Education About Asia: Online Archives

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

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

Feature Article

Calligraphy in East Asia: Art, Communication, and Symbology

East Asian brush calligraphy closely integrates aspects of art, communication, and symbology, thus offering educators a particularly rich set of resources from which to draw upon. In this article, we start with an overview of brush calligraphy, including its relationship with art, communication, and symbology. We follow with a brief discussion of the historical and contemporary place of brush calligraphy in East Asian education and society; finally, we explore some pragmatic aspects of creating ...

Feature Article

Symbolism in the Forbidden City: The Magnificent Design, Distinct Colors, and Lucky Numbers of China’s Imperial Palace

The Forbidden City, the sprawling and imposing seat of Chinese Imperial power for almost 500 years, stands out in stark contrast against the ultramodern heart of contemporary Beijing. This United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-designated World Heritage site is the largest intact wooden palace structure found anywhere on earth and has served as an open museum of China’s history for almost a century. Along with the Great Wall, it is undeniably one of China’...

Online Supplement

Digital Archives: Teaching Indian Colonial History Through Photographs

Visual Culture Analysis Handout and Syllabus, On the Edges of Empire: India and Mexico/American Southwest Editor’s Note: The visual culture handout and syllabus that follow complement “Digital Archives: Teaching Indian Colonial History Through Photographs” by Rachel M. Ball-Phillips from the EAA winter 2015 issue (vol. 20, no. 3). KNW is the acronym for Ways of Knowing courses offered through SMU. Ways of Knowing courses cut across disciplines, exploring how natural scientists, social sc...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Digital Archives: Teaching Indian Colonial History Through Photographs

Digital Photography in the Classroom We often use photographs in a history classroom to illustrate a point rather than as a foundation for our courses. I coteach an interdisciplinary course that integrates visual culture and history into an undergraduate class titled On the Edges of Empire: India and Mexico/American Southwest at Southern Methodist University. I was surprised to stumble upon a unique digital collection at the SMU DeGolyer Special Collections Library, which is known for its archi...

Feature Article

Back in Time: Pictures Worth More than 1,000 Words

These photographs of Northeast Asia from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries give people today a window on the economic, environmental, and geopolitical context of the time. This essay introduces some of the early photographs from Japan, Korea, and adjacent lands—scenes that families in the US viewed with the aid of the right-eye, left-eye lenses of the viewstand, or stereograph, so they could enjoy a vivid 3-D experience—to learn about lands that were then unknown to them. ...

Feature Article

Dean Worcester’s Photographs and American Perceptions of the Philippines

When the US acquired its overseas colonies in the aftermath of the Spanish American War, photography quickly established itself as part of the colonial project. Photographs in magazines and newspapers brought the war home to American readers. Postcards and stereographs were popular consumer objects. Illustrated travel books, detailing the landscapes and peoples of the new colonies, were bestsellers. Photographs could provide visual evidence of the supposedly backward state of the colonies, whic...

Feature Article

Taijiquan: Teaching Daoism through Experiential Arts Learning

In this article, I use the martial art of taijiquan as a case study culturally, historically, and experientially situating Chinese and Western conceptions of Daoism. However, as I will elaborate in my conclusion, the art in question might just as well have been  calligraphy, painting, drama, or poetry. The choice of the particular artistic experience on which to focus is very much dependent on the artistic skillset accessible to particular instructors, whether these are skills the instructors t...

Feature Article

Water, Wood, and Women: The Persistence of Ancient Traditions in Modern India

In the state of Bengal, in northeastern India, the annual September October harvest and fertility festival called Durga Pūjā (“offering to Durga”) generates a massive half-year effort of preparation for its nine nights (Navaratri) of celebrations. Durga is a three-eyed, ten armed, buffalo-demon destroying Hindu warrior goddess......

Columns, EAA Interview

Japanese Popular Culture and Globalization: A Brief Interview with William M. Tsutsui

William M. Tsutsui is Professor of History and Dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Previously he taught for seventeen years at the University of Kansas. He is the author or editor of six books, including Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan (Princeton University Press, 1998) and Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004). Professor Tsutsui’s most recent ...

Feature Article, Special Series on Traditional and Contemporary Korea Popular Culture

Korea: Traditional and Modern Culture in Pictures

Korea identifies six “Hans” that are important Korean cultural heritages for internationalization: Hangul(Alphabet), Hansik(Food), Hanbok(Clothing), Hanok(Traditional Housing), Hanja (Chinese Characters), and Hanguk-Eumak (Music). These are the main themes of Korean culture that embody Korean spirit. South Korea has a culture of deep spiritual beliefs. Of nearly fifty million people, twelve million are Christian; an equal number are Buddhist. Beneath this, most Koreans are influenced by S...

Columns, EAA Interview

Buchanan Prize Winners Lynn Parisi and Meredith Changeux

John Dower, Meredith Changeux, and Lynn Parisi won the 2009 Franklin Buchanan Prize for the Yokohama Boomtown curriculum. This interview features Meredith Changeux and Lynn Parisi, who are responsible for developing the curriculum lessons that are part of the unit....

Columns

Yokohama Boomtown Curriculum (From Visualizing Cultures): Foreigners in Treaty Port Japan (1859-1872)

The creators of the Yokohama Boomtown Web site, John W. Dower and Shigeru Miyagawa, describe Visualizing Cultures as units that wed “images and scholarly commentary in innovative ways to illuminate social and cultural history.” To date, twenty units are online for students and scholars to explore topics that range from the Canton trade system to Hiroshima’“Ground Zero” and the atomic bomb....

Feature Article

Van Gogh and Japonisme: Indebtedness and Transformation

Japonisme is the admiration, adoption, and adaptation of Japanese culture that swept Europe during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was a direct result of Commodore Perry’s 1853 imperialistic demand that Japan open its doors to the “Western” world. The resulting trade introduced new products for public consumption, and in France, it led to the Japanese presence in literature, drama, music, and the visual arts.1 In my view, Japonisme in art does not merely mean the depi...

Book Review, Columns

Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

In Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Lincoln Cushing and Ann Tompkins have reproduced in full color over 150 Cultural Revolution posters from among the 500 that Tompkins donated to UC Berkeley’s East Asian Library. The book’s most attractive aspect for classroom use is the nicely reproduced images. There are usually three images to a page, but they are still large enough to be easily viewed. Each chapter also contains three or four full-page reproductions o...

Columns, Film Review

The Roots of Japanese Anime Until the End of WWII

The DVD Roots of Japanese Anime brings together eight early examples of Japanese animation from the 1930s to 1942. Four of the short films, The Village Festival, Song of Spring, The Monkey Masamune, and Chameko’s Day date from 1930–31; three others, Chinkorobei and the Treasure Box, Danemon Ban—The Monster Exterminator, and Benkei and Ushiwaka are from the mid to late thirties. The set concludes with the 1942 Navy Ministry-sponsored Momotarō’s Sea Eagle....

Film Review Essay

Magnificent Obsession: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buildings and Legacy in Japan

DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY KAREN SEVERNS AND KOICHI MORI DISTRIBUTED BY NEW YORKER FILMS DVD, 126 MINUTES, COLOR, 2005 Reviewed by Elizabeth M. Owen The celebrated modern American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959) is less well known as an enthusiastic collector, exhibitor, and dealer of Asian art, Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints in particular. The recently-released documentary, Magnificent Obsession: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buildings and Legacy in Japan, contributes to the growi...

Feature Article

Hope for Renewal: Photographs from Indonesia after the Tsunami

We extend our gratitude and thanks both to the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai`i, and to Marco Garcia, the Hawai`i photographer who traveled to Aceh Province in northwestern Sumatra, Indonesia, in the days and months following the December 26, 2004, tsunami. Marco’s photographs capture not only the disaster, recovery, and relief efforts, but also the resilience and positive spirit of the survivors and those who came to their aid. EAA is also grateful to Betty Buck, formerly with the East-...

Book Review, Columns

The Japanese Garden: Gateway to the Human Spirit

The majority of books on the subject of Japanese gardens are coffee-table-size instruction manuals. These provide some cursory historical background, but mostly they elucidate fundamental principles of design in combination with copious and beautiful color photographs of famous ancient and modern examples by which to inspire the courageous gardener. To the untutored, Japanese gardens might seem, based on these sources, to be all of a kind, piecing together requisite features of water holes, sto...

Feature Article

China 1905–1908: Harrison Sacket Elliott’s Letters and Photographs

Harrison Sacket Elliott While a student at Ohio Wesleyan, Harrison Elliott served as secretary to President J. W. Bashford. When Bashford became the Bishop in charge of the Methodist Church’s work in China, he asked twenty-two-year-old Elliott to accompany him on his inspection tours of China and serve as his stenographer. Between 1905 and 1908, Elliott helped organize the Bishop’s trips, took charge of all his correspondence, and detailed their experiences in several hundred photographs ta...

Curriculum Materials Review

Learning from Asian Art: Korea

Learning from Asian Art: Korea is an exceptional teaching resource. Educators who know little about Korea can be confident in adopting the lessons with minimal preparation time. This resource is one of three complete lesson books on Asian Art developed by the Division of Education at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Teachers of all levels will be able to adapt these materials for their specific needs. Beautiful photographs and slides inspire assignments and research in art, history, and language ...

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