Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Essay, Resources

Experiencing and Teaching the Geography of Nepal

In summer 1997, thirteen elementary and secondary school teachers from Oregon participated in a month-long geography field program in Nepal. The “Teachers’ Workshop in Nepal” (TWIN Project), funded by the U.S. Department of Education, through Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad and by the Oregon Geographic Alliance (OGA), Portland State University (PSU), and the Himalayan Research Bulletin, was developed and implemented by faculty at PSU, Western Oregon University, and Cascade High School...

Book Review, Resources


“Contemporary history is hard to write with assurance.” This is the opening statement in Bruce Grant’s chapter on “future” in Indonesia . Recent events in that country would certainly support Grant’s assertion. The book was first published in 1964 and this edition, while extensively revised, retains the readability and sympathy for its subject that made the original version a success.

Curriculum Materials Review, Resources

The Eyes of the Empress Women in China’s Tang Dynasty

The Eyes of the Empress guides secondary students in examining the diverse roles of women during China’s Tang Dynasty (618–906 C.E.). A wide variety of resources are provided which highlight women’s significant contributions to the cultural and political life of the period. An analysis of the role of Confucian ideology in defining the status and role of women extends students’ understanding of why Tang women are considered unique in Chinese history.

Film Review Essay, Resources

The Spirit of Hiroshima

The Spirit of Hiroshima is an introduction to the issues surrounding the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and to the attempts by Japanese in that city today to make its legacy meaningful to themselves and to future generations. It is a well-intentioned but not altogether successful film that will be most useful with younger audiences, who will respond to its emphasis on the experience of children. Older and more sophisticated viewers will want better storytelling and a more thorough analysis of the p...

Essay, Resources

Education in Asian Languages

Scratch any Asian Studies specialist from whatever discipline, and you may find a person whose most revealing insights came through an encounter with language. No amount of lecturing on Asian specificities and differences can equal the impact of learning negation, the colors, orthography, or politeness strategies in another language. All across the curriculum in the English-speaking world, more awareness of Asia and more facility with foreign language are being called for as we face the twenty-f...

Essay, Resources

Using Material Culture to Impart a Sense of Place

The ongoing struggle to procure the latest technology in our classrooms and the globalization of our curricula are two omnipresent themes in American education today. Many believe they are interdependent in that our World Wide Web, CD ROM, and other electronic connections are prerequisite to linking multiculturalism across the curriculum.

Book Review Essay, Resources

About Face: Performing Race in Fashion and Theater

Dorinne Kondo, Professor of Anthropology and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, has published a collection of eight provocative essays about race, ethnicity, and gender issues. Although I was initially put off by the feminist-political agenda that Ms. Kondo espouses, there is enough rational and interesting academic research here to recommend it for a class in either ethnic studies, Asian cultural studies, or even fashion, at the undergraduate level. These e...

Film Review Essay, Resources

Fear and Hope in Cambodia

Fear and Hope in Cambodia documents in video the 1992–93 period of the United Nations presence in Cambodia—the UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia) period. The video film is a solid document of a significant moment in Cambodian history and a clear and effective narrative of events for those who know little about Cambodia: the 1991 Paris Agreements and the resulting U.N. mission, the withdrawal from the peace process of the Khmer Rouge, the return of refugees from the Tha...

Facts About Asia, Resources

Asian Factiods

Debunking the Myths Myth: Everyone in China speaks the same language. Truth: Chinese speak many dialects, sometimes making communication difficult. Although the Chinese have shared the same written language for more than 2,000 years, they have often spoken different dialects. Some are as different from each other as Spanish is from French.

Book Review, Resources

Buddhism in Practice

Many new and some surprising English translations of texts have been collected in an anthology by Donald Lopez with thirty-nine contributors. In all there are forty-eight texts with extensive introductions. The impression gleaned from the variety reveals Buddhism as quite a varied and complex tradition.

Film Review, Resources

Puja: Hindu Expressions of Devotion

This packet should be of use to educators of almost any level, as it is a basic introduction to a topic about which most Americans know virtually nothing. The level of presentation is basic enough that, when combined with other materials provided in the packet, students as low as third grade level would be able to make use of it, but it also has enough substance that college undergraduates (and even some graduate students) could make use of it as a basic introduction to some Hindu religious prac...

Book Review, Resources

Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History

Here’s a big book that could be as important for understanding Korea as Reischauer’s was for revealing Japan. Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History will become an essential resource for high school and college libraries and a requisite for those who teach Asian Studies. This valuable text was authored by Bruce Cumings, a Northwestern University professor and one of America’s leading Korea scholars. After guiding us quickly through the country’s early history, Cumings documents the...

Book Review, Resources

The River Dragon Has Come!: The Three Gorges Dam and the Fate of China’s Yangtze River and Its People

China’s Three Gorges Dam will be, when completed in 2003, the world’s largest. In an era when large dams are widely regarded as environmentally insensitive, it has drawn opposition not only abroad but also within China. Leading the opposition in China is the investigative journalist, Dai Qing, who has edited two volumes of essays in an attempt, thus far futile, to persuade the government to redesign and scale back the project. The first volume, Changjiang! Changjiang!, was published in 1989,...

Book Review, Resources

San’ya Blues: Laboring Life in Tokyo

My first thought was that I could use this book in my upper division Japanese History course. However, selections from this book could be used in Asian Civilization and Culture surveys, sociology classes, or in high school courses. I recommend that teachers read this book for a more complete picture of Japanese society.

Curriculum Materials Review, Resources

Chinese Art and Architecture and Japanese Art and Architecture

These splendid multicultural programs can help educators and a broad range of students to become familiar with the richness of Chinese and Japanese cultures. The choices of images and facts have been carefully culled to bring alive the history and artistic heritage of East Asia.

Film Review, Resources

Indonesia: Riding the Tiger

This is a stunning three part video triptych of twentieth-century Indonesia . Kings and Coolies, the first panel, captures the special stamp of Dutch colonialism as it gave way inexorably to the forces of nationalism. In the second panel lies Freedom or Death, the heady struggle for independence, which also firmly established the default modes of Indonesia’s present political dynamics. And finally, The New Order brings us up to the penultimate moments of the Suharto regime, now rudely dismisse...

Essay, Resources

Developing a Resource Guide ASIA IN CONNECTICUT: A Catalogue of Asian Resources in Connecticut and Environs

Asia in Connecticut was developed as a resource guide for educators at all academic levels. The first edition of this directory, originally published by the University of Connecticut, appeared in 1980.1 The second edition is completely revised to reflect current technologies and methodologies in research and communication. It was designed as a user friendly reference for Asian studies in Connecticut and neighboring states. From the beginning of the second edition, we hoped that other regions of ...

Book Review, Resources

The Columbia Anthology of Traditional Chinese Literature

This fine anthology by a first-rate scholar may soon become standard fare in courses in Chinese or Asian literature. Indeed, Mair states that the book is directed to teachers and students (xxxvi). There have been several comparable anthologies, most dominated by poetry. This wide-ranging work extends to many genres, and has thus been precedented only by Cyril Birch’s aging two-volume Anthology of Chinese Literature. Teachers of Chinese literature and culture, particularly at the higher postsec...

Feature Article

What’s So Bad About THE GOOD EARTH?

I wish Pearl Buck was alive and walk into my restau­rant so I can cut out her heart and liver. That’s how much I hate that movie,” says a character in Frank Chin’s otherwise delightful Donald Duk. The 1937 movie to which Chin’s character objected did not fea­ture any Chinese actors, but appeared to speak for China. Many in 1930s China objected to its unroman­tic description of village life and its inclusion of sex. Recently, Pulitzer award winning author Edmund White, following Frank ...

Curriculum Materials Review, Resources

China: Understanding Its Past

This textbook is written to be used as a supplement to a middle/high school World History course or as a semester standalone course on China. In this capacity it offers the non-China specialist teacher an excellent representation of important documents, events, and people to provide a good introduction to Chinese history. The textbook comes with a Teacher’s Manual and a music compact disc.