Education About Asia: Online Archives

(culture, history, art, marriage, etc...)

NOTE: Archive articles may be downloaded and reproduced for personal or classroom use only.

Digital Asia

Podcasting Asia

A little over a decade ago, Apple updated their iTunes platform to allow free audio subscriptions through iTunes. Podcasts, a mash of the terms “iPod” (a device still much the rage in 2005) and “broadcast,” have since grown gradually in popularity, finally gaining momentum with mainstream audiences over the past few years with shows like Serial and The Moth. It is a flexible and therefore diverse format. Shows can range in length from a couple of minutes to over an hour. Many still co...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Aging Populations: A Comparison between Japan and Germany

When comparing population trends of Japan and Germany, numerous similarities stand out. Both countries have an identical total fertility rate (TFR) per woman of 1.4 with a population growth rate of -0.2 percent (Table 1). While both countries have high life expectancies, Japan’s eighty-five-year life expectancy is among the world’s longest, leading to a higher elderly dependency ratio in 2017 (Table 1). Similarities between the countries related to below-replacement-rate population growth, a...

Feature Article

The Past, Present, and Future of the Swastika in Japan

Imagine your surprise as a recent arrival to Tokyo, among the world’s most futuristic and globalized cities. Safely ensconced in the Starbucks at Shibuya crossing, you open Apple Maps to plot a day of sightseeing in nearby Kamakura, a locale famed for its rich history and deep connection to Buddhism. Zooming in on the map (Figure 1), the first images to greet your eyes are . . . swastikas? Scattered all over the screen? Does the city hide a secret past related to the National Socialist German ...

Book Review, Resources

A History of the World in Sixteen Shipwrecks

Learning about history isn’t always fun. But it should be. And it can be. Think about Wayne Curtis’s And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in Ten Cocktails (Broadway Books, 2007), which tells the history of the New World amusingly and fascinatingly. Paul Revere paused for a snootful in Medford, Massachusetts, where I attended graduate school, during his midnight ride to Lexington? Who knew? Anyone who writes for the popular press knows it’s crucial to find an intriguing “hoo...

Feature Article

A Tale of Two Diplomats: Ho Fengshan, Sugihara Chiune, and Jewish Efforts to Flee Nazi Europe

This year marks the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War II, a cataclysm that continues to shape Asia and the world. Horrific even within this conflict, the Nazi Holocaust featured the German government’s murder of some six million Europeans defined as racially Jewish. At first glance, it may seem far removed from the bitter struggle between the Republic of China (ROC) and Japan that simultaneously dominated East Asia. Yet there are numerous links at the level of government policies ...

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...

Book Review Essay, Resources

China and the World Economy

The Great Rebalancing Trade, Conflict, and the Perilous Road Ahead for the World Economy By MICHAEL PETTIS Princeton University Press, 2013 The Globalization Paradox Democracy and the Future of the World Economy By DANI RODRIK W. W. Norton & Company, 2012 The Leaderless Economy Why the World Economy System Fell Apart and How to Fix It By PETER TEMIN AND DAVID VINES Princeton University Press, 2013   The global impact of China’s rise, as presented...

Feature Article

Japan, the U.S. and the Asian-Pacific War

Few historians today would quibble with the idea that the war against Nazi Germany was necessary. Japan, Hitler’s only major ally, has fared far better with many historians in the West—much better than in Imperial Japan’s former Asian colonies. Because the war ended with the atomic bomb, many in the West today look at the Pacific War in terms similar to what was called “moral equivalence” in the Cold War. That view shows disregard for the nightmarish world that existed during total war...

Film Review Essay, Resources

China Rises

A FOUR-PART DOCUMENTARY INTERNATIONAL CO-PRODUCTION OF THE CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION (CBC), THE NEW YORK TIMES, DISCOVERY TIMES, ZDF—GERMANY TELEVISION, FRANCE 5, AND BRITAIN’S S4-C. DVD, 4 EPISODES: “FOOD IS HEAVEN,” “PARTY GAMES,” “GETTING RICH,”AND “CITY OF DREAMS” (44:30 EACH), HIGH DEFINITION, COLOR, 2006 DISTRIBUTED BY THE DISCOVERY TIMES CHANNEL. OFFICIAL CHINA RISES WEB SITES: www.cbc.ca/chinarises www.nytimes.com/specials/chinarises/intro/index.html China...

EAA Interview, Feature Article

EAA Interview with John Dower

Most EAA readers are familiar with MIT Professor John Dower, who works in modern Japanese history and US-Japan relations. He is the author of numerous publications including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (1999). Dower is both an internationally-prominent scholar and a master teacher. One of his most recent pedagogical projects, with colleague Shigeru Miyagawa, is Visualizing Cultures (VC) a Webbased, multimedia, interactive, curricula project on...

Feature Article

Prospects for Korean Unification

I seemed to be the only Korean in a sea of Germans, and the occurrence made me excited and sad. I thought of the millions of dispersed family members in Korea, including my own. At one minute past midnight on October 3, 1990, Germany was officially reunified, ending forty-five years of national division. On that night I was standing in the middle of seventy thousand spectators at Deutches Eck (the “corner of Germany”) in the city of Koblenz, at the confluence of the Mosel and Rhine rive...

Book Review Essay, Columns

Censoring History: Citizenship and Memory in Japan, Germany, and the United States

Anyone who teaches Asian History and/or America’s relations with Asia should welcome this provocative if somewhat loosely organized set of essays. As the book’s subtitle suggests, eleven individuals from Australia, England, Japan, New Zealand and the United States have contributed ten essays detailing how three countries have debated the way young people should be taught about their past. While the book places six of the nine essays in a section called “Textbooks and Historical Memory” a...

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