a foundation for understanding mod­ern Korea, and, more than any other source, an understanding of Korea’s distinctive culture. Five historical maps, primary documents, a...

Curriculum Materials Review

Learning from Asian Art: Korea

Learning from Asian Art: Korea is an exceptional teaching resource. Educators who know little about Korea can be confident in adopting the lessons with minimal preparation time. This resource is one of three complete lesson books on Asian Art developed by the Division of Education at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Teachers of all levels will be able to adapt these materials for their specific needs. Beautiful photographs and slides inspire assignments and research in art, history, and language ...



UCLA ASIA INSTITUTE WWW.ASIAMEDIA.UCLA.EDU AsiaMedia ( “delivers news about all aspects of the media in Asia, including its role in regional and national economies, societies and political debate.” This seven-year-old Web resource, published by the UCLA Asia Institute, provides rich daily coverage for those interested in Asia and media policies and practices. The site features original reporting, stories reprinted from cooperating news outlets, and diverse commenta...

Essay, Resources

Bringing Korea into the Curriculum: United States, World, and European History

Document-Based Essay (DBQ) questions teach students who are enrolled in Advanced Placement classes invaluable thinking and writing skills. Students learn to interpret primary source documents, critically examine different points of view, and deepen their understanding of textbooks and classroom discussions. Students in World, European, and United States History AP classes learn to combine outside information with the primary source material, an important step for writing research papers and coll...


Famous Koreans: Six Portraits

The purpose of the lesson is to provide an opportunity for students to learn about famous Koreans through readings and/or dramatizations. It is primarily designed to introduce students to famous people who have helped shape Korean history. In the process of studying the six portraits, students will not only learn about influential Koreans, but they will also become familiar with some of the distinctive elements of Korean culture. It is hoped that the lesson will stimulate interest, provoke quest...

Book Review, Columns

Still Life With Rice: A Young American Woman Discovers the Life and Legacy of Her Korean Grandmother

While focusing on the remarkable life of her grandmother, Hongyong Baek, Helie Lee’s Still Life With Rice provides memorable images of Japanese and Soviet occupation and civil war. Written with sensitivity and detail, the book is not only a tribute to her grandmother’s will to survive, but to the courage of the Korean people. Still Life With Rice is recommended for high school and college literature, world history and Asian Studies classes.

Columns, Curriculum Materials Review

Asian Culture in the Classroom

I teach a senior elective in Asian Studies at Westridge School, an independent school in Pasadena, California. My objective is to provide a solid foundation for appreciating the distinctive histories and cultures of China, Japan and Korea, their interrelationships and commonalities. To secure respect for Asian societies, opportunities are created for students to experience the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures within and outside of the classroom (see appendix 1). In order to be as creative ...

Book Review, Resources

Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History

Here’s a big book that could be as important for understanding Korea as Reischauer’s was for revealing Japan. Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History will become an essential resource for high school and college libraries and a requisite for those who teach Asian Studies. This valuable text was authored by Bruce Cumings, a Northwestern University professor and one of America’s leading Korea scholars. After guiding us quickly through the country’s early history, Cumings documents the...