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!

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Feature Article

Teaching “Our Side” and the “Other Side” in the Korean War (1950-1953)

The hardest thing for teachers and students looking at war in history is to be evenhanded. The dominant narratives that we teach from American textbooks and that students learn from entertainment favor the stories of “our side” while largely ignoring the stories of those of the “other side.” This bias is just as evident in dominant Korean and Chinese narratives of the Korean War. As American citizens we are proud of the freedoms fought for and defended since the days of our founding ...

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

A Kabuki Reader History and Performance

In A Kabuki Reader, Samuel L. Leiter, Professor of Theatre at CUNY, scholar of Japanese theatre, and editor of the Asian Theatre Journal, draws together twenty essays on the kabuki theatre with, as he claims, “no particular agenda to address other than to bring together some of the best English-language writing focusing on this outstanding art form”(p. xx). This rich collection of essays achieves a sophisticated deepening of kabuki scholarship and makes accessible to students of the genre pa...

Columns, EAA Interview

James McClain, Author of Japan: A Modern History

As explained in the accompanying review (see page 62), James McClain’s Japan: A Modern History (New York: W.W. Norton, 2002) is a monumental new text that covers Japan from the 1600s to the present. To highlight some of the characteristics of the book, EAA Associate Editor Peter Frost asked Professor McClain the following questions: Peter: I’m wondering—or perhaps I should say marveling—about what makes your textbook so interesting. I noted that you pay homage to Clifford Geertz’s “t...

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...

Columns, Curriculum Materials Review

Women in India Lessons from the Ancient Aryans Through the Early Modern Mughals

The recovery of women’s history is an interesting story in itself. Some early scholars argued that women didn’t act in history or produce intellectual products (literature, art, philosophy, etc.) because they weren’t as capable as men. That’s long gone, and by the twentieth century apologists insisted women were of course intelligent enough, they’d just been thwarted. This is the famous “Shakespeare’s Sister” argument proposed in 1928 by Virginia Woolf in a series of Cambridge le...

Book Review, Columns

The United States and India 1776–1996

Since the rise of the late medieval Christian world’s desire to chart a western sea route to Asia, India and what would become the United States have been linked together in a fascinating and sometimes frustratingly complex relationship. This book, one of several dealing with East-West themes by journalist and editor M. V. Kamath, attempts to shed light on the relationship between these two countries. Originally published to coincide with the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976, the book captures for a ...

Columns, Film Review

War and Peace

Recent world events have made Anand Patwardhan’s new film War and Peace more attractive for classroom use than it might otherwise have been. A thoughtful critic of Indian society and politics, this prominent documentary filmmaker offers an insider’s view of the historical trajectory leading from the independence and partition of Pakistan and India in 1947 to nuclear competition between the two states today. Patwardhan’s iconoclastic approach offers a noteworthy alternative to the dominant ...

Columns, EAA Interview

Buchanan Prize Winners Evelyn Rawski and Katheryn Linduff

This is our sixth consecutive interview with the winners 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 2002 winners were Evelyn Rawski, a Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh, and Katheryn Linduff, a Professor of History and Art at the University of Pittsburgh. Rawski and Linduff, along with colleagues, developed Contemporary Chinese Societies: Continuity and Chan...


The Korean War — A Magazine Project

High school world history and United States history textbooks generally downgrade the Korean War to a footnote of the Cold War. This activity asks students to research, summarize, and draw conclusions about an often forgotten war in United States history. This assignment could be made part of a unit on the Cold War.


Two Fables Inspired by the Wisdom of Confucius

As a sophomore in high school, I began an independent study of the Confucian Analects that culminated two years later in a commentary on the text and three original short children’s stories. Printed here are two of those stories, dealing with the important Confucian concepts of humility and the rectification of names (i.e., living up to one’s responsibilities).

Columns, Film Review

South Korea: From Illiteracy to Affluence

This video, which chronicles the history of education in Korea since 1945, offers important lessons for all Americans, especially for our elected officials. A production of the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank, the video makes a convincing case for why South Korea’s investment in its citizens through education is a major factor in the nation’s spectacular growth since the 1960s.

Columns, Essay

Teaching About the Korean War: The Korean War Commemoration Committee

Five decades after the end of the Korean War it continues to remain the “forgotten war” in many textbooks. Often, neither students or teachers know much about the Korean War period. In 1998, the 105th Congress of the United States established the Korea War Commemoration Committee (KWCC) to honor the 50th anniversary of the Korean War. Consisting of military and civilian members, including representatives from the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard.

Columns, Resources

Korean Culture, The First Twenty Years 1980–1999 Issues

The contents of this CD-ROM are quite diverse and impressive, and fields such as art, architecture, religion, history and film are well represented. The CD also includes a large number of translations of various Korean literary works, ranging from poetry of the pre-modern period to novels of the colonial period and contemporary short stories, many of which will be very useful in lessons on Korean lifestyles. Additionally, there are numerous articles covering the lives of Koreans living abroad, i...

Columns, Curriculum Materials Review

Korea: Lessons for High School Social Studies Courses

CONTENT This curriculum package contains 12 lesson plans on Korea, covering history, literature, geography, economics, women’s issues, and reunification, as well as useful appendices featuring a time line, extensive bibliography, maps, and web sites. The specific multi-page lesson plans, many with primary sources, are: 1. Five National Treasures (presenting Korean contributions to culture) 2. Historical Overview (interaction between Korea and her neighbors over time) 3. Korea’s ...

Feature Article

Teaching Korean Religion

With more and more Korean-Americans and Korean-Canadians in North American classrooms, more students are asking that Korea be included in surveys of nonWestern civilizations and world history. This request is often answered with a few short paragraphs saying that Korea was traditionally very close culturally and politically to China, was colonized by the Japanese during the first half of the 20th century, and then split into antagonistic Communist and non-Communist halves after liberation in 194...

Feature Article

The Korean War and Beyond, in Modern Korean Fiction

Modern Korean literature lends itself especially well to teaching about modern Korea, for it is largely an issue-driven literature. To be sure, Korean literature is heir to a centuries-old tradition of aesthetics that has produced an important body of art-for-art’s-sake literature. But there is also a tradition of didacticism in Korean literature, a need felt by the literati-statesmen traditionally responsible for written literature to prove their mastery of literary forms (a skill one needed ...

Feature Article

Brother Enemy: Paradoxes of the Korean War

On June 25, 2002, the fifty-second anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, seven million South Koreans (total population 47 million) poured onto city squares all over Korea to watch the World Cup semifinal soccer match between South Korea and Germany on huge electronic screens, and to cheer the Korean players “with one heart.” The series of triumphs of the Korean soccer team in the 2002 World Cup competition meant more to the Koreans than simply an exciting, exhilarating sports event....

Feature Article

Top Ten Things to Know about Korea in the 21st Century

One: KOREA IS NOT SMALL When looking at geographic size, one can argue that Korea is small. North and South Korea combined measure 84,747 square miles, an area slightly smaller than Great Britain, less than half the size of France, and about the size of Minnesota or Utah. But size is only one measure. According to recent figures, the populations of North and South Korea combined number in excess of 68 million people, sixteenth in overall world population. There are more Koreans in Korea than Fre...