Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Contextualizing Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko

Pachinko By Min Jin Lee New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2017 496 pages, ISBN: 978-1455563937, Hardcover Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko, nominee for the 2017 National Book Award for fiction, is a sweeping historical saga of one family’s experience living as “forever foreigners” in twentieth-century Japan. Despite its heft (496 pages in the hardcover edition), the novel is written in an accessible and engaging style appropriate for both undergraduates and high school students. Moreover, Pa...

Online Supplement

Resources and Chapter Guide for “Contextualizing Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko”

Editor’s Note: Please see Todd Munson’s teaching resources essay “Contextualizing Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko” from the winter 2019 issue of Education About Asia beginning on p. 54. Names and locations in the chapter outline use the Revised Romanization of Korean. Suggested Resources and Chapter Guide for “Contextualizing Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko” Abroad in Japan. “Japan’s Biggest Gaming Obsession Explained | Pachinko.” YouTube Video, 11:06. July 20, 2018. https://youtu.be/-tBy2...

Film Review Essay

Maineland: Directed by Miao Wang. Reviewed by Carol Stepanchuk

Stella (Xinyi) Zhu instantly engages with the camera: “Today is a very special day for me—I’m so happy to receive an offer from Fryeburg Academy—it’s my ideal school, my dream come true. . . I won’t let you down!” Harry (Junru) He also received an offer from Fryeburg: “I feel very fortunate, so I prepared a song for everyone,” he says in Chinese. He turns from the camera and starts to play an original composition on a piano in a room filled with books, family pictures, and m...

Feature Article

Japanese Millennials and Politics: An Introduction

In the summer of 2016, Japanese youngest millennials, eighteen and nineteen years old, went to the polls for the first time. Until then, the voting age had been set at twenty years old, but a 2015 revision in the legislation dating from 1945 changed this. It was the only revision in the Public Offices Election Act in seventy years, which had originally lowered the voting age from twenty-five to twenty and empowered women to vote for the first time. For young adults in countries like the Unite...

The Middle Class in India: From 1947 to the Present and Beyond

The middle classes of all countries have been the key drivers of the global economy in the last century. During the past several decades, world economic growth has occurred, mostly because of increased consumption in the middle classes of the United States, Europe, and other advanced countries. This class has been considered a thriving and vibrant catalyst for economic growth. It provides a strong base that drives productive investment and is a critical factor in encouraging other social develop...

Online Supplement

Dreaming, Making, and Breaking Family and Kinship in Contemporary South Korea

While South Korea makes headlines much more frequently nowadays for its vibrant and lucrative popular culture industry, until the 2000s, South Korea was known to outsiders first and foremost as a “family-centric” society. This family-centrism has been the underlying focus of a large number of Korean anthropological studies, covering “education fever,” extended family networks, hierarchical business culture, and ancestor worship. North Korea is also noticed for its family-centrism—namel...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Japan’s Declining Population: Beyond the Textbook

Geography, as a discipline, allows students to explore, analyze, and understand the places that comprise our world. Most geography curricula focus on both physical and human geography, often in the context of "issues"-based learning; this serves to demonstrate the dynamic and applicable nature of the subject to learners. Within the context of human geography, population is an area of study that enables geographers to plan the use of Earth’s resources, make sense of the underlying factors influ...

Online Supplement

Digital Pedagogical Resources from “Japan’s Declining Population: Beyond the Textbook”

Population Data UN population division: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/ Japanese Ministry of Health: http://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/ Topic Introduction Jonathan Soble, “Japan, Short on Babies, Reaches a Worrisome Milestone,” The New York Times, June 2, 2017, https://tinyurl.com/y8hny6ua Impacts Shrinking workforce: https://tinyurl.com/y8tzfu4v Potential abortion restrictions: https://tinyurl.com/yb2q88rl Budgetary impact: https://tinyurl.com/y8acdb98 ...

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...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Top Ten Things to Know about Singapore in the Twenty-First Century

1. MANY NAMES OF SINGAPORE. A place of human habitation long before 1819 when Sir Stamford Raffles established the British settlement, Singapore is the English version of the Malay word “Singapura,” which literally means “Lion City.” Legend has it that when Sang Nila Utama, once ruler of the Srivijaya Empire in Sumatra, discovered the island with white sandy shores in 1299, a storm nearly capsized his boat until he threw his crown into the turbulent waters. When they landed, they spotted...

Feature Article

Building Nationhood through Broadcast Media in Postcolonial India

The role of broadcast media in building patriotism and nationhood in postcolonial India is enormous. While television is a latecomer, radio was an essential vehicle from the early twentieth century onward in promoting the culture that would define the new nation, so most of this essay is devoted to radio. Although the recent rise of private TV is briefly discussed in this essay, in the case of both radio and TV, the role of government media in nation-building receives center stage....

Asia: Experiential Learning, Resources

Asia: Experiential Learning (Guest Editor, Tommy Lamont) The Power of Food: Students and Local Women Cooking Together in Rural Japan

All of us have several meals a day, yet few among us have thought about the power of food and how it affects a region’s culture, history, and people. Different people like different food—something we noticed during our program titled Local/Global Food as Revitalization in a small rural town called Shintotsukawa, located two hours northwest of Sapporo, a city with a population of 1.9 million and located in the center of Japan’s northmost island Hokkaidō. Local/Global Food as Revitalizat...

Feature Article

Physical Education in Chinese Schools: Role Models, Repetition, and Winning

I stood in front of thirty-six children, neatly lined up outside their classroom, standing at attention with their arms pressed against their bodies and expectant eyes on me. My eyes gazed longingly after their teacher, who was about to disappear to the teachers’ office at the end of the corridor. I had arrived in Nanjing a few days before to carry out research in two primary schools on the development of children’s cooperative behaviors and motivations. While negotiating access for particip...

Crafting Stars: South Korean E-sports and the Emergence of a Digital Gaming Culture

For nearly two decades now, South Korea has been at the forefront of a global sports culture that is rapidly growing in popularity. But unlike other sports, athletes don’t physically overpower or outlast one another. Rather, they engage their opponents through strategic thinking and the expert manipulation of a mouse and keyboard in contests mediated by digital game environments. Known as “e-sports”—an abbreviation of “electronic sports”—these competitions attract crowds of enthusi...

Feature Article

Guru Dutt Sondhi: Indian IOC Member and Visionary of Asian Integration through Sport

To this day, the Olympic Games have never taken place in South Asia. One of the reasons, in addition to exploding costs, is the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC’s) lack of trust in Indian organizing capabilities. For example, the chairman of the organizing committee of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi was arrested for corruption.1 Doubts concerning Indian reliability have quite a long tradition, going back to the first regional events hosted there: the Western Asiatic Games (Ne...

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