Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

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

“Comfort women” refers to the system of sexual slavery created and controlled by the Imperial Japanese government between 1932 and 1945. It is the largest case of government-sponsored human trafficking and sexual slavery in modern history. Many scholars have argued that the term comfort women, a euphemism coined by the Japanese military, obscures the gravity of the crime. While the authors agree that “military sexual slaves” is a much more accurate and appropriate phrase, we use the term...

Book Review, Resources

Pot Shards: Fragments of a Life Lived in CIA, the White House, and the Two Koreas

Donald Gregg had a remarkably long career spanning almost six decades, most of it connected with Asia. He served as a CIA officer in Japan, Việt Nam, and Burma, and was the CIA station chief in Seoul from 1973 to 1975. From 1989 to 1993, he was the US ambassador to South Korea. After retiring from government service, he headed the Korea Society in New York and made six trips to North Korea to promote better relations with that country. In between, he served on the National Security Council. Du...

Feature Article

From the Nisshin to the Musashi: The Military Career of Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku

On the morning of December 7, 1941, Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) aircraft set out on one of the most famous operations in military history: a surprise air attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawai`i. The attack was devised and fashioned by Admiral Yamamoto, whose entire military career seems to have been leading to this very moment. Yamamoto was a naval officer who appreciated and understood the strategic and technological advantages of naval aviation. This essay will explore Yamamoto...

Feature Article

An EAA Interview with Satu Limaye: Why Southeast Asia Matters for America and the World

Satu Limaye was named Director of the East-West Center in Washington in February 2007. He is also a Senior Adviser at the CNA Corporation, a nonprofit research and analysis organization located in Alexandria, Virginia. From October 2005 to February 2007, he was a Research Staff Member of the Strategy and Resources Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and from July 1998 to October 2005 Director of Research and Publications at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), a...

Feature Article

Teaching and Learning About Southeast Asia

Editor’s Introduction: Given Southeast Asia’s relative neglect in schools and higher education, the authors of this segment provide both a convincing case for Southeast Asia in the classroom and comprehensive teacher/student resources. Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, East Timor, Việt Nam, and the Philippines— why is it important for middle, high school, and college students to learn about Southeast Asia? What might interest them about this area...

Feature Article

Sources for Understanding Myanmar

Considering Myanmar’s mineral and cultural wealth, it has not been easy to study nor common to discuss the many societies there. Access to information, stories, and lives in Myanmar has markedly improved since 2010, when the US rekindled official and informal relations in Burma, as they refer to the country. Entrepreneurs, tourists, and scholars also have engaged with people and organizations there more and more. One result has been the need for useful sources of current conditions, as well as...

Feature Article

USG Asia Council: Teaching Southeast Asia Workshop

On April 11th and 12th, 2014, the Asia Council of the USG hosted a workshop titled “Teaching Southeast Asia” for university and college faculty. In total, six sessions of one hour and fifteen minutes each were conducted by five presenters and covered a wide range of topics: basic history, religion, cartography, global trade networks, economics, religion, literature, and indigenous cultures. This workshop was the third in a series sponsored by the Asia Council that began in response to sta...

Columns, Web Gleanings

Web Gleanings: Southeast Asia in the Humanities and Social Science Curricula

SOUTHEAST ASIA Map of Southeast Asia URL: http://tinyurl.com/moko9d6 This map gives the reader an idea of the complicated geography of Southeast Asian countries. Each country is shown with a different color, making it easy to identify them. Ancient Lights: The Geography and Cultures of Southeast Asia (video) Volume 1, URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_WkIb01bs8 Volume 2, URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJtGyOFKVa4 These videos, from Ancient Lights: The Geography and Cul...

Feature Article

Aung San Suu Kyi: A Leader Born, a Leader Made

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi is today feted around the world. Why is she so celebrated? Before 2010, she spent fifteen of the previous twenty-one years under house arrest, jailed by the country’s military rulers. In 1989, she faced down the guns of the regime’s soldiers.  In 1990, her party triumphed in elections rigged against it, only to be deprived of the chance to take power when the election results were ignored. In 1991, Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, something she says sh...

Film Review Essay, Resources

Honor and Sacrifice: The Roy Matsumoto Story

Reviewed by John H. Sagers Honor and Sacrifice: The Roy Matsumoto Story is an excellent case study that vividly illustrates issues surrounding early twentieth-century Japanese immigrants to the United States, their American-born children, and Japanese American military service during the Second World War. Narrated from the perspective of Roy Matsumoto’s daughter, Karen, the film has the intimate tone of a friend telling old family stories. The narrative begins with Roy’s father, Wakaji M...

Essay, Resources

Introduction to Contemporary Korean Ceramic Artists

Mei-ling Hom is an artist and independent scholar. In 2007, she was awarded a Fulbright research grant to study and document contemporary Korean ceramics. She traveled for ten months with a fellow artist, David McClelland, throughout South Korea, seeking Korean ceramic artists to interview and document. From their research, they produced a CD called “Contemporary Korean Ceramic Artists.” Besides art installations, sculpture, and ceramics, Hom’s artwork includes public art commissions at th...

Book Review, Resources

Bamboo People

BY MITALI PERKINS WATERTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS:  CHARLESBRIDGE PUBLISHING, 2010 272 PAGES, ISBN-10: 1580893287, HARDBACK Bamboo People is a coming-of-age story about two teenage boys caught up in the Burmese government’s brutal regime and its systematic repression of ethnic minority groups. The story touches upon each boy’s struggle to maintain a sense of morality, identity, and compassion in a world filled with cruelty and injustice. It is a tale that addresses current conditions of human r...

Book Review, Resources

Developing the Mekong Subregion

Edited by Bob Stensholt CLAYTON, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: MONASH ASIA INSTITUTE, 1997 XVI + 287 PAGES Nearly three decades after the Khmer Rouge retreated from Phnom Penh and the U.S. military withdrew from Laos and Vietnam, the six countries of the greater Mekong subregion (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma or Myanmar, and China’s southern Yunnan Province) now collectively represent one of the world’s fastest growing regional economies. While the current global economic crisis has seve...

Feature Article

Teaching About Southeast Asian Economics

The rich cultural and social milieu of Southeast Asia provides a superb background within which to study the region’s national economies and the way that they are linked as an economic region, particularly via participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The intellectual richness of the region’s diversity is augmented by the wide variety of national economic structures that add to the regional mosaic. As a result, studying and teaching about Southeast Asia is truly an...

Book Review, Columns

Modern Southeast Asian Literature in Translation A Resource for Teaching

Here is a book that will allow any dedicated teacher in the humanities or social sciences at the secondary, tertiary, or graduate level to prepare a course or a class meeting drawing on the modern literature of four nations in Southeast Asia. It is a quiet triumph of Southeast Asia Studies generally, of the research careers of its contributors, of the conference that brought them together, and of the publisher who badgered their contributions into a volume of historical overview, critical insigh...

Film Review Essay, Resources

Inside Burma: Land of Fear

PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY DAVID MUNRO NARRATED BY JOHN PILGER DISTRIBUTED BY BULLFROG FILMS BOX 149, OLEY, PA 19547 610-779-8226 BULLFROG@IGC.ORG HTTP://WWW.BULLFROGFILMS.COM 1997. 52 MINUTES. COLOR Inside Burma questions, among other things, the “Visit Myanmar 1996” campaign orchestrated by the State Law and Order Restoration Committee (SLORC, which has recently changed its insalubrious acronym) and the role of foreign investment which enriches SLORC and subverts democracy. The video...

Feature Article

Teaching Geography Using the City: The Example of Bangkok

In an attempt to improve geographic literacy around the world and provide educational standards, the National Geographic Society has identified several themes that form the basis of geographic inquiry. These themes were written in 1984 by the Joint Committee on Geographic Education of the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) and the Association of American Geographers (AAG). They provide focus and direction for the study of the earth’s landscape, and are defined as follows: LOC...

Feature Article

Incorporating Asia in the General Education Curriculum

Washington State University is probably not very different from many mid-sized universities, rooted in mid-America and laboring in the midst of a curriculum reform. This article, the distillation of the experience and study of three of our general education faculty members, is submitted in the hope that it may prove useful to the hundreds of faculty in scores of similar institutions struggling with the problem of how to integrate Asia in the general education curriculum. Specifically, we have be...

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