Education About Asia: Online Archives

Browse and download over 1,500 articles – feature articles, lesson plans, interviews, classroom resources, and book and film reviews — from twenty-four years of Education About Asia (EAA).

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

    Enter keywords

    in search bar below

  2. 2

    Filter your search

    by selecting your search criteria in the dropdown boxes. Search filters range from geographic location to article topic

  3. 3

    View an article

    by clicking on its title. To view the entire 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.

EAA Interview

EAA Interview with Graeme Freeman: Interviewed by Lynn Parisi

In 1978, Mansfield Freeman, an American who spent much of his life in China and who helped found the company that later became American International Group, Inc. (AIG), established a trust whose primary mission would be to create a foundation that would facilitate the development of mutual understanding among Americans and East Asians. Since then, the Freeman Foundation has touched the lives of millions of educators, students, and citizens in both Asia and the United States. Graeme Freeman, his ...

Film Review Essay

Above the Drowning Sea: Film Review

Editor’s note: Readers interested in the plight of Jews in East Asia during World War II are strongly encouraged to read Professor Gordon’s article “A Tale of Two Diplomats: Ho Fengshan, Sugihara Chiune, and Jewish Efforts to Flee Nazi Europe” from the winter 2014 issue of EAA at https://tinyurl.com/y8xmr7xy. Above the Drowning Sea Written and Directed by Rene Balcer and Nicola Zavaglia Narrated by Julianna Margulies 88 minutes, Color Time & Rhythm Cinema, 2017 Reviewed by ...

Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching About the 1947 Partition of British India: Literature and Oral History

How do you divide a nation into two respective nation-states? Who is authorized to draw the borders, and what happens to the people on either side of these borders when they resettle due to their religion? How did South Asian literature and oral narrative come to terms with the violence that accompanied decolonization processes after 1947, and why is the history of Partition relevant today? The year 1947 marks Indian Independence from British colonial rule and the Partition of British India into...

Book Review Essay

Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories: A Parallel Text. Reviewed by Hui Faye Xiao

Translated and edited by Aili Mu with Mike Smith New York: Columbia University Press, 2017 528 pages, ISBN: 978-0231181532, Paperback Short-short story (xiao xiaoshuo or weixing xiaoshuo in Chinese, normally within the range of 800–1,000 words) has been a well-received literary genre among Chinese readers for decades. It revitalizes and interweaves several important threads in Chinese literary and cultural legacies: the classical genres of Tang chuanqi (romance), Song huaben (oral fiction),...

EAA Interview

EAA Interview with the 2018 Franklin R. Buchanan Prizewinner Aili Mu for Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories: A Parallel Text

This is our twenty-second consecutive interview with the recipient of the AAS Franklin R. Buchanan Prize. This year’s winner is Aili Mu, who is the Editor and Translator for Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories: A Parallel Text (Columbia University Press, 2017). The book presents Chinese short-short stories in English and Chinese, integrating language learning with cultural studies for intermediate to advanced learners of Mandarin Chinese and students of contemporary Chinese literature. Sp...

Teaching Resources Essay

Message in a Bottle Cap: Stories for All Classes as Told by Korean Art

One tends to gain a more comprehensive understanding of a culture through the close examination of its messages, visualized in the medium of art. This essay will identify several ways in which an investigation of the visual arts can help students explore the impact of past events and understand the influence of contemporary issues on the development of resources and methods of artistic production, using case studies of Korean artwork. Access to this work in Korea, however, has often been limi...

Teaching Resources Essay

Finding Quiet within the Noise: How Japanese Traditions Can Help Today’s Students

Mindfulness has become trendy around the world in recent years— but in Japan, it’s been ingrained into the culture for centuries. —BBC Travel Contemporary society is beset with physical and digital noise. News media supply a never-ending stream of sensational stories. Cellphones, computers, and video games distract teen and adults constantly, and almost unlimited access to one another through social media sites only increases tensions between and among individuals. It is almost impossi...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Challenging the Textbook to Develop Historical Thinking: Inquiry Lessons on the Mongol Invasions and Meiji Japan

Developing lessons and units of study in the current social studies climate requires finding an entry point with a topic that will facilitate an inquiry. One such entry point can be challenging textbook accounts. In Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen describes many of the problems with history textbooks and indicates a need to stop using textbooks as the authoritative source.1 Teaching students how to assess a source’s reliability and usefulness, including textbooks, is a key historical thi...

Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching East Asia with GIS

Twenty years ago, taking a trip meant gathering the right maps or tracing the itinerary in an atlas. In the classroom, maps have long gone hand in hand with studying history: globes, wall-mounted maps, projected maps—these static images also help students in their journey to understand how events unfold across time and space. Maps are important visual reference points: with them, students can see where history happened and better understand why; for example, maps showing the earliest construct...

Teaching Resources Essay

The Small Islands Debate: Exploring Critical Controversies in Maritime East Asia

Considering Asia’s Maritime Controversies: Why Are Asia’s Maritime Disputes Important? Tensions among East Asian countries have significantly increased during the twenty-first century because of maritime disputes in the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the Sea of Japan. Many serious conflicts about sovereignty over small islands and seabeds exist among China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, along with Việt Nam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei. Governments have acted assert...

Teaching Resources Essay

Ai Weiwei: Artist Activist Best Practices for Teaching Modern Art in the History Classroom

Editor’s note: This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA). The work of NCTA is directly related to the theme of this issue, “What Should We Know About Asia?”, and core components of NCTA professional development courses are classroom innovation and implementation, with NCTA teacher-participants developing lesson plans as part of their completion projects. To both commemorate NCTA’s anniversary and, as important, to ...

Digital Asia

The SAMR Model and Project-Based Learning in a Chinese History Classroom

It is hard to imagine a secondary- or college-level course today that is absent of technology. At the Hotchkiss School, the independent secondary school where I teach, all instructors use Canvas to post assignments and make use of one or more Google apps. Some make digital tools still more central to student learning, incorporating Kahoot! quizzes (https://kahoot. com), website creation, and even 3-D printing into their classes. All of this leaves me wondering how to make sense of these digital ...

Online Supplement, Teaching Resources Essay

China in Africa: Essential Questions and Teaching Resource Suggestions

Editor’s note: Please see the recommended resources for links to all websites mentioned in this essay. Around the world, nations in desperate need of infrastructure are finding a willing partner in China, whose Belt and Road Initiative offers the potential for transformative benefits. For sub-Saharan African countries, the construction of a cross-continental road/rail from Dakar to Djibouti promises economic development, as goods, services, and people find reliable transportation to markets...

Feature Article, Online Supplement

Bringing Traditional Chinese Culture to Life

This issue of Education About Asia addresses the question, “What should we know about Asia?” Based on my experiences teaching courses on China and East Asia, traditional Chinese culture is one of the most important topics in understanding both past and present Asia. China has one of the world’s oldest civilizations. This poses many challenges to teachers who desire to make this rich and complex tradition accessible to their students. On both a temporal and spatial level, traditional China ...

Feature Article

Will China Lead the World by Land and Sea? The Belt and Road Initiative

To know about Asia, we must be prepared for the question of world leadership by the People’s Republic of China. President Xi Jinping has been identified as the world’s most powerful man, and the US and Chinese economies have the world’s largest GDPs.1 China is first in world shipbuilding, and troubling military questions about the ability of China to challenge the United States Navy in the Pacific Ocean are present. In several business, industrial, communications,scientific, technical, com...

Feature Article

Viet Nam in the Twenty-First Century: The Unbreakable Bamboo

The Vietnamese entered the twenty-first century after fifty-five years that included fighting the Japanese Imperial Army, a civil war, France, the United States, the Khmer Rouge, and China’s invasion. The Vietnamese suffered starvation during Japan’s occupation and during the 1975 to 1985 era of misguided domestic leadership. But they did not merely endure the last half of the twentieth century when they were attacked and alienated from global and political agencies; instead, they emerged a...

Feature Article

The Reign of Emperor Akihito, 1989–2019: A History in Five Key Words

On April 30, 2019, Akihito, Emperor of Japan, will retire from the throne. This represents the literal end of an era, as the Heisei period (a combination of the Chinese characters for peace [平] and completion or perfection [成]) will conclude upon his retirement. The accession of his son Naruhito will inaugurate a new era for Japan. Since the Heisei period began in 1989, numerous journalists, economists, political scientists, anthropologists, and sociologists have provided us descriptions and...

Feature Article

China and a New Era: The Latest Twist in an Enduring Pattern?

Has a “New Era” in China’s modern history begun? Will historians of the future, looking back on 2018, single out a recent event as so pivotal that it divides time into a clear before and after? Might that event be an economic phenomenon, such as China displacing Japan to become the world’s second-largest economy? A social one, such as China becoming for the first time in its history a place where the majority of people live in cities? A geopolitical one, such as this being the first time...

Feature Article

Collaboration and Plenty: Supporting Teachers’ Learning (and Unlearning) about East Asia

In this article, we share insights from our work as teacher educators leading National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) workshops, funded by the Freeman Foundation through Indiana University’s coordinating site. Recent workshops have been on both premodern and modern East Asian history. We focus on two areas in particular: collaboration and curricular abundance. Ultimately, we argue that teacher professional development is most effective when it directly confronts trends that have ma...

Feature Article

My Students and Asia: Then and Now

Those of us who teach about Asia are well aware that Asia has changed enormously over the past twenty-five years. Two decades or so ago, most Chinese still lived in rural areas; Japan still boasted the world’s No. 2 economy; and South Korea was only a few years past its decades of martial law, coups, and repression. Future North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was enrolled in an elite high school in Switzerland. The United States’ chief concerns about South Asia focused on nuclear proliferation ra...

The AAS Secretariat is closed Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27, 2020 in observance of the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday.