Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

The Sijo: A Window into Korean Culture

Many fourth graders in the United States have a Haiku Day. As I discovered from discussions with the students in my Writing Asian Poetry class, it is a great way to begin to learn about Japanese culture—the aesthetics of understatement, the appreciation for the natural world, the glimpses of humor in everyday life. Trying to write a seventeen-syllable poem about nature also seems a very doable project for almost any grade-level. The Korean counterpart is the sijo, a three-line vernacular verse...

Film Review Essay

Up the Yangtze

Chinese-Canadian filmmaker Yung Chang’s documentary Up the Yangtze is not easy to watch. Like the story it tells, the film is unsettling with the wrenching change it portrays. Chang follows two Chinese young people, Yu Shui and Chen Boyu, as they embark on new jobs with a “Farewell Cruise” company on China’s Yangtze River....

Book Review

“Socialism is Great!” A Worker’s Memoir of the New China

Reviewed by Arthur Barbeau China was a country where privacy was an almost absent commodity; the most populous country in the world often seemed like a small village. It is this China that is chronicled in Lijia Zhang’s “Socialism Is Great!” Her personal life narrative and her desire to participate in an awakening China offers a resource for teachers seeking to close the gap and make this period in China’s history meaningful to their students....

Book Review, Columns

Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation

Nandan Nilekani, India’s IT icon and co-founder of Infosys, shares pundits’ enthusiasm for India’s breathtaking potential, but intimate knowledge of its daunting challenges tempers his optimism. He is painfully aware that India is also home to the world’s second largest slum and boasts the largest number of illiterate citizens in the world. Nilekani deepens and complicates the American reader’s understanding of India while speaking directly to an Indian audience that will determine whe...

Columns, EAA Interview

EAA Interview: Global India Circa 100 CE: South Asia in World History: A Brief Interview with Richard H. Davis

Richard H. Davis is Professor of Religion and Asian Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Previously he taught at Yale University. He is the author of Ritual in an Oscillating Universe: Worshiping Sivain Medieval India (Princeton University Press, 1991), Lives of Indian Images (Princeton University Press, 1997), and A Priest’s Guide to the Great Festival: Aghorasiva’s Mahotsavavidhi (Oxford University Press, 2010). He was the winner of the 1999 Association for Asian Studies (AAS)...

Book Review, Feature Article

Silla Korea and the Silk Road: Golden Age, Golden Threads

Silla Korea and the Silk Road, Golden Age, Golden Threads, a curriculum guide designed for world history, geography, and Asian studies high school courses, lucidly demonstrates the normally neglected role of Korea in the history of the Silk Road.The Korea Society has a well-deserved reputation for the very high quality of everything it sponsors and publishes. This guide is no exception.The work focuses on, but is not limited to,the unified Silla Kingdom period (668–935 CE) usually referred to ...

Feature Article

Korean International Sports Stars

EDITOR’S INTRODuCTION: South Koreans are enamored with a wide variety of sports but, perhaps even more than is the case in many countries, citizens of the ROK look upon athletes who achieve international fame not onlyas heroes and heroines,but also as national symbols of South Korea’s vibrant culture. Our thanks to Bang-Chool Kim of Seoul National University of Education and Sun-Yong Kwon of Seoul National University for the following profiles of three internationally famous Korean athletes.

Feature Article

A Bully in the Classroom? Teaching Our Twisted Hero: A Modern Korean Classic

Our Twisted Hero is a novel as dichotomous and complex as Korea itself. It is a classic political allegory, a snapshot of a particular time and place, and a portrait of the human condition. The narrator, Han Pyongt’ae, a twelve-year-old boy whose family has been transferred from Seoul to a rural town, expects to be welcomed as being more sophisticated because of his schooling in the capital. On the contrary, he encounters a harrowing year of elementary school when his spirit is crushed by the ...

Feature Article

Befriending the Saffron Tiger: Balance in Teaching the India Economy

Slumdog Millionaire did more to introduce modern India to students in American schools than anything in recent history. The 2008 Academy Award winner for Best Picture highlighted a society poised between poverty and wealth, tradition and modernity, medieval torture and twenty-first century technology. For some, the film confirmed the worst stereotypes of a poor, developing nation wracked by class conflict. Others saw the film as the latest manifestation of India’s debut as a nuclear superpower...

Feature Article

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...

Feature Article

Asia in Focus: The Koreas

The comprehensive, authoritative survey of Korean history will attract post-secondary Asian history scholars to consider this publication as a course textbook. Its scope, however, extends well beyond the peninsula’s past. From the first pages, we are immersed in everything Korean: politics, geography, food, music, language, art, and belief systems. Additionally, we take in a timely briefing on what could soon be one of the world’s ten leading economies.

Feature Article

Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF: South Korean Popular Religion in Motion

In Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF, Kendall skillfully examines the role of shamanism in contemporary Korea’spopular culture.Although many regard Shamanism as an anachronistic remnant of the past, the author explains how Korea’s oldest religion has adapted itself to changing circumstances,why it is thriving in South Korea, and how it plays a significant role in alleviating anxiety in the modern world.

Feature Article

Old Gods, New TImes: A Shaman Ritual in South Korea

Shamans are religious specialists who are perceived as having the capacity to deal directly with spirits on behalf of the community, either by sending their own soul on a journey to other realms or by calling them into the here and now and manifesting them in their own bodies. Shamans bear witness to their encounters with spirits through their own bodies, either ina journey undertaken in a trance state or by manifesting the spirits’ presence through their ownvoice, gestures, dances, and mimes....

Feature Article

Becoming a Junzi: Background of Interpersonal Communication in China

Wimal Dissanayake, who created a foundation for the Asiacentric model of communication studies, maintains that Asian classical texts constitute a storehouse of communication concepts and propositions that have yet to be mined for understanding the way Chinese communicate. “Asian countries...have produced rich and complex civilizations that have grown over the centuries and no civilization is possible without a vigorous system of communication.” Before sampling those classical texts for clues...

EAA Interview, Feature Article

Richard Katz on the Japanese Economy

His comments on Japan are frequently quoted in major publications such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, London Economist, Chicago Tribune, and the San Jose Mercury News, and he has been interviewed on “Newshour with Jim Lehrer,” CNN, Bloomberg TV, and BBC’s “The World” and “Marketplace." His op-ed shave appeared in The New York Times, London Financial Times, Asian Wall Street Journal, Asahi Evening News, Japan Times, Christian Sc...

Feature Article

Viet Nam’s Economy in Transition: Successes and Challenges

ViệtNam’s twentieth century economic development was interrupted by long years of destructive warfare and stunted by the  distortions of central planning. During the last two decades, however, under the reform policy known as Đổimới (renovation), Việt Nam’s economy has made tremendous strides, establishing the institutions of a market system and dramatically improving living standards. A land of rich natural resources that nonetheless struggled to feed its own population under prev...

Feature Article

Direct Foreign Investment in China: Sure Bet or Folly?

This article shares a practitioner’s perspective of the variables, analytical constructs, and criteria for decision-making that guided our assessment of business opportunities and risks associated with Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) in the China market. It is not a review of business, political, or socio-economic literature. Current facts about China are included as a way of underscoring how many trends evident in 2002 remain intact in 2010. Some of the observations that follow are basic to a...

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