Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Columns, Facts About Asia, Resources

Facts About Asia: South Korea and Singapore: Economic and Political Freedom

Editor’s Introduction: By the 1990s, the dynamic economic growth of four polities—Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan—earned them the nickname “Four Little Dragons.” Each of the “Little Dragons” also obtained moderate to significant levels of political freedom (Freedom House ranks South Korea and Taiwan as free and Hong Kong and Singapore as partly free). Please see our column from fall 2019 on the other two “Little Dragons”: Hong Kong and Taiwan. Economic ...

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...

Online Supplement

Handouts for “Twentieth-Century Chinese Entrepreneurs before 1949: Literature Excerpts for the Classroom”

Editor’s Note: This handout is to be used with Juanjuan Peng, “Twentieth-Century Chinese Entrepreneuers before 1949: Literature Excerpts for the Classroom” from the winter 2019 issue of Education About Asia beginning on p.11. Handout A: Excerpt from “The Shop of the Lin Family,” by Mao Dun, trans. Sidney Shapiro Introduction: In September 1931, Japan invaded and soon acquired the Manchurian region of China. On January 18, 1932, five Japanese monks were beaten severely near Shanghai...

Columns, Resources

Facts About Asia: Taiwan and Hong Kong: Economic and Political Freedom

Despite their modest sizes, Taiwan and Hong Kong both possess very strong economies, ranking 20th  and 30th in GDP (the market value of all goods and services) in a ranking of the top fifty world leaders. Taiwan has massive information and communication technology industries, as well as acting as a major international supplier of goods, while Hong Kong’s four key industries are in financial services, tourism, trading and logistics, and professional and producer services. Since 1996, the Frase...

Feature Article

Beyond the Spoon-Feeding Classroom: A Jesuit Priest’s Use of Outings as Holistic Education

When Reverend Father Harold Naylor (1931–2018), of the Society of Jesus, passed away in October 2018, his funeral mass attracted an attendance of 1,000 at Wah Yan College, Kowloon, in Hong Kong, where he had devoted more than four decades of his life. Many alumni, as well as friends, in the nearby parish took time off from work to bid him farewell. At least three local daily newspapers published coverage on the funeral mass, clearly an exceedingly rare phenomenon. In 1993, Fr. Naylor had an ea...

Feature Article

Asia’s Role in the Four Industrial Revolutions

The United States and Europe have been at the forefront of the Industrial Revolutions over the last two and a half centuries. Almost all Asian countries, except Japan, were latecomers to these revolutions. Nevertheless, many of them, including China, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia, made significant progress by the end of the Third Industrial Revolution. What follows is a brief depiction of the involvement of Japan; the “Asian Giants,” China and Indi...

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

After Thirty Years, You Still Can’t Drink the Water

I first went to China in 1986 as a member of a group of fifteen professors of world history from West Virginia. Under a grant from the US Department of Education, all had to agree to increase our coverage of China and to produce modules that would be circulated to our West Virginia colleagues in the hopes that they would also expand their treatment of China. Agree? This was one of the biggest no-brainers of my career. Over the next thirty years, I’ve been to China an additional thirteen times...

Online Supplement

Modeling Asia: An East China Sea Simulation

Editor’s Note: After the essay, readers can examine the simulation prep sheet Professor McKee uses in her course, two country studies Berea College student groups wrote as part of the simulation assignment, and three student reflection papers class members wrote after the simulation’s conclusion. Tensions in the East China Sea have risen dramatically in the last decade between China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and a number of Southeast Asian countries. This conflict has been driven prim...

Online Supplement

Chinese Literature: An Introduction

Chinese literature is a pleasure to teach and to read; it holds an importance and relevance both in historical terms and in understanding the world today. Yet, its history, language and culture are quite rich, and different from much of the Western tradition that the study of Chinese literature can prove challenging. When Lucien Ellington first discussed with me the idea of writing a short introduction to Chinese literature, I was immensely intrigued about how to meet this challenge and give bot...

Film Review Essay, Resources

My Life in China

Directed by Kenneth Eng Produced by Ehren Parks, Melanie Blair, Meng Xie, Takayo Nagasawa DVD, 81 minutes, color, 2014 Language: Toishanese (A Chinese dialect) with English subtitles Reviewed by Carol Stepanchuk Not all of us have directly faced the challenges of immigration, but in many classrooms, there will be one or more students who have firsthand experience. Their stories and the growing body of published first-person accounts can open an immediate window for students into the ongoing...

Book Review, Resources

Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography, Volume 4

Reviewed by David L. Kenley With the publication of volume 4, Berkshire is nearing completion of the Dictionary of Chinese Biography.  While the editors and writers will continue to add to and amend the online supplement, this is the final volume of the dictionary’s printed version. Volume 4 includes figures who have influenced Chinese history since 1979. As with the previous three volumes, this one exemplifies high standards of research, writing, and editing. It is a welcome addition to an...

Feature Article

Democracy in Asia

In June 2015, Utah State University hosted a graduate-level workshop for teachers on “Democracy in Asia: A Universal or American System?”1 Eight Asia specialists from three universities convened to share their expertise with local educators. Recognizing that a brief article cannot do justice to a weeklong workshop, we are still committed to extending the fruits of that local outreach to a broader community. What follows are a few highlights from each workshop session, including suggested sou...

Online Supplement

“Shadow R & J” and “The Girl Who Flew”: Introducing Asia through Theater in an Interdisciplinary Honors Program

Readers of Education About Asia who have no background in Asian theater should take heart that they, too, can incorporate Asian theater as a tool for teaching about Asia. The caveat is that when one adopts a form of theater that traditionally takes decades to master, one must openly embrace ignorance, value hybridity, and measure success not in terms of whether students have rendered a style authentically, but whether they have captured some spirit of a particular style in order to tell the stor...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

School Textbooks and East Asia’s “History Wars”: A Comparative Approach to Teaching About Perspective, Bias, and Historical Memory

As EAA readers are well-aware, the question of historical memory is considerably salient in the context of East Asia. History—especially twentieth-century history—remains a recurring source of debate and contention in the region. At times, such disagreements have escalated into rancorous national and international disputes, even sparking violence and disrupting normal international relations, economic activity, and individuals’ daily lives. Many of these disputes have typically focused ...

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

The Selden Map and the Archipelagos of East and Southeast Asia

The newly rediscovered Selden Map of China gives us profound insights about how Chinese merchants living along the coast of the Ming Empire and across East Asia understood the world at the dawn of modernity. Discovering a Map In early 2008, while researching in the archives of Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, I rediscovered the earliest surviving Chinese map made by maritime merchants. This is the now celebrated Selden Map, a beautifully painted, approximately three-by-five, early ...

Online Supplement

Globalizing Science and Engineering Through On-Site Project-Based Learning

Introduction Ease of international travel, instant communication, and new corporate structures that span multiple countries all point to the necessity of globalizing the way we teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. In fact, corporations involved in applied research have evolved into operations with fluid frameworks that span multiple countries, with headquarters in one country, sourcing in a second, marketing in a third, and research laboratories in yet another. Sci...

Feature Article

The U.S.-South Korea Economic Relationship

In 1979, Deng Xiaoping rose to power in China and began the process of economic modernization that has seen China develop into the world’s second-largest economy and become one of the United States’ largest trading partners. As significant as China’s economic development has been, much of what has been achieved in China follows prior economic successes in East Asia by Japan, the Republic of Korea—more commonly known as South Korea—and the other three “Little Dragons”: Hong Kong, Si...

Feature Article

Cyberbullying in Asia

In Japan, a high school male attempted suicide twice and rarely left his room after receiving intimidating messages on his cellphone and having embarrassing photographs posted on the Internet. When a seventeen year-old female in India started to refuse to go to school, her mother discovered that material of a sexual nature was posted on her social networking site and that her peers were teasing her about it. A young male in India received death threats on his cellphone, warning him of dire conse...

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