Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

Top Ten Things to Know about China in the Twenty-First Century

TEN—THE PAST IS NOT SO FAR AWAY China is one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations. This ancient culture of shared legends, rituals, ideas, traditions, and written language helps to explain even today why the Chinese people act the way they do and how they interpret their world. The Chinese early on set up a pantheon of  “brilliant human beings” who were “inventors of Chinese culture.”  These extraordinary “mythical sages” were fathers of agriculture, industry, fami...

Web Gleanings

Web Gleanings: Asian Newspapers — English-Language Editions

[Editor’s Note: In order to include as many newspaper sites as possible, remarks have been limited to a single sentence.] BANGLADESH Title: The New Nation URL: This paper provides broad coverage of the news of Bangladesh and is associated with a newspaper founded in 1953. Title: The Independent A leading daily newspaper published in Dhaka; articles from its weekly magazine are also indexed on the homepage. Title: Bangladesh Observer URL: http://ww...

Essay, Resources

Choosing a Foreign Language for the Future: Or, the Need for American Students to Study an Asian Language in College

Thirty years of employment as a college professor have led me to anticipate weekly that one or two students will ask me what language is best to study in college and why. The essence of this question is: What language will be most important in my future? Since studying a foreign language requires a considerable commitment in terms of time and energy and may even become a lifetime endeavor, this matter deserves careful consideration. Learning a language spoken by a large and/or an increasin...

Essay, Resources

Integrating Study of Asia into the Curriculum

Co-recipient of the 2003 United States–Japan Foundation Elgin Heinz Outstanding Teacher Award—Humanities Category In the context of state standards, high-stakes testing of reading, writing, and math skills, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the renewed sense of patriotism in our country, it can be quite difficult for a teacher to justify teaching about the world. But what if we don’t? What if students leave our classrooms with no sense of global responsibility? As a classroom teacher ...

EAA Interview, Resources

EAA Interview with Buchanan Prize Winners Linda K. Menton, Noren W. Lush, Eileen H. Tamura, and Chance I. Gusukuma

EDITOR’S NOTE This is our seventh interview with the winners of the Franklin R. Buchanan Prize. The Association for Asian Studies awards the prize annually for the development of outstanding curriculum materials on Asia. Linda K. Menton, Noren W. Lush, Eileen H. Tamura, and Chance I. Gusukuma won the 2003 prize for the development of The Rise of Modern Japan. The authors of this outstanding work are all affiliated with the Curriculum Research & Development Group, an organized research unit...

Film Review Essay, Resources

To Live

Directed by Zhang Yimou Screenplay by Yu Hua and Lu Wei, 1994 VHS/DVD. Color. 2 hours 13 minutes. Available through In the last ten years the groundbreaking feature film To Live (Huo Zhe), directed by Zhang Yimou, has offered filmgoers, educators, and China watchers an intimate glimpse at the lives of one fictional family (the Xu family) as they live through critical moments of four decades of China’s twentieth century history. Combined with stunning dramatic visuals and a w...

Film Review Essay

Who is Indian? A Review of My Mother India

Written and directed by Safina Uberoi Produced by Penelope McDonald VHS. Color. 52 minutes. Chili Films, 2001 My Mother India weaves together the experiences of one family over three generations, the past with the present, 1947 with 1984, Australia and India. Written and directed by Safina Uberoi, this documentary begins as a hilarious account of a marriage between an Australian woman named Patricia, and Jit, an Indian-Sikh man—Uberoi’s parents. They fell in love and married in Canberra b...

Feature Article

Top Ten Things to Know about India in the Twenty-First Century

1 THERE IS NOT ONE, BUT FOUR INDIAS “The first and most essential thing to learn about India,” declared a famous British administrator in 1888, is “that there is not, and never was an India, or even any country of India, possessing, according to European ideas, any sort of unity, physical, political, social or religious.”(note 1) The statement sounds startlingly silly until one notices the defining clause, “according to European ideas.” Then one can change it to read, “One of the...

Feature Article

Why Did Japan Succeed and China Fail? And Isn’t Modernization the Same Thing as Westernization?

While walking through the hallways of a high school near the university where I teach, a set of posters hanging outside a classroom caught my attention. The posters had been drawn by students in a tenth grade world history class. Their assignment, I learned later, was to represent in visual form the differences between the modern historical experiences of Japan and China, particularly in relation to the two countries’ responses to Western imperialism in the nineteenth century. (note 1)  Th...

Feature Article

Using The Quiet American in the Classroom

A relatively painless way to encourage students to embrace a new and unfamiliar viewpoint is via film and fiction. In Asian-related courses this task is made easy by the ready availability of high quality engaging fiction, autobiography, and film offering sympathetic portrayals of Asian characters. Many of us have encouraged our students to make important leaps to new and unfamiliar points of view by using materials on China like Ha Jin’s Waiting, Jung Chang’s Wild Swans, and Zhang Yimou’s...

Feature Article

Taking Arts of Asia Online

Can online instruction be used at the college level to deal with increasing enrollments? At the University of California, Davis, with Andrew W. Mellon Foundation support, the potential of the Internet for reaching more students in undergraduate general education courses without increasing educational costs was explored. The author was one of ten instructors who participated in the project from 1999–2002. This article describes her experience teaching an Asian art history gateway course online,...

Book Review, Resources

The Rise of Modern Japan

CURRICULUM RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT GROUP UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII PRESS, 2003 274 PAGES. HARDCOVER ISBN: 0-8248-2531-4 Reviewed by Joe Gawyrs It’s amazing how, post-9/11, the great cultural debate over whether or not we need a global curriculum has just gone away. We need one, and it’s hard to find anyone who still wants to argue that European and American history are sufficient for American students. But where are the teachers with the background to teach non-Western classes? And where are...

EAA Interview, Feature Article

EAA Interview with Yu Hua, author of To Live (Huo Zhe)

Yu Hua, author of the novel To Live (Huo Zhe), was a participant in the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program during the fall of 2003. Realizing that many readers would appreciate knowing more about Yu Hua and his recently translated novel, Chronicle of a Blood Merchant (Random House, August 2003, trans. Michael Berry), Helen Finken, Iowa Partner Site Coordinator for the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia at the University of Iowa’s Center for Asian and Pacific Studies,...

Book Review Essay, Resources

To Live: A Novel

BY YU HUA TRANSLATION AND AFTERWORD BY MICHAEL BERRY NEW YORK, ANCHOR BOOKS—RANDOM HOUSE, 2003 256 PAGES. PAPERBACK ISBN: 1-4000-31869 Yu Hua is one of the leaders of the post-Mao generation of writers struggling to find a voice for their experiences in a literary world whose perspectives had been warped by the constraints of socialist realism and which could voice criticism only in a veiled historicism that located exemplary mistakes in the experiences of figures associated with dynastie...

Curriculum Materials Review, Resources

Guide for Teaching Ancient China

A Publication of Primary Source, 2001 PRIMARY SOURCE 125 WALNUT STREET WATERTOWN, MA 02472 WWW.PRIMARYSOURCE.ORG TELEPHONE: 617-923-9933 This Ancient China guide constitutes an extremely valuable addition to curriculum resources for elementary and middle school teachers. Drawing on the collective experience and creativity of several dozen primarily Massachusetts teachers plus the Primary Source staff, the twenty-eight lessons address a wide range of topics and teaching methods/practices. I...

Book Review, Resources

Living Dangerously in Korea: The Western Experience, 1900–1950

BY DONALD N. CLARK NORWALK, CT: EASTBRIDGE, 2003 454 PAGES. PAPERBACK ISBN: 1-891936-11-5 Reviewed by Michael J. Seth Donald Clark has written an engaging account of the small number of Westerners who lived and worked in Korea during the turbulent first half of the twentieth century. This period saw the end of the five-century-old Yi dynasty, the four-decade-long occupation of Korea by Japan, the Second World War, the division and occupation of the country by the Soviet Union and the United...

Book Review, Resources

The Koreas: A Global Studies Handbook

SANTA BARBARA: ABC-CLIO, 2002 286 PAGES. HARDCOVER ISBN: 1-57607-277-0 Reviewed by Alejandro Echevarria “You know, Korea’s the most interesting of the Asian cultures.” The author’s preface invites the reader to explore one of the richest, and most often ignored, cultures in East Asia. Many educators have left Korea out of their curricula mainly due to the lack of available material. This ambitious book seeks to remedy this problem by providing a general introduction to Korea through ...

Book Review, Resources

The Korean War: An Encyclopedia

GARLAND PUBLISHING, INC., NEW YORK AND LONDON, 1995 416 PAGES. HARDCOVER ISBN: 0-8240-4445-2 Reviewed by Barbara Bennett Peterson Ever want to know all about M*A*S*H* units —for real, not just on TV’s famed series M*A*S*H*? Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals provided emergency medical surgery: after initial treatment, wounded personnel could be picked up by a Medevac chopper and flown to the interior for additional treatment. M*A*S*H* units were important during the Korean War, treating thos...

Book Review, Resources

Japanese Woodblock Printing

UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII PRESS, 2002 128 PAGES. PAPERBACK ISBN: 0824825535 Japanese woodblock prints have long been among the most popular and accessible of art forms, attracting a western audience for more than 150 years, even before Commander Matthew Perry brought his fleet to the Edo harbor in 1853 and, pointing US guns at the unprotected city, forced Japan to sign the Treaty of Friendship and open its borders to outside contact and trade. By that time, woodblock printing arts had been perfect...

Book Review, Resources

The Japanese Model of Schooling: Comparisons with the United States

NEW YORK: ROUTLEDGE FALMER, 2001 190 PAGES + APPENDIX + BIBLIOGRAPHY + INDEX HARDCOVER, ISBN: 0815336411 Reviewed by Jon Zeljo Since the American Occupation of Japan (1945– 52), international recognition of Japanese education has grown tremendously. The academic success and discipline of Japanese students have warranted further investigation into the Japanese education system and deemed it a worthy model. Yet, as Ryoko Tsuneyoshi, author of The Japanese Model of Schooling, submits, Japanes...