Education About Asia: Online Archives

NEW FOR 2023: Beginning with Spring 2023, subscribers to the print edition of Education About Asia (EAA) will receive additional exclusive digital access to the current year’s three issues (spring, fall, and winter) as an online flipbook for the duration of their active subscription. Articles from the three print issues for 2023 will be uploaded to the EAA Digital archives in 2024. View the TOC and Editor’s Message for the Spring 2023 issue. Subscribe today to stay up to date with EAA!

Browse and download over 1,900 articles — feature articles, lesson plans, interviews, classroom resources, and book and film reviews — from Education About Asia (EAA)!

Sign up for the EAA Digest E-Newsletter and receive monthly updates and announcements from the EAA editor. Subscribe

Help us do more

by supporting EAA through print subscriptions and donations.

How to use the EAA Online Search Engine

PLEASE NOTE: All article and essay illustrations, including many images and graphics necessary for understanding the content, may be viewed in the PDF.

  1. 1

    Use the dropdown menus

    to search by author, geographic location, article type, and academic field

  2. 2

    Enter keywords

    to search the full text of articles (where search terms may not appear in the article title, eg.)

  3. 3

    View an article

    by clicking on its title. To view the original print version of the article, select “PDF”

Search for Articles

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

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

Book Review Essay

Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan

Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan is marketed as a political biography, but it is much more. It is indeed a revealing account of the life and importance of Emperor Hirohito, who reigned in Japan from 1926–89. But the story of Hirohito’s life is truly an account of Japan in the twentieth century.

Book Review, Resources

Twentieth Century China: A History in Documents

Diverse voices from China’s turbulent twentieth century call out from the pages of the valuable teaching resource Twentieth Century China. R. Keith Schoppa, author of several excellent monographs and textbooks on modern Chinese history, divides the history of the past hundred years into thirteen chronological chapters in this new work. For each, he provides a brief introduction followed by several relevant documents in a variety of forms: political manifestos, personal letters, travelers’ re...

Book Review, Resources

Modern Japan: A History in Documents

There is no shortage of fine textbooks on the history of modern Japan. But all—from the old standards authored by Peter Duus, Mikiso Hane, and Kenneth Pyle, to more recent volumes from Andrew Gordon, James McClain, and Conrad Totman—fol­low the same familiar formula. All are long, content-rich, chrono­logical narratives written in the dispassionate, authoritative voice of a detached, "objective" historian. As is typical of textbooks, the inter­pretation is done for the student reader, who...

Feature Article

Japanese Society in the Twentieth Century

Most American textbooks do a capable job of summarizing the political and economic facts of Japan's modern history. The country, in their telling, modernized quickly in the late 1800s, turned militant in the 1930s, went to war in the 1940s, reemerged under American guidance in the 1950s, and became an "economic animal" in the 1960s. In the 1990s, the bubble burst. Unfortunately, most of these textbooks ignore the rich and varied lives of the Japanese people themselves: their consumption pattern...

Book Review, Resources

Mao Zedong and China’s Revolutions: A Brief History with Documents

Mao Zedong retains significant symbolic potency in the People's Republic of China. Whether as an intransigent youth, voluble guerilla leader, or fulminating toward the Cultural Revolution, Mao's figure shows no sign of receding from the stage of history. Today, the "fourth generation" of Chinese Com­munist leaders brandish Mao as a talisman against instability and a patron saint for the peasantry whose steady influx into Beijing could ultimately dislodge the Chairman from his tomb in the shadow...

Book Review, Resources

The Vietnam War: A History in Documents

We owe a great debt to Marilyn Young, John Fitzgerald, and Tom Grunfeld, who, in The Vietnam War: A History in Documents, have intelligently compiled and introduced a comprehensive collection of primary sources on one of the most contentious events in twentieth-century international history. Covering the period from the First Indochina War to the bitter after­math of the American conflict, the documents provide a web-round­ed overview of Vietnam's modern nationalist struggle, although one per...

EAA Interview

EAA Interview with Herbert P. Bix, 2001 Pulitzer Winner: Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan

Herbert P. Bix is a professor of history and sociology at Binghamton University in New York, where he was recently appointed after three and a half years at the prestigious Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. In the fall of 2001, I had just moved to Tokyo to teach Japanese history and Asian studies at The American School in Japan. After reading Bix’s biography of Hirohito, I immediately invited him to speak to my senior honors classes, and thankfully, he graciously accepted. The talk Professor B...


A Visit to the DMZ: A Virtual Tour of the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea

Editor's Note: The lesson that follows was developed by a participant in an Indiana University National Consortium for Teaching about Asia seminar. We thank Anne Prescott of the IU East Asian Studios Center for sending this lesson. A virtual tour of the DMZ accompanies this lesson plan. To include the virtual tour in your curriculum, please visit our Web site: http//­tal.htm where a script of the tour can be printed and the color photos can be viewed.

Book Review Essay, Resources

Teaching About “The Forgotten War”

Although often labeled the "forgotten war," there is a large and growing literature on the Korean War. The two very different books reviewed here present additions to this body of work that are useful for teach­ers and students.

Feature Article

Reasonably Informative, but Downplaying the Ravages of Dictatorship: Recent Pre-Collegiate US Textbook Treatments of Mao Zedong’s Rule

Although the 1960s have often enjoyed a reputation for youthful ferment, that decade's US published pre-collegiate history textbook still focused mostly on Western civilization and American history in particular. Asia east of the Levant seldom entered the picture, except occasionally through a current-events context in social studies courses. While some contemporary back-to-the­-basics intellectuals express nostalgia for a simpler era when Euro-American civilization was studied to the virtual e...

Columns, Film Review Essay

Katana Envy

The global spread of Japanese popular culture is neither new, nor exclusively Japanese, but what is new is a sense that in today’s media-saturated world, cultural communication is central to business and politics in previously unrecognized ways. For some, trade in Japanese culture represents a political “soft power” that makes Japan, and Japan’s national interests, attractive. Others see a marketing brand of “gross national cool” to be exploited for business purposes. Some businesspe...

Film Review

New China’s Forgotten Cinema, 1949-1966: More than Just Politics

Several years ago when planning a course on modern Chinese history as seen through its cinema, I realized or saw a significant void. I hoped to represent each era of Chinese cinema from the Leftist movement of the 1930s to the present “Sixth Generation,” but found most available subtitled films are from the post-1978 reform period. Films from the Mao Zedong period (1949–76) are particularly scarce in the West due to Cold War politics, including a trade embargo and economic blockade lasting...

Feature Article

Prospects for Korean Unification

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 rivers. This historic location, a symbol of German nationalism since the thirteenth century, was to be one of the principal sites for the national unification celebration. Yet I could n...

Columns, Film Review

Tune in Korea: Geography and Society Teacher Resource and Video

The rich history and culture of Korea, as well as its critical ties to our own nation, provide compelling reasons for including Korea in educational frameworks. Tune in Korea: Geography and Society is a solid resource for grades 6–9, laying the foundation for exploration of this culture, its history, and its place in contemporary society.

Columns, Essay

Behind the Headlines Suggestions for Teaching about Japan and Asia

Superb materials on Asia await the motivated teacher/learner. Following introductory suggestions, topics that can serve as “points of connection” for humanities and social science courses are listed. GETTING STARTED Attend National Consortium for Teaching About Asia (NCTA) seminars, now available in 44 states. Participants receive 30 hours of instruction, $500 in free materials, $500 stipends, and build a network of colleagues and experts (

Book Review, Columns

Japan: A Modern History

These are flush times for good Japan textbooks. In the Winter 2001 issue of Education About Asia (Volume 6 Number 3), I reviewed paperback editions of William G. Beasley’s The Japanese Experience (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1999) and Conrad Schirokauer, A Brief History of Japanese Civilization (Fort Worth, Harcourt, Brace College Publishers, 1993), and found both comprehensive and authoritative. Half-read on my desk lie two very promising works: Andrew Gordon, A Modern History o...

EAA Interview, Resources

An Interview with Buchanan Prize Winner Yong Jin Choi

This is our fifth consecutive interview with a winner of the Franklin R. Buchanan Prize. The Association for Asian Studies awards the prize annually for the development of outstanding curriculum materials on Asia. The 2001 winner was Yong Jin Choi, Director of Korean Studies for the Korea Society. She won the award for developing the 1–12 Curriculum Package that aids teachers in teaching about Korea. Lucien: Congratulations on winning the Buchanan Prize. Please inform our readers about your...

Book Review Essay, Resources

The Sacred Willow: Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family

BY DUONG VAN MAI ELLIOTT OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 1999 544 PAGES, ISBN 0-1951-3787-6, PAPERBACK EDITION, 2001 Courses on the Vietnam War and Vietnam remain popular across American campuses, but there has been a dearth of literary materials from a Vietnamese point of view, originally written in English, which can be used for such courses. As the poet William Ehrhart once observed, the Vietnam War has generated the most prolific U.S. veterans’ literature in American history, so this side of...

Feature Article

Options for Teaching Gandhi and King

Asia/History 470—Gandhi, India and the United States— is a transformation of a 300-level course called Twentieth-Century India. Each course sustained its existence by meeting general requirements for students at Washington State University who were not majoring in history. In the earlier course students showed little interest in India since independence, especially in the politics. This was due in part to the drama of the independence movement, and with events thereafter seeming prosaic to s...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Comparing History: Beasley Versus Schirokauer

Teachers offering basic courses on Japan will welcome the recent publication of William G. Beasley’s general text. Elegantly written by one of the outstanding patriarchs (b.1919) of Japanese studies, Beasley’s text has the usual index, maps, bibliography, and short glossary found in works of this kind, and almost the same amount of text as Conrad Schirokauer’s heavily used but somewhat more expensive work. While James McClain’s magnificent new Japan: A Modern History (New York, W. W. Nor...