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 Education About Asia (EAA)!

Sign up for the EAA Digest E-Newsletter and receive monthly updates and announcements from the EAA editor. Subscribe

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

    Use the dropdown menus

    to search by author, geographic location, article type, and academic field

  2. 2

    Enter keywords

    to search the full text of articles (where search terms may not appear in the article title, eg.)

  3. 3

    View an article

    by clicking on its title. To view the original print version of the 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.

Feature Article

The Essentials: Seven Samurai

Kurosawa Akira’s Seven Samurai is a timeless masterpiece that has been widely recognized as the greatest foreign-language film ever made. The plot concerns a humble village hiring a band of samurai and protecting itself from pillage in war-ravaged sixteenth-century Japan. Since the wretchedness inflicted on the peasantry is evocative of all forms of human suffering, the honorable service conducted by the seven samurai takes on universal significance.

Feature Article

Sri Lanka in the Classroom

Editor’s Introduction: A Virgin Vote, a short film by director Udan Fernando, follows a Sri Lankan citizen voting for the first time in the country’s 2020 parliamentary elections after becoming stranded due to Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 lockdown. In the essay and short interview that follow, Fernando discusses A Virgin Vote and its production, as well as the ongoing political crisis in Sri Lanka. The basic information below provides context for readers unfamiliar with Sri Lanka and the...

Feature Article

The Essentials: Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land

Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan) is one of the most celebrated playwrights working in the Chinese-speaking world. His work over three decades has charted the course of modern Chinese-language theatre in Taiwan, China, and other Chinese-speaking regions.

Feature Article

Revisiting Live Your Dream and Cocktail Party

Regge Life is the founder of Global Film Network Inc. Early in his career, Life worked as an American Film Institute intern on John Landis’s Trading Places. He went on to direct episodes of Sesame Street, The Cosby Show, A Different World, and Sister, Sister. He is Executive Producer/Director for documentaries such as Doubles, After America . . . After Japan, Live Your Dream: The Taylor Anderson Story, and Cocktail Party. He produced his first work in Japan, Struggle and Success: The...

Feature Article

Teaching Cultural, Historical, and Religious Landscapes with the Anime Demon Slayer

  In 2020, the animated movie Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train (Japanese: Gekijō-ban “Kimetsu no Yaiba” Mugen Ressha-hen) was No. 1 in the world for box office revenue.1 In the same year, it became the highest-grossing movie in Japanese history, surpassing Spirited Away, which had reigned No. 1 since 2001. Just as Miyazaki Hideo’s animated classic Spirited Away has been a staple for teaching about Japanese folklore and culture in classrooms around the wor...

Feature Article

Teaching Cambodian Genocide Through Film

Students in my world history class sat in silence as the film credits started to roll. We had just started a unit on the Cold War, and I decided to integrate the film First They Killed My Father about genocide in Cambodia.1 Directed by Angelina Jolie (who spent time working in Cambodia to film the popular Tomb Raider movies and has been a Cambodian citizen for a decade) and produced by Jolie and Cambodian director Rithy Panh for Netflix, my hope was that the story of five-year-old Loung (played ...

Feature Article

One Day in the Life of a North Korean Textile Worker

There are many films on North Korea; some are quite good. But Pieter Fleury’s North Korea: A Day in the Life is in a category by itself. In 2004, the Dutch independent filmmaker was granted rare permission to film everyday life in the closed, secretive country. No foreigners are allowed to wander at will in North Korea; all are carefully shepherded and watched, allowed to visit and film only what their hosts decide. These tend to be the same places: a visit to a model kindergarten, to the grea...

Columns

Editor’s Message

I hope readers are having the best fall possible given continuing unusual times. “Engaging Asia: Film, Documentaries, and Television” at times seemed like we were interacting with a “cast of thousands” but developing the special section has been deeply gratifying; especially because of the creativity of all of you who contributed in so many ways to this special section. An experiment that involved the theft of a Turner Classic Movies moniker with experienced EAA contributors i...

Columns, Film Review Essay

The Little Girl of Hanoi (Em Bé Hà Nội)

The Little Girl of Hanoi (Em Bé Hà Nội) By Hải Ninh 1974, 72 minutes, color Available with English subtitles at https://youtu.be/vFuEYCGV5ZY Reviewed by Margaret B. Bodemer   When American students learn about the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam (SRV), it is typically in the context of what Americans call the Việt Nam War but that is known in the SRV as the American War. Courses that address this conflict tend to emphasize American over Vietnamese experiences.1 This re...

Columns, Film Review Essay

Have You Seen This Man?

The acknowledged first recorded film made in China is The Battle of Dingjunshan by Ren Qingtai from 1905. As such, the China National Film Museum in Beijing has on exhibit signage that notes this acknowledgment, along with the recreation of the filming. However, there are a number of Chinese film scholars who have their doubts about whether it was ever actually made. Mention is made in a July 1904 article in the professional magician’s journal Mahatma on the Chinese magician C...

Online Supplement

Make Your Documentary! A Call to Action

In 2008, I responded to a call in Education About Asia for Digital Asia: Documentary Digital Video Workshop, a two-day workshop sponsored by Asia Educational Media Service (AEMS) at the University of Illinois to introduce participants to the various aspects of filmmaking. Being one of roughly twelve participants selected from a pool of about forty applicants, changed the direction of my career. Prior to the workshop, I had watched hundreds of videos for material to use in my...

Feature Article

Why I Made a Virgin Vote

It all began with a very long conversation I had with a person. He became both the subject and protagonist of what later became a short English-language film, A Virgin Vote, released in September 2021 in Colombo and online. The conversant was a childhood and teenage classmate in Sri Lanka. Our conversation took place in a bar/restaurant in July 2020, literally a stone’s throw away from the school we attended. I had just returned from Singapore, where I was located for about three months during...

Columns, Film Review Essay

Day of the Western Sunrise

Day of the Western Sunrise By Keith Reimink Daliborka Films, 2018 76 minutes, DVD, Color Japanese language with English subtitles By Angie Stokes, with Keith Reimink [caption id="attachment_16419" align="aligncenter" width="894"] The Lucky Dragon, dwarfed by the Castle Bravo nuclear blast eighty-five miles away. Source: Screen capture from the documentary.[/caption] Day of the Western Sunrise is a Japanese-language, English-subtitled, animated documentary film that follows t...

Book Review Essay

The Perry Expedition and the “Opening of Japan to the West,” 1853-1873: A Short History with Documents

The arrival of US Commodore Matthew Perry’s squadron of four ships into Tokyo Bay on July 8, 1853, is one of those great watershed moments of modern history. This event led to the rapid transformation of Japan from a weak isolated nation into one of the world’s major world powers in less than fifty years. The Japanese response to the West’s forced opening of its doors would soon alter the balance of geographical power around the world and create a model that other, lesser-developed nation...

Teaching Resources Essay

The Xinjiang Documentation Project

[caption id="attachment_16426" align="aligncenter" width="897"] “Eliminating Extremism.” This is a sample from the “peasant painting” collection, a campaign that was organized by the Xinjiang government to promote official counterterrorism rhetoric. The painting depicts an axe bearing the crest of the Chinese Communist Party cleaving into corpses of men and women wearing traditional Islamic clothing as well as a large serpent. Weapons such as knives, axes, and homemade bombs, a...

Feature Article

New Online Teaching Resources for Early Chinese Cinema

The Chinese Film Classics Project is a research, teaching, and translation initiative aimed at making early Chinese cinema more accessible to the general public. The centerpieces of the project are two interlinked web resources: (1) the website chinesefilmclassics.org and (2) the YouTube channel Modern Chinese Cultural Studies (https://tinyurl.com/4zk6wevb). These sites currently feature twenty-four Chinese films released between 1922 and 1949 with complete English subtitles; over 150 film clips...

Feature Article

A Brief Interview with Udan Fernando

Udan Fernando obtained his PhD from the University of Amsterdam. He currently functions as an Independent Researcher from Sri Lanka and Singapore. Until March 2020, he was Executive Director of the Center for Poverty Analysis (CEPA), a Sri Lankan think-tank. Throughout his career, as Head of the Development Commission of the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka (1989–1995), Executive Director of Paltra (gte) Ltd (1996–2001), Guest Researcher at University of Amsterdam (2002–20...

EAA Interview

An EAA Interview with Alisa Freedman, Author of Japan on American TV: Screaming Samurai Join Anime Clubs in the Land of the Lost

Editor’s Note: Most EAA readers are familiar with Key Issues in Asian Studies but less so, if at all, with the AAS book series, Asia Shorts. The following brief description of Asia Shorts will assist readers in better understanding unique characteristics of the Asia Shorts series. ASIA SHORTS are concise, readable books written by authors—scholars, teachers, journalists, and policymakers—that engage broad audiences with up-to-date scholarship on timely topics in ...

Feature Article

Using Victory in the Pacific in High School and College History Survey Courses

[caption id="attachment_16444" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Dan Rather and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf. Source: All screen captures are from Victory in the Pacific.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_16445" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Newspapers after the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941.[/caption] The irony of a student complaining that a video is too old in a history classroom never ceases to amuse. But there is at least one thing that a nonletterboxed, standa...

Feature Article

The Essentials: How the Film Tora! Tora! Tora! May Be Utilized as a Teaching Tool About Pearl Harbor

The use of film in a history class can be an important learning tool for students. The traditional method of instruction based on pure lecturing can inform students of the basic facts, but the use of film can substantially enhance the learning experience. When I was a Professor of Asian Studies at a small women’s college in Virginia, I often used films as a way of enhancing my lectures. When teaching about modern Chinese history and culture, I would show such movies as Raise the Red Lantern (1...