Now 85, Franklin Buchanan, along with Elgin Heinz, was among a small group of people who in the 1960s redirected their educational efforts toward encouraging the teaching of Asian studies at the precollegiate level. As with John Fairbank who is credited with bringing Asian studies into the university as a major subject area, Franklin and Elgin were among those who took the next logical step and began to explore ways to introduce Asia into the K–12 classroom.
Frank was born in the small town of Pleasantville, Ohio. He was introduced to the world of ideas through working in a town drugstore where the proprietor carried Harper’s and The New Yorker. After attending graduate school on the GI Bill, Frank began as a social studies teacher in Urbana, Ohio. The course he taught there on comparative politics and religion set off a minor storm during the McCarthy era, but he was strongly defended by the local school superintendent.