Education About Asia: Online Archives

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EAA Interview

EAA Interview with Gary Mukai

LUCIEN Gary, please inform our readers about yourself. What attracted you to teaching and what kind of work did you do before your present employment? GARY I’ll always cherish that memorable day in July 1977. I was going to the country of my family’s ancestry for the first time in my life. My grandfather, Buntaro Mukai, left Hiroshima almost a hundred years ago to work as a laborer in Hawaii and then in California. My grandmother, Wakano Mukai, boarded the S.S. Manchuria bound for Calif...

Resources, Web Gleanings

Web Gleanings: Asian Government-Sponsored Sites

This issue’s collection of Web pages highlights sites created by a variety of governmental agencies in Asia. As the descriptions below for each site will aver, these sites contain an abundance of information about each of the countries represented, and for teachers of pre-college level students these sites can be a rich and broad reference source. KOREA SITE: EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA URL: Beginning with an extraordinary “slide show” of image...

Book Review, Resources

Pacific Nations and Territories: The Islands of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia

by Reilly Ridgell 3RD EDITION, REVISED HONOLULU: BESS PRESS, IN COOPERATION WITH THE PACIFIC REGION EDUCATIONAL LABORATORY, 1995 VII + 174 PAGES Pacific Neighbors The Islands of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia by Betty Dunford and Reilly Ridgell HONOLULU: BESS PRESS, IN COOPERATION WITH THE PACIFIC REGION EDUCATIONAL LABORATORY, 1996 IV + 188 PAGES When Reilly Ridgell was assigned to teach world geography to high school students on Guam in the mid- 1970s, he soon discovered th...

Feature Article

America’s Hiroshima: Culture Wars and the Classroom

The dominant American view of Hiroshima and Nagasaki owes much to what people felt when they first heard about the bombings fifty years ago. In 1945, many Americans believed the Japanese got what they deserved when we bombed those two cities. An August 1945 Gallup poll showed 85 percent of the public approving of the use of the atomic bombs on Japanese cities.1 A second poll, published in the December 1945 issue of Fortune, a leading business magazine, is even more revealing. It showed 53.5 perc...

Film Review Essay, Resources

Electric Shadows

DIRECTED BY HERVE COHEN AND RENAUD COHEN DISTRIBUTED BY FIRST RUN/ICARUS FILMS 153 WAVERLY PLACE NEW YORK, NY 10014 1993. 26 minutes. Color Scholars of contemporary China are only now beginning to explore the role of the media in social, cultural, and political change in post-Mao China. This is the theme of the film Electric Shadows, set in the rural heartland of Sichuan province. Taking its title from the Chinese term for cinema, dianying, this well-crafted documentary follows a team of...

Essay, Resources

Korean Civilization and East Asian Studies

One of the challenges faced by teachers of East Asian Studies is to move beyond one’s area of research expertise toward teaching that covers “the rest” of East Asia. It is often quite challenging to move toward teaching competence in premodern and modern China and Japan, but extremely difficult— without prior training—to take on the Korean peninsula. Trained as a premodern (Song-Ming) Chinese historian, I spent my first years of teaching working to create fuller offerings in modern Chi...

Book Review, Resources

IIAS Internet Guide to Asian Studies

by Annelies de Deugd LEIDEN: INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ASIAN STUDIES, 1996 80 PAGES This booklet purports to offer the results of a year’s work collecting information found on the Internet regarding Asian Studies. It is divided into two uneven parts: a user’s guide and a directory. The first provides an introduction to the ways of gaining access to the Internet, from file transfer protocol (FTP) and electronic mail, to discussion and mailing lists, Telnet, Gopher, and the World Wide W...

Curriculum Materials Review, Resources

The People’s Republic of China: Who Should Own the Land? A Unit of Study for Grades 7-10

By Susan Meisler and David Wakefield Los Angeles, CA: Regents of the University of California National Center for History in the Schools, 1991 83 pages This curriculum guide, produced by the National Center for History in the Schools, is intended as a set of lessons to teach middle school students about the problems associated with land ownership, land redistribution, and agricultural organization by using China as a case study. As such, the guide serves as a valuable “real-life” epis...

Book Review, Resources

The Himalayas: A Syllabus of the Region’s History, Anthropology, and Religion

by Todd T. Lewis and Theodore Riccardi, Jr. Foreword by Gerald D. Berreman ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN: ASSOCIATION FOR ASIAN STUDIES, INC., 1995 240 PAGES “Syllabus” brings to mind an outline, a skeleton to be built upon by both learner and instructor. This occasional paper for the Association for Asian Studies provides such a skeleton, and gives us a great deal more at the same time. Lewis and Riccardi have synthesized a very large number of strands with skill and sophistication using the...

Feature Article

Teaching the BOOK OF CHANGES

Change is very much part of our lives, but there seem to be more abrupt and fundamental changes as we approach the new century and the new millennium. One of these changes is perspective. Our “global village” is increasingly complex, pluralistic, and ambiguous. Yet many of us are still captives of a mode of thinking which is derived from a bipolar world order, a gender-divided society, and a Eurocentric classificatory system. How to educate our students to embrace plurality and ambiguity, an...

Film Review Essay, Resources

China: Unleashing the Dragon

A FOUR-PART DOCUMENTARY SERIES BY MIRACLE PICTURES HOSTED AND NARRATED BY JOAN CHEN DISTRIBUTED BY FIRST RUN/ICARUS FILMS 153 WAVERLY PLACE NEW YORK, NY 10014 1995. 200 MINUTES (4 X 50 MIN.) COLOR Viewers familiar with the successful four-part, made-for-TV video series Japan (WTTW/ Chicago, 1987), hosted and narrated by actress Jane Seymour, will recognize the same general style and format embraced in China: Unleashing the Dragon. Like Japan, China also uses a familiar actress appearin...

Book Review, Resources

Accomplices of Silence: The Modern Japanese Novel

by Masao Miyoshi MICHIGAN CLASSICS IN JAPANESE STUDIES, NO. 15 ANN ARBOR: THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, 1996 Miyoshi closely analyzes six representative novelists within a general context that considers Japanese cultural interaction with the novel defined as an imported Western form. The writers are Futabatei Shimei, Mori Ogai, and Natsume Soseki of the Meiji and early Taisho eras; and Kawabata Yasunari, Dazai Osamu, and Mishima Yukio of the Hirohito (Showa) years. Miyoshi reveals structural ...


Asian Factoids: Fall 1997

Asia and Young People Percentage of population below 15 years of age Cambodia 44.9 Pakistan 44.3 Philippines 38.3 Malaysia 38.0 Vietnam 37.5 India 35.2 Indonesia 33.0 Thailand 28.3 China 26.4 So. Korea 23.6 Source: World Resources 1996-97 Asia accounts for 61 percent of the world’s total child labor force (ages 5–14), i.e. 153 million child laborers from Asia. Source: Far Eastern Economic Review, November 21, 1996 Submitted by E. A. DeVido, National Chengchi University,...

Feature Article

Not a War: Suggestions From a College Reading Course in Fiction and Poetry from Vietnam and Vietnamese Americans

Last winter I taught a course at Yale in recent literature from Vietnam and Vietnamese people. Except for one poem, one short story, and one essay, all the assigned readings were from 1986 and afterwards. Within Vietnam, this is the period of social and economic reform, called doi moi. In the U.S., this is the time of emergence of young Vietnamese authors writing in English. I wasn’t teaching a period, though, or a national canon, or Asian American culture. I was teaching recent authors as ...

Film Review Essay, Resources

Schools of Thought: Teaching Children in America and Japan

PRODUCED BY OREGON PUBLIC BROADCASTING FILMS FOR THE HUMANITIES & SCIENCES P.O. BOX 2053 PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY 08543 800-257-5126 1994. 55 MINUTES Schools of Thought contains two twenty-five to thirty minute documentaries, one by an Oregon television crew visiting Japanese schools and the other by a Japanese crew visiting schools in Oregon. According to the narrator, the goal of the project is to explore “efforts in both countries to balance creativity and discipline in education....

Film Review Essay, Resources

Home to Tibet

PRODUCED, WRITTEN, AND DIRECTED BY ALAN DATER AND LISA MERTON NEW DAY FILMS 22D HOLLYWOOD AVE. HOHOKUS, NJ 07423 1995. 55 MINUTES. COLOR Home to Tibet, produced, written, and directed by Alan Dater and Lisa Merton, is both satisfying as a narrative of the archetypal journey, and beautiful as a filmic record of the unbeatable landscape of Tibet and the indomitable spirit of its people. The film opens with rapid cutting from one stunning scene to another of religious moments that underlie a...

Essay, Resources

Teaching the Pacific War through Films

The present generation is a visual generation. Our students have not known a time without television and the VCR. Thus, the use of films is an ideal way to present the Pacific phase of World War II. Good films can be dramatic in demonstrating the reality of that war to present day students. Even bad films can be useful in other ways. Those dealing with the Pacific often contain the grossest stereotypes. Many of these films, though, can help a teacher deal with the production and presentation ...

Book Review, Resources

Winds of Change: Korean Women in America

by Diana Yu SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND: WOMEN’S INSTITUTE PRESS, 1991 356 PAGES + APPENDIX + INDEX Although the title of this book is a misnomer, it is a fortunate one. Diana Yu’s study of Korean women is not just about Korean women in America. Part One contains substantial and interesting information about the historical as well as current conditions of women in Korea. Part Two considers different groups of immigrants to America, the behavior of both male and female Korean immigrants, a...

Book Review, Resources

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China

by Jung Chang NEW YORK: ANCHOR BOOKS PUBLISHED BY DOUBLEDAY, 1992 ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY SIMON & SCHUSTER, 1991 524 PAGES Jung Chang’s autobiographical history, Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, contains enough romance and adventure to interest a high school student, and enough historical and cultural detail to satisfy a history or literature teacher’s pedagogical needs. Curious yet critical, the average high school student knows little more about China than what he or she h...

Film Review Essay, Resources

In the Name of the Emperor

PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY NANCY TONG DISTRIBUTED BY FILM NEWS NOW FOUNDATION 230 EAST 15TH STREET, SUITE 10N NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10003 52 MINUTES COLOR. BLACK AND WHITE In December 1937, Japanese soldiers began their occupation of Nanjing with a brutal rampage of murder and rape, known now as the “Nanjing Massacre,” or the “Rape of Nanjing.” Nancy Tong’s film is not so much an assessment of that event and its aftermath as it is an eyewitness recounting of the horrors. The story i...