Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Film Review Essay, Resources

Honor and Sacrifice: The Roy Matsumoto Story

PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY LUCY OSTRANDER AND DON SELLERS DVD, 28 MINUTES, COLOR STOURWATER PICTURES, 2013 Reviewed by John H. Sagers Honor and Sacrifice: The Roy Matsumoto Story is an excellent case study that vividly illustrates issues surrounding early twentieth-century Japanese immigrants to the United States, their American-born children, and Japanese American military service during the Second World War. Narrated from the perspective of Roy Matsumoto’s daughter, Karen, the film has ...

Resources, Web Gleanings

Web Gleanings: Central Asia

CENTRAL ASIA AND THE SILK ROADS Silk Road Foundation URL: http://tiny.cc/u5go5w For anyone who wants information and historical facts about the Silk Roads, this is a good resource. There are historical chronologies and short biographies of those who traveled the Silk Roads, dating back to 959 BC, timelines, the history of silk, and maps. Silk Road URL: http://tiny.cc/jxj46w Produced by Jeffrey Hays, this site is rich in resources. There are details about the routes, the products, Samar...

Feature Article

A Commentary on Economic Education in the ROK and the U.S.

In some key respects, economic education in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States is similar. Economics is often described as the science of decision making in a world of scarcity. Economic educators in each country share five comparable goals. First and foremost, there is an organized effort to impart pedagogical techniques and develop high-quality curricula centered on the effective teaching of basic economic topics, concepts, and applications. Second, both countries attempt to dev...

Feature Article

Economic Education in the Republic of Korea: New Directions

Sustaining the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) outstanding economic achievements in part means improving economic education. Historically, an agriculturally based economy with little industrialization, culture, and tradition shaped the ROK’s economy; and little advanced economic reasoning or understanding was required. Now that the ROK is an advanced economy, widespread economic literacy is imperative. Examples of critical economic knowledge and skills include rational consumption and production d...

EAA Interview

The Korean Economy: Past, Present, and Future: An Interview with Marcus Noland

Marcus Noland (PhD, Johns Hopkins University) is a Senior Fellow and the Executive Vice President and Director of Studies, Peterson Institute for International Economics, where from 2009 through 2012, he served as the deputy director. Noland is also a Senior Fellow at the East-West Center. He has held teaching or research positions at places such as Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Southern California, Tokyo University, the Korea Development Institute, and the East-West C...

Feature Article

The U.S.-South Korea Economic Relationship

In 1979, Deng Xiaoping rose to power in China and began the process of economic modernization that has seen China develop into the world’s second-largest economy and become one of the United States’ largest trading partners. As significant as China’s economic development has been, much of what has been achieved in China follows prior economic successes in East Asia by Japan, the Republic of Korea—more commonly known as South Korea—and the other three “Little Dragons”: Hong Kong, Si...

Feature Article

Tigers, Hard Workers, and Online Gamers: South Korea’s Political Economy Since 1980

Winter Sonata Warms up Japan In 2003, a new Korean drama debuted on Japanese television. Called Winter Sonata, it was the story of a young woman whose high school boyfriend dies, and years later, she meets another man who looks exactly like her former love. The show interwove themes of love, loss, and loyalty and quickly became Japan’s most popular foreign program—more watched than any American fare combined. The program’s male lead, Bae Yong-joon, developed a huge following among middle-...

Feature Article

Park Chung-Hee: An EAA Interview with Carter J. Eckert

Carter J. Eckert (PhD, Korean and Japanese History, University of Washington) is the Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History at Harvard University, a position he has held since 2004. Professor Eckert has served as the Director of the Korea Institute at Harvard from 1993 to 2004. He has been teaching modern Korean history at Harvard since 1985. Eckert’s book Offspring of Empire: The Colonial Origins of Korean Capitalism received both the John K. Fairbank Prize in East Asian History from the A...

Feature Article

An Unpromising Recovery: South Korea’s Post-Korean War Economic Development: 1953-1961

In 1953, both North and South Korea were shattered by the destructive three-year Korean War that left upward of two million dead and cities and towns in ruin. Already poor prior to the war, neither country had very promising prospects for the future. However, in the first eight years after the conflict, North Korea carried out an impressive recovery under a highly organized, purposeful government that appeared to be laying the foundations for a modern industrial society. By contrast, South Korea...

Film Review Essay, Resources

The Films of Hayao Miyazaki: Shinto, Nature, and the Environment

The films of Hayao Miyazaki are some of the most popular in Japan and the rest of the world. Perhaps his most famous work, Spirited Away, is the highest-grossing domestic film in Japanese history. 1 It also won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2003. Over the past two decades, the Walt Disney Company has reissued English-language versions of Miyazaki’s films with the voice talents of such famous actors as Patrick Stewart, Claire Danes, and Billy Bob Thornton. Often, these films ca...

Film Review Essay, Resources

Assignment China: A Documentary Series on American Reporting on China

Journalism is the first draft of history. Now is a good time to look back on the journalism of the United States’ relations with China and help our students understand how China has been reported and to be active and sophisticated users of the new media they seem to prefer. Assignment China is a well-researched and beautifully produced projected eight-part documentary series written and reported by veteran Asia correspondent Mike Chinoy and produced by Clayton Dube for the US China Institute a...

Book Review, Resources

The Art of Modern China

When China first emerged on the world stage as an economic power some twenty years ago, not many Western scholars had attempted to define the trajectory of modern Chinese art, focusing instead on works created before the last dynasty ended. The reasons for this are complex but, besides a limited audience for more contemporary works, included such questions as what modern art really is in an era of globalization, what influence indigenous verses foreign stimulation played in its development in Ch...

Feature Article

The New Mongolia: From Gold Rush to Climate Change

For decades, it was common for courses on East Asia to focus almost exclusively on China and Japan, with only an occasional nod to the existence of either Korea or Mongolia. And if Korea was little spoken of, Mongolia hardly seemed to exist at all. Today, of course, coverage of Korea has expanded somewhat, but Mongolia still remains the largely forgotten orphan of Asian Studies, something I hope to change through this essay. In fact, today’s Mongolia has emerged as a nation particularly linked...

Feature Article

Ignored Constitutions and Predatory Presidents: Examining Central Asian Authoritarianism

In what turned out to be the waning decades of the Soviet Union, outside observers often suggested that the largely Turkic and Islamic population of Central Asia represented a threat to the USSR. Specifically, many expected that societal demands emanating from the region—whether in the name of nationalism, pan-Turkism, or Islamism—could lead to either a weakening of the Soviet Union or even its dissolution. In line with these expectations, there is evidence that in the 1980s two countries wi...

Feature Article

China in Central Asia: Harmonizing Mackinder’s Heartland

China is currently one of the most consequential actors in Central Asia. As General Liu Yazhou of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) once put it, Central Asia is “the thickest piece of cake given to the modern Chinese by the heavens.”1 China’s strategy in Central Asia is to develop the region as an economic partner; connect East Asia and Western Europe; and create a more prosperous neighborhood with which Xinjiang, China’s westernmost province, can trade. However, development can...

Feature Article

Symphony of Nature and Life: Mongolian Horse Culture

Roaming on the Mongolian Plateau and traveling through Mongolian herdsmen’s meadows, you will always hear heartfelt words of praise for horses—the spirit of the grassland. The brief essay that follows accentuates the inseparable role of the horse in Mongolia’s contemporary, historical, economic, and religious/spiritual cultures.

Feature Article

Amir Timur: Paragon of Medieval Statecraft or Central Asian Psychopath?

Amir Timur (1336-1405) challenges teachers in several ways. How do you present him and medieval Central Asia to students with little previous knowledge? How can world history teachers accomplish this without expending too much of their most limited resource: time? These are tall orders, but one should still consider their fulfillment. Doing so clearly demonstrates Central Asia’s once pivotal role connecting Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia while introducing a controversial leader whose l...

Feature Article

A Global Crossroads Reemerges in the Twenty-First Century: An Introduction to Central Asia

The Where and Why of Central Asia As a scholar of Central Asia, I have frequently been asked two questions by students and colleagues over the course of my career: Where is Central Asia, and why is it important? Strangely, the first question is often more difficult to answer precisely than the second. The terms “Central Asia,” “Inner Asia,” and more recently “Central Eurasia” all refer to a region that is marked by a frustrating imprecision of location. Here I will consider Central ...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Theravada Buddhism: The View of the Elders

Asanga Tilakaratne’s Theravada Buddhism: The View of the Elders offers an overview of “southern Buddhism” that is both traditional and innovative, yet also problematic. Educators will find a valuable resource in its chapters that analyze central doctrines and practices. These offer apt and refreshing perspectives on Buddhism as a lived tradition for the monks and householders adhering to the dominant lineage of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia today.

Book Review Essay, Resources

The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon: The Diary of a Courtesan in Tenth Century Japan

BY ARTHUR WALEY (TRANSLATOR) AND DENNIS WASHBURN (FOREWORD) SINGAPORE: TUTTLE PUBLISHING, 2011 144 PAGES. ISBN: 978-4805311080, HARDCOVER Reviewed by Fay Beauchamp Pleasant Things A slim book rests lightly in one’s hand The apricot curving lips of the dust jacket woman Tile-red rectangle with white lettering Red-tile endpapers’ pattern of faint white dots Soft leaves of text A few shiny pages with golden clouds, dark green tatami, and pines Things that are Fitting A ...

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