I wish all readers who observe January 1st as the New Year a wonderful 2017! “Traditional and Contemporary Asia: Numbers, Symbols, and Colors” is this issue’s special section, and we sincerely thank all authors and referees for their hard work and support.
Mark Dennis in “Enlivened Learning: How to Play the Karma-based Moksha Game in the College Classroom” utilizes one of the most significant South Asian religious concepts in creating and implementing a classroom management and enhanced learning system that other instructors are now also using. Jie Gao’s “Symbolism in the Forbidden City” is a clearly written introduction to the links between cosmology and philosophy and the designers of the Chinese Imperial Palace complex incorporation of numbers, colors, and structure placement. Instructors, students, and educators responsible for Asia professional development should find Cheryl Crowley and Yu Li’s “Calligraphy in East Asia: Art, Communication, and Symbology” a superb basic overview of the topic with a nice mix of graphics and discussion of one of the most unique East Asian creations. Many readers, especially those who’ve experienced study tours of Japan and other Asian countries, can distinctly remember seeing the swastika in Buddhist temples and in Japan on street signs. Todd Munson in “The Past, Present, and Future of the Swastika in Japan” discusses the historical and contemporary utilization of the symbol in that nation and provides a brief overview of the swastika’s use in Asian and other cultures.
In “Colors of Japan: Literature Comes to the Table,” Linda Chance connects Heian Era high cultural preferences in colors to contemporary Japanese cuisine. Eric Cunningham, author of a nifty Key Issues in Asian Studies volume on Zen, in “Cultivating Enlightenment: The Manifold Meaning of Japanese Zen Gardens,” explores historic and contemporary messages emanating from these now-symbols of traditional Japanese culture. Frank Chance’s essay “Sacred Mountains of Japan, with a Particular Look at the Shikoku Pilgrimage” introduces the concept of sacred mountains in Japan, and combines a description of the origins of the now-world-famous Shikoku pilgrimage with anecdotes from his own participation in the trek. Our features special section ends with Paul Dunscomb’s essay “Oh Brave New World That Has Such Lessons in It,” which briefly introduces the television version of the international media phenomenon Ghost in the Shell and explains how to use segments from the series in class as forums for discussing important and sometimes potentially profoundly troubling values.
This issue also, along with other useful resources, includes the final installation of Peter Frost’s two-part “Debating the Occupation” series that is specifically intended for students and instructors in American and World History survey courses, essays on the award-winning text Asian Art, and on Gandhi and Mao’s use of symbols in creating nationalist movements in India and China. The publication of every EAA also includes online supplements (essays, reviews, and augmentations of EAA feature articles). Please check the online supplements section of the table of contents. One online supplement that is a “first” for EAA is Eric Dinmore’s essay review of one of The Great Courses, in this case, “Understanding Japan: A Cultural History.” Emory Professor Mark Ravina is the instructor, and those who are unfamiliar with The Great Courses are particularly urged to read the essay review.
The fall 2017 special section is “Water and Asia,” and the deadline for initial receipt of manuscripts is April 20, 2017. The winter 2017 special section is “Demographics, Social Policy, and Asia (Part I),” and the deadline for initial receipt of manuscripts is August 1, 2017. Please visit the EAA website at www.asian-studies.org/eaa for further information about these, and two other planned special sections.
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Editor: Education About Asia
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Managing Editor, Education About Asia
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