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On-Line Resources for Teaching and Learning about APEC and Modern Asia in World History

Marc Jason Gilbert

The following guide was prepared as part of a workshop on Modern Asia and APEC in World History held in Honolulu, Hawai'i on October 15, 2011. The workshop was held prior to the meeting of APEC in that city later that fall. The workshop was a feature of the first annual meeting of the World History Association of Hawai'i, sponsored by the History Department of Hawai'i Pacific University.

1. Teaching about APEC Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

APEC is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries (formally Member Economies) that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation. For teaching resources, see:

For studying APEC on CD-ROM, go to:

2. Background on APEC for the 2011 Meeting

3. What is bad about APEC?

"Whatever: a new collection of later essays, 1987-2001"

By Carmen Guerrero Nakpil at:
book_result&ct=result&resnum= 2&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=What%20is%20bad%20about%20APEC%3F&f=false

4. Occupy Honolulu from Pacific Business News

Date: Monday, October 10, 2011, 7:06am HST

About 100 people calling themselves "Occupy Honolulu," aligned with the "Occupy Wall Street" movement that has been protesting Wall Street in New York, gathered in Chinatown Gateway Park in Honolulu over the weekend.

The group had a number of issues in addition to frustration with big business, including funding for education and social programs, small business and protesting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Honolulu next month. The newspaper reports that members of the group planned to return to the park at the corner of Hotel and Bethel streets on Monday to work on their identity.

5. Wall Street—Preview for APEC? The View from the Right:

6. The Perfect Storm Cartoon

7. Art Demonstration Workshop Takes Aim at APEC

14 October: Check out the KGMB coverage of last night's workshop. It begins:

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – There's less than a month before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit comes to Oahu. And a group of some50 people got together at the multi-media art lounge at 39 Hotel Thursday night to demonstrate against APEC and discuss it — using art.

Most of the messages were against APEC; the most straightforward one said simply, "APEC sucks." People could bring their own t-shirts, and silkscreen the message themselves. Read on at:

8. Teaching about the Pacific Rim

Teaching about the Pacific Rim. []This is an essay which explores ways that teachers can instruct American students about the Pacific Rim. This includes advice on teaching Pacific history.

9. Teaching About/Resources for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim SEAsite (an interactive, multimedia set of teaching resources for studying Southeast Asian languages, literatures, and cultures on the World Wide Web),; the Center for Southeast Asian Studies website ( has teaching modules and other teaching resources on SEAsia; many videos, books and slides on SEAsia are available for use by area teachers and students from the Center's Outreach office; a new introductory textbook on SEAsia by Clark Neher, Southeast Asia: Crossroads of the World, as well as many other publications are available through the Center's Publications office (

Model Lesson Plans



SEAArch – The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog

Hoi An in danger of being washed away by floods

19 November 2007 (Thanh Nien News) – The historic buildings of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Vietnam is in danger of being damaged and washed away by floods.

You might also be interested in:
Floods threaten Ayutthaya ruins
Repair bill from Thai floods hits US$20 million
Inscribed stones in danger of being rubbed away by human hands

10. Modern East Asia

Asia for Educators Everything you need. See also:

UCLA Center for East Asian Studies Resources on Japan Includes a 'Two Minute Japan" lesson.

Also, the Center's Lesson Plan List at:

Teacher's Resource Guide and Japanese Art and Culture Outreach Kit at

Columbia University Asian for Educators, Japan at

Contemporary Japan for Teachers at

Films about Japan (2000)

Starting Points for Finding Online Lesson Plans and Teaching Resources
(listed more or less in order of usefulness):

The Japan in World History Teaching Module at


The Japan Teaching Module consists of two geography components, as well as components in world history and physical science. This module is designed to be used in educational methods courses, institutes and workshops for practicing teachers, and in introductory human and physical geography, physical science, and world history high school and undergraduate survey courses. The four components include three common features: authors designed each component to encompass a relatively short (one to two week range) amount of classroom or outside study time, each component contains content and digital material particularly applicable to classrooms, and each contains additional resources on particular topics for interested educators or students. Module authors are all University of Tennessee at Chattanooga faculty, Lucien Ellington, Module Project Director (and also editor of Education about Asia).

Samurai Women in World History

Samurai Sisters: Early Feudal Japan at

Japanese History Textbook Controversies

Japan in World History from

Today in Japanese History
From the UCLA Center for East Asian Studies Teaching about Japan pages. This calendar, with links to important dates in Japanese history, is designed to encourage discussion and further research on historical events.

Ancient Japan
From Washington State University's World Civilizations: An Internet Classroom and Anthology. Ancient Japan by Richard Hooker is a "learning module in the form of a 'research textbook'." The site covers from the Yayoi period (400 B.C.E.-250 C.E.) through the Heian period (794-1185), including sections on early Japanese Buddhism and early Japanese culture. Other resources available from site are an art gallery, timeline, readings in Japanese culture, and a short glossary of Japanese terms and concepts.

History, 1800 to Present: Japan: Teaching Units
From Columbia University's East Asian Curriculum Project Contemporary Japan: A Teaching Workbook. This site links to a timeline and overview of modern Japanese history and offers five separate curriculum units from the beginning of the Meiji Restoration (1868) to the Allied Occupation of Japan. Units are "Commodore Perry and Japan," "The Meiji Restoration and Modernization (1868-1930)," "Japan's Quest for Power and World War II in Asia," "The Atomic Bomb," and "The Occupation: Democratic Reform Under the Allies." Units include readings, primary source documents, and exercises. Teacher outlines are provided on "Japan and the West: The Meiji Restoration," "Imperialism, War, and Revolution in East Asia: 1900-1945," and "Introduction to Contemporary Japan: 1945-Present."

Japanese Feudalism

Knight/Samurai and Lord/Daimyo: Should We Compare European Feudalism to Japan?~AP World History, Foundations.
From the Curriculum Outlines collection of The Japan Studies Leadership Program at the Five College Center for East Asian Studies Web site. After a general introduction, this curriculum unit is divided into two parts. "Part One: Using Literature as a Window on Historic Japan" by Patience Berkman uses Katherine Paterson's historical novel Of Nightingales that Weep as a gateway to the Kamukura Era. "Part Two: Was There Feudalism in Japan? The Ako Incident within a World History Context" by Diana Marston Wood uses The 47 Ronin Story by John Allyn to explore "the meaning of feudalism in 18th century Japan."

Edo Japan, A Virtual Tour
From the Japan-America Society Web site. This virtual tour of Edo (modern-day Tokyo) uses woodblock prints from the era to illustrate Edo history, culture, and tradition.

The "Seclusion" of Japan~AP World History, 1450-1750.
From the Fall 2001 syllabus of Dr. Watts at the Wake Forest University Web site. Explores Japan's isolationist policies during the Tokugawa period through primary source documents. Provides text of the Closed Country Edict of 1635 and Exclusion of the Portuguese, 1639, after a brief introduction. Includes 5 "Questions for Analysis."

Meiji Japan

The Meiji Restoration and Modernization~AP World History, 1750-1914.
From Columbia University's East Asian Curriculum Project Contemporary Japan: A Teaching Workbook. Provides an introductory essay "Japan Answers the Challenge of the Western World" and two primary source documents: the Charter Oath of 1868 and the Meiji Constitution. Discussion questions are provided for each section.

The Meiji Restoration and the Emergence of Industrialized Japan~AP World History, 1750-1914.
From the Curriculum Outlines collection of The Japan Studies Leadership Program at the Five College Center for East Asian Studies Web site. This 4-day unit by William R. Dunnagan explores "Life Under Tokugawa Rule," "Japan's View of the West," "The Meiji Restoration," and "The Industrialization of Japan."

20th Century Japan

History As Literature, Literature As History: Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood by Richard Kim
From the Association of Asian Studies journal Education About Asia, Volume 4, Number 2, Fall 1999. This four part series focuses on Richard Kim's book about one Korean family's experience under Japanese colonial rule. Includes an interview with the author and essays by teachers of junior high school social studies, high school literature, and a university Japanese history course.

Dropping the Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
From, "a project of the nuclear age peace foundation." This page offers a chronology of the decision to bomb Nagasaki and Hiroshima, audio recordings, responses to the bombing, an article on Korean survivors, photographs, and "The Last Act"–information about the controversial Smithsonian exhibit. Links to other resources are also provided.

History through Film

The Alan G. Chalk Guides to Japanese Films
From the Asian Educational Media Service has website. Part II of Alan Chalk's guide provides curriculum units "For Students of Asian, World, and United States History." Topics include "Geography: The Village, Farm, and Rice," "Imperial Japan: The Paths to War, Perspectives on Japanese Patriotism," "Pearl Harbor: American and Japanese Perspectives," "Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Japanese Experience," and "Women of Japan: Tradition and Change, A Historical Perspective.

11. Modern Asian in World History through links:

The career arc of leading personalities in the rise of modern Korea, such as Syngman Rhee ( and and much of the history of postwar Japan was shaped by the Korean War ( The nature of the Korean economy and the dominant role of large corporate entities, chaebol, in postwar Korea are explored at and, where they are compared with Japanese keiretsu.

The life of General Douglas MacArthur and the art and society of the occupation or "Confusion" era in Japan are the subject of a brilliant Smithsonian exhibition available online at Japan's difficulty in accepting responsibility for its wartime atrocities, particularly the abuse of Korean and other Asian women by Japanese occupation troops, is discussed at, (a links page), and .

Takahashi's role in the building of the modern Japanese economy and his conflict with the war party led by Tojo Hideki is examined at and The place of Takahashi's policies in today's Japan is examined at

Much of the postwar recovery of east Asian economies was due to close cooperation between business and government, which recently has been criticized even in Japan, where politicians have been caught with trunks full of cash provided by leading Japanese companies. This pattern was followed by the eastern Pacific Rim's economic tigers as part of an authoritarian development strategy, most clearly expressed by Singapore's Lee Kwan Yew, who has made comparisons between himself and Machiavelli ( However, a recent economic recession in the region, discussed in an audio file by Lee Kwan Yew himself at, has forced some to question whether the east Asian model of economic growth is worthy of emulation elsewhere. A close look at the causes and lessons of the Asian economic crisis of the 1990s (and just now abating) is explored at

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is examined at . A virtual tour of the Cultural Revolution, including files of documents and personal reminiscences, is located at

Art played a major role in the "Cultural" revolution, as is borne out by two exhibitions "Rethinking Cultural Revolution Culture" ( and "Picturing Power: Art and Propaganda in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution,"

The story of the Red Guards as viewed through their songs can be explored at Red Guard attacks on teachers is discussed at The nature of the Peoples' Liberation Army is described at's_Liberation_Army.

The limits of the recent movement toward liberalization in China, and by extension in the remaining communist nations, were tested during the student occupation of Tiananmen Square in 1989. A Web site exploring this event ( offers film and music clips, a photo gallery, and a transcript of Deng Xiaoping's June 9, 1989, speech declaring martial law.

The transcript of the Public Broadcasting Company's superb documentary on the protests in China in 1989 can be found at See also The National Security Archives' briefing book on the Tiananmen Square protests ( contains a wealth of documents. Still photography of the protests, their repression and ongoing efforts at democratization in China is offered at A 360 degree moving pan of Square can be accessed at

A balanced survey of Vietnamese history encompassing the Vietnamese revolution and its aftermath can be found at

The Web is particularly rich in sites documenting Vietnam's wars for national liberation, including the Emperor Bao Dai's letter of abdication of August 25, 1945, Vietnam's Declaration of Independence of September 2, 1945 ( and, the Viet Cong's Program of 1962 ( Large collections of a host of American documents on the war can be viewed at, and

A site devoted to reflecting on the service of American women in Vietnam can be found at Those Vietnamese women who followed their female ancestors into battle (see receive treatment at:,, and American and Vietnamese wartime propaganda is collected at,,,,,

Audio feed and visual images of Robert McNamara's speech on the instability of the Republic of Vietnam, President Johnson's announcement of his decision not to run for reelection and focus on a negotiated settlement of the war, the screams of students reacting to a National Guard unit's shooting of passers-by as well as antiwar demonstrators at Kent State University, and President Nixon's announcement that he had achieved peace with honor in Vietnam can all be found at

Marc Jason Gilbert is the National Endowment for the Humanities Endowed Chair in World History and Professor of History at Hawaii Pacific University. He is also principal editor of World History Connected. He can be reached at

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