Education About Asia: Online Archives

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EAA Digest Exclusive

Teaching Asia through Literature: China, Japan, Korea

Teaching Asia through Literature: China, Japan, Korea [caption id="attachment_18783" align="alignleft" width="200"] Book cover for My Borther's Keeper by Julie Lee[/caption] Contemporary education at almost every level, through its seeming obsession with "Objectives," "Learning Outcomes," and intensely political ideologies, seems to be minimizing the pleasure, varying emotions, and truth that literature conveys about the human condition. EAA readers and subscribers familiar with Asia wil...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Rethinking our Notions of Asia

Fifteen years ago, we published a special section titled “Rethinking our Notions of Asia.” This column will hopefully help EAA readers and their students continue this process in multiple ways. Most fundamentally, students should first learn basic information about Asian cultures. That said, instructors and students in middle school, high school, and undergraduate classes can learn even more about Asia and the world through considering the essays below.

EAA Digest Exclusive

Teaching Asian Geographies: Overcoming Pedagogical Barriers

Understanding geography, especially physical geography, is not easy for me. A deceased relative once described this ineptness as “not having even a bump of locality.” This handicap notwithstanding, my advocacy for geographic literacy in general, and geographic understanding of Asia in particular, as essential foundations of liberal and international education becomes stronger each year. Despite enormous digital advances in pedagogy, the apparent persistence of widespread geographic illitera...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Teaching Japanese Culture: Timeless Influences

At the most fundamental level, no humans have created cultures that are completely unique in human history. That said, indigenous practices, interactions with other cultures, and subsequent creative cultural adaptations help to richly enhance any culture. Each one of the following archived EAA articles, intended for teachers and students, are illustrative of cultural practices and influences that remain “timeless” in influencing many Japanese.

EAA Digest Exclusive

Armed Conflict in Asia

Learning about the profound multiple causes and effects of armed conflicts on past, present, and possible future generations is a critical component of a liberal education and an imperative part of reflective democratic citizenship, including, and especially, electing executive and legislative leaders.

EAA Digest Exclusive

Asian Prosperity and Entrepreneurs

The dramatic rise in prosperity for many millions of East Asians can, unlike miracles, be explained at its most basic level in two words: incentives and entrepreneurs. Governments in East Asia, beginning with Japan, understood and consistently provided incentives that created opportunities for large numbers of people to feed their families and otherwise prosper. Entrepreneurs—individuals with the talent, prescience, and audacity to take financial risks that resulted in successful national and ...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Japanese, Americans, and Europeans: Consequential Intercultural Contacts

Japanese, Americans, and Europeans: Consequential Intercultural Contacts [caption id="attachment_18751" align="alignleft" width="401"] Honda Sōichirō. Source: The "About Us" page of the Honda Motor Company, Ltd. website at https://www.honda.com/about.[/caption] Three themes are hopefully evident in the recommended EAA teaching resources that follow. Individuals can exercise profound cultural international influence, be changed by other cultures, and teacher and student understanding of...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Sports, Asia, and the World

Students practice martial arts for the first time during morning exercises at Jiujiang Primary School in east China’s Jiangxi Province on May 3rd, 2013. The school has choreographed a special set of morning exercises combining traditional martial arts and poetry recitation since the beginning of the spring 2016 semester. Source: Xinhua, courtesy of Imgur at http://imgur.com/L5rGsoB. As an eighth-grade junior high graduation present, my parents offered me two options; both Boy Scout-Related...

EAA Digest Exclusive, Resources

Asia and the World: “Travelers’ Tales”

International travel is still a dicey prospect for most of us because of the pandemic, but almost all Digest readers probably love travel at some level. The following entries could be vicarious travel for imaginative readers, but each recommended EAA article or essay, in my opinion, helps students and instructors better understand the often profound effects of literal and figurative travelers and ideas impacting different parts of Asia and the world in a variety of ways.

EAA Digest Exclusive

Teaching Confucius: Multiple Perspectives

Confucius, or Kong Fuxi or Master Kong (the best romanization of the term since “Confucius” was a European construction), is almost certainly the most-well-known person who ever lived in East Asia. In the US, visit the East Pediment of the Supreme Court and see Confucius’s statue flanked on the left by Solon and on the right by Moses in a tableau of famous “lawgivers.” Examine content-rich K-12 Social Studies State Standards in the US and you’ll find Confucius. The same is true for t...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Teaching Resources: Integrating Visual Arts: Humanities and Social Sciences Classrooms

Just as they enrich our lives, the visual arts have wonderful potential to stimulate students’ imaginations, intercultural understanding, and knowledge of other academic subjects.  The following selections from the EAA archives should prove helpful for teachers and students from a wide range of academic disciplines including anthropology, history, communications, religion, philosophy, and art history courses. Each teaching resource essay has rich visuals, most include teaching questions an...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Early Asian History

Given the publication this week of our “Teaching Asia in Middle Schools” issue, this month’s Digest Exclusive theme is Early Asian History. Each selection contains interesting “stories” for middle school teachers or non-specialists at any level who teach about early Asia in survey courses. Charles Holcombe’s “Rethinking Early East Asian History” (Vol. 11, No. 2, Fall 2006) is a “big picture” lucid account of the origins of the region. Although specifically developed...

Kimono: The Global Adventures of a Fashion Icon

Clothing is a fun and accessible way to show students global connections. Tracing the odyssey by which a “simple” t-shirt was conceived, resourced, designed, woven, sewn, marketed and delivered reveals the far-reaching networks that keep us clothed. Fast fashion and modern technology has considerably sped up this process, but the global fashion industry is ancient. Most of humanity’s earliest overland and maritime trade routes were an attempt to get beautiful cloth and dyestuffs from one r...

Essay

Japan’s Impact on World History

Many of us might find it hard to imagine Japan having a big impact on twentieth century world history. How could a nation smaller than the state of California, and dwarfed by its much larger neighbor China, possibly be a big player? Hopefully, the fact that Japan has the world’s eleventh-largest population and is now the world’s third-biggest economy may explain why Japan has had at least two different kinds of impacts on world history, each of which was a major influence in its own par...

Japan Meets Russia

Japanese, Ainu and Russians, 1702–1792 Most people today think of the Russo–Japanese War (1904–1905) as the first time Russians and Japanese came into conflict in Asia. Yet in fact, by 1904 they had been viewing each other as imperial rivals for over a century. Edo Period (1600–1868) Japan was keenly interested in the world beyond its borders. Indeed, despite the persistence of the sakoku (closed country) narrative in the popular imagination, Japan was anything but secluded during this ...

Teaching Resources Essay

Reacting to the Past: Teaching Asian and World History through Role-Playing Games

Teaching world history as a survey course is difficult for both faculty and students: the course requires a temporal and geographical scope that is often beyond individual faculty’s expertise, and for a variety of reasons, most American students, unless they have a love of world history or possibly intend to major in history, have either low level of knowledge in history or, are historically illiterate.1 Although most states require high school students to take some form of world or American h...

Feature Article

Kūkai in China, What He Studied and Brought Back to Japan

The Japanese Buddhist priest Kūkai (774–835 CE) continues to be one of the most popular historical figures to persist in imagination and images around Japan. For introducing Shingon esoteric Buddhism into his country in the early Heian period (794–1184), the emperor awarded him the posthumous title Kōbō Daishi, literally “Great Master Who Propagated the Dharma.” Yet far from this being the extent of his accomplishments, Kūkai also exerted major influences on the development of Japane...

Feature Article

Beyond the Sinosphere in Early Japan: Nara and the Silk Roads

A startling archeological discovery in 2009, near the ruins of the Heijō Palace in Nara: nineteen dark green shards, later determined to be ceramics produced during the Abbasid Caliphate in present-day Iraq. The shards were originally from a jar, perhaps used to carry spices or dates; a wooden tablet found nearby records the date as 768 CE. How might such an object have found its way to the Japanese archipelago, some 5,000 miles away, over 1,000 years ago? Anyone traveling with ceramics, even f...