Sponsored by the Marvin Wachman Fund for International Education, a division of the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
On October 19-20, 2002, FPRI’s Marvin Wachman Fund for International Education sponsored a weekend-long history institute on “Teaching Japan.” The program was specially designed for secondary school teachers and curriculum supervisors; our aim was to enrich teachers’ understanding of Japan— from ancient times to the 21st century — covering history, culture, politics, society, and foreign relations. The institute featured a series of lectures by leading scholars in several fields; related papers are provided below.
You can find the complete list of topics and speakers as well as other information about the event itself from the original event announcement.
Lucien Ellington reviews publications, films, and other resources for teaching about Japan in Footnotes, the newsletter of the Wachman Fund.
Teaching About Japan (published as Footnotes, Vol. 8 No. 2, April 2003)
Reviews of James L. McClain’s Japan: A Modern History, the National Standards and School Reform in Japan and the United States edited by Gary DeCoker, and the Asia for Educators website maintained by the East Asian Studies Institute at Columbia University.
Teaching About Japan #2 (published as Footnotes, Vol. 8 No. 3, May 2003
Reviews of T.R. Reid’s Confucius Lives Next Door: What Living in The East Teaches Us about Living in the West and The Oriental Economist Report.
Teaching About Japan: Films About Japanese Culture, Literature and History (published as Footnotes, Vol. 8 No. 6, December 2003
Focuses on ways of using film to learn about Japan, in particular, about elements of traditional Japanese culture, history, and literature. Reviews Kokoro: The Heart Within and the Japanese History and Literature video series from Columbia University.
Japan’s North Korea Initiative and U.S.-Japanese Relations (published in Orbis, Vol. 47 No. 3, Summer 2003)
By Gilbert Rozman
Rozman writes that U.S. cannot succeed by separating Japan from the Asian continent. Its only effective strategy is to work with Japan to develop Northeast Asian regionalism, promote Russo-Japanese relations, stabilizing Sino-Japanese relations, and coordinate with Japan and South Korea in a shared strategy for a soft landing in North Korea should it make essential concessions. This paper is based on the Bobby Hall Luxenberg Memorial Lecture delivered at the History Institute, which was also the basis of the FPRI E-Note, Japan’s Relations with the U.S. and Its North Korean Option (12/3/2003).
Early Japanese History
By J.S.A. Elisonas
Elisonas writes that the Japanese were not isolated prior to Commodore Perry’s famous expedition. To the contrary, the people who inhabited the Japanese archipelago were influenced by the civilizations of East Asia— indeed, that Japan was the “product of international relations.”
Japanese Domestic Politics: The Challenge of Turning off the Cruise Control
By Leonard Schoppa
• Figures (136K Microsoft Powerpoint Presentation)
In the first section, Schoppa summarizes how Japan’s domestic politics contributed to the entrenchment of its mercantilist economic policy and free riding security policy. In the second section, he looks at how domestic politics has got in the way of policy change in the period since Japan entered its Lost Decade at the start of the 1990s.
The Big Mac and Teaching About Japan (published in Footnotes, Vol. 8 No. 5, December 2003)
By Lucien Ellington
The famous McDonald’s Big Mac, Ellington argues, can be effective tool in helping students achieve a better understanding of Japan. It can defeat Orientalist stereotypes about the Japanese— and also challenge young people who might have oversimplified notions of what exactly occurs when U.S. fast food chains take root in another culture.
Beyond the Rhetoric: Essential Questions About Japanese Education (published in Footnotes, Vol. 8 No. 7, December 2003)
By Lucien Ellington
American preoccupation with Japan’s schools has been marked by rhetoric and myth. Ellington writes to separate myth from fact about the Japanese education system, in order to focus attention on the important questions concerned Americans should be asking about Japanese schools.
On November 15th at the FPRI annual dinner Fouad Ajami was presented with the Seventh Annual Benjamin Franklin Public Service Award. The event was attended by over 360 people.
Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr. was dinner chairman.
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