You are here

Teaching About Asia - March 2009

USCI's monthly e-newsletter on news and resources for teaching about Asia
March 1, 2009
Teaching About Asia - March 2009

Spring is here, and you may have noticed the flowering of beautiful sakura (Japanese for cherry blossom) all across town.  Spring is also the time for celebration, and this coming month you can fete and revel at a number of festivals highlighting the sights, sounds and tastes of Asia.  Kicking off with the 2009 Cherry Blossom Festival in Little Tokyo and culminating with the Los Angeles Festival of Books at UCLA, you can sample Thai curries, view Japanese anime and hear Bollywood songs while traversing the diverse multicultural landscape that is Southern California.

If you are seeking online, local or summer learning opportunities, see our announcements below for information on East Asia-focused programs for educators.  If you have students who are interested in studying abroad, the Keio Academy in New York is offering both a summer program for bicultural studies, as well as a scholarship for the academic year - details are available below.

Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and encourage them to subscribe (go to our newsletter subscription page and select the “K-12 Education” subscriber category).

In this issue:


♦  Los Angeles Spring Festivals

→  2009 Cherry Blossom Festival Southern California - April 4 to 5


Dates and times: Saturday, April 4, 10:30 am to 6:30 pm; Sunday, April 5, 10:30 am to 5:00 pm
Location: Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles - 1st Street between Alameda and San Pedro Street
Admission: Free
Additional information: Click here

Entertainment - Dancing, taiko drumming, kimono fashion show, Japanese wedding
Awards - Teachers Making a Difference Awards, Senator Daniel Inouye
Leadership Awards, George Kiriyama Educational Excellence Award
Kids Activities - Cultural Crafts and Inflatable Games.
Hawaiian Village - Hawaiian stage entertainment and Hawaiian crafters and exhibitors.
Cultural Pavillion - Exhibition of WWII internment camps, kimekomi dolls, GO board game
Martial Arts arena - non-stop performances, including sumo wrestling
Crafts, vendors and Cherry Blossom Food Court





→  International Curry Festival and Thai New Year's Day Songkran Festival - April 5





Dates and times: Sunday, April 5, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Location: Thai Town - Hollywood Blvd. at Western Ave. (close to Serrano Ave.), Los Angeles, CA 90027
Admission: Free
Additional information: Click here

Will feature international curries by top Los Angeles restaurants, Curry King Contest, raffle drawing, cooking demonstration and the Thai Town 5K Run Walk.




→  Japan Film Festival of Los Angeles - April 10 to 26



April 10 to 16 - Laemmle’s Monica 4-Plex, 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica, CA 90401
April 17 to 19 - Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
April 25 to 26 - Starplex Cinema, 4626 Barranca Parkway, Irvine, CA 92604
Admission: Click here
Additional information: Click here

The festival aims to provide an opportunity for American audiences to explore Japanese culture and for Japanese audiences to examine their own culture from different perspectives.  A complete listing and synopses of films to be shown can be found here.


→  Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles - April 21 to 26



Dates and times: Tuesday, April 21 to Sunday, April 26
Location: ArcLight Hollywood, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028
Admission: See theater listings for ticket prices
Additional information: Click here

Festival program includes a salute to actor Anil Kapoor and closing night gala.  A complete listing and synopses of films to be shown can be found on the ArcLight website.  Click on films marked "IFFLA."

→  Los Angeles Times Festival of Books - April 25 to 26


Dates and times: Saturday, April 25, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm; Sunday, April 26, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location: UCLA, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095
Admission: Free; tickets available April 19 through for indoor panel and speaker sessions
Additional information: Click here

Participating multicultural and bilingual book vendors:

Children's Book Press - Booth # 803
866-935-2665 /
Mulicultural and bilingual books for kids

East West Discovery Press - Booth # 807
310-545-3730 /
Multicultural and bilingual books

Huwa Golden International, Inc. - Booth # 1017
800-489-9252 /
Bilingual DVDs, Chinese culture and language


♦  Asia in the Classroom - USC campus events

USCI and other USC research centers coordinate a range of on-campus programs exploring important issues and trends in Asia. For additional event details and to browse our entire event calendar, please click here.  Visitor information for the USC campus can be found here.  

•  USCI Lecture - Remonstration and Authoritarian Rule in Rural China

Speaker: Hiroki Takeuchi, Southern Methodist University

Date: Thursday, April 9
Time: 4:00 - 5:30 pm
Location: USC, Leavey Library, Auditorium
Cost: Free


Hiroki Takeuchi explores democratic institutions in autocracies by examining various channels of political participation in rural China.  Takeuchi argues that in China, ordinary people are allowed to remonstrate for certain interests against the local governments, but never allowed to represent certain interests against the central government.  More information...

•  Presentation - Suicide in Asia

Speaker: Paul Yip, University of Hong Kong

Date: Wednesday, April 15
Time: 11:00 am
MRF 1st floor, Hamovitch Research Center
Cost: Free

Presented by the USC School of Social Work.  Discussion on unique and practical evidence-based practices for suicide prevention in Asia with Kathleen Eell, USC School of Social Work and Jonathan Samet, USC Institute for Global Health.  More information...

•  USCI Lecture - Revenge of the Forbidden City: Effectiveness of the Anti-Falungong Campaign in China, 1999-2005

Speaker: James Tong, UCLA


Date: Thursday, April 16
Time: 4:00 - 5:30 pm
Location: USC
University Club, Banquet Room
Cost: Free


James Tong attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of the Anti-Falungong Campaign by analyzing arrest records, conversion rates of its leaders and practitioners, reception rates of anti-Falungong television programs, circulation numbers and best-book awards received by the Anti-Falungong series.  More information...



•  Lecture - China and India: Variation in the Reregulation of Foreign Direct Investment in the Age of Globalization


Speaker: Roselyn Hsueh, Temple University

Date: Wednesday, April 29
Time: 12:30 - 2:00 pm
Location: USC, SOS B-40
Cost: Free


Presented by the USC Center for Internaitonal Studies.  Roselyn Hsueh completed her Ph.D. in Political Science at UC Berkeley in May 2008 on "China's New Regulatory State: A Bifurcated Strategy Toward Foreign Investment," examining the relationship between China's FDI policy, industrial development, and market reform.  More information...




♦  Employment Opportunity for Educators







•  Primary Source - Program Director


Institution name: Primary Source
Institution type: Nonprofit
Position: Program Director, History and Humanities in K-12 Education with focus on Asia
Location: Massachusetts, United States
More information:

Primary Source seeks a Program Director who will be ready at the outset to plan and implement professional development courses for teachers and will work closely with the Senior Program Director, program staff, K-12 teachers, university professors, and other partners.





♦  Learning Opportunities for Educators

•  Cheng & Tsui Online Seminar - China in the World

Date: Thursday, April 2
Time: 4:00 to 5:00 pm (EDT)

Registration: Cheng & Tsui website
Internet and phone connection required


Join curriculum specialists from Primary Source, Inc. to discuss ways of teaching modern Chinese history in the high school and college classroom, from the Qing Dynasty to the 2008 Olympics. Various activities, timelines and primary source materials from the new textbook, China in the World: A History Since 1644 (published by Cheng & Tsui), will be used as examples of resources that make history exciting and relevant for students. 


•  Indiana University - Workshop for K-16 Teachers of Japanese


Date: Saturday, April 25
Application deadline: April 3
Registration: Click here

The Indiana University East Asian Studies Center, in conjunction with the Association of Indiana Teachers of Japanese, will hold a one-day workshop for K-16 Japanese teachers titled “Content-Based Instruction for Beginning-Level Japanese.”  Up to $100 in travel reimbursement will be provided for participants who come from more than 50 miles away, and Continuing Renewal Units (CRUs) are available.





•  University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign - Music in Many Languages





Dates: June 14 to 19
Application deadline: early applications - April 17; final deadline - May 11
Additional information and registration: Click here

This intensive summer institute will address ways of incorporating less-commonly taught languages and cultures into the classroom through music. Languages will include Chinese, Arabic, Bulgarian, Zulu, and Portuguese (tentative).  Registration fee is $100 (all course and housing costs and some meals); housing will be provided at the Illinois Street Residence Halls. 






•  Korea Academy for Educators - Korean History & Culture and the Korean American Experience





Dates: August 3 to 7
Additional information and registration:
Click here

K-12 educators are invited to apply for the Korea Academy for Educators' Fifth Annual Seminar for K-12 Educators to be held at the Korean Cultural Center (5505 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036).  Participants will hear from prominent scholars, view engaging and informative films, explore Koreatown, visit a Buddhist temple, and learn about Korean arts. The program also includes daily breakfast/lunch, parking and course materials.







♦  Learning Opportunities for Students






Keio Academy of NY - Bicultural summer program for 13-15 year-olds





Two-week program (July 25 to August 8, 2009) requires participants to live in English and Japanese bilingual bicultural dormitory; prior knowledge of Japanese language not necessary, just willingness to interact with students from different cultures). 

Click here or call 1-800-270-4317 for program details and application.  Program fee is $2,500 for those completing application before February 27th 2009. 



•  Keio Academy of NY - Scholarship for 9th or 10th grade admittance






The Aratani Foundation Nikkei-jin Scholarship will enable participant to enter and attend Keio Academy of New York as a 9th or 10th grader.  Scholarship covers first year of entrance examination fee, admissions fee and full tuition. 

Click here for additional details on the scholarship, qualifications and application process.   






♦  Museum Exhibitions on Asia

•  Mingei International Museum - India Adorned


Dates: Through April 19, 2009

Location: 1439 El Prado (on the Plaza de Panama), San Diego, CA 92101
Hours and admission: click here

Objects of worship, personal decorations, and items used in daily life are among those included. Many items can be viewed via the website.


•  Pacific Asia Museum - Ukiyo-e Re-mix Series: Fight or Flight

Dates: Through April 19, 2009

Location: 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Admission: Adults $7; students/seniors $5; free every 4th Friday of the month
Education coordinator: Amelia Chapman, 626-449-2742, ext.19


Moira Hahn’s work fuses Ukiyo-e, or pictures of the floating world, iconography and style with images from contemporary culture and her own fertile imagination.



•  The Getty - Tales in Sprinkled Gold: Japanese Lacquer for European Collectors

Dates: Through May 24, 2009

Location: 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California 90049z
Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm; Saturday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm; Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Admission: Free; parking is $10


Examples of Japanese lacquer objects from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Made in Japan, some specifically for export to Europe, these objects were popular among wealthy European collectors from the 17th to 19th centuries. Exhibition website features a slide show of one box, details about the work to restore a particular chest, and information about the Tale of Genji images on the chest. 




•  Pacific Asia Museum - The Samurai Re-Imagined: From Ukiyo-e to Anime

Dates: Through August 9, 2009

Explores the roots of the popular Japanese art forms of manga (graphic novels) and anime (animation) in the traditional arts of Japan by examining images of the iconic warrior, the samurai.

•  Bowers Museum - Ancient Arts of China: A 5000 Year Legacy


Dates: Through November 3, 2009

Location: 2002 North Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm; open late the fourth Thursday of every month until 8:00 pm
Admission: Adults $12; seniors (62+), students and children (6-17) $9; children under 6 free
Education coordinator: Linda Kahn, 714-567-3679


Curated by authorities of Chinese history and culture from the Shanghai Museum, the collection portrays the evolution of Chinese technology, art and culture utilizing rare examples of bronze vessels, mirrors, polychrome potteries, sculptures, porcelains, paintings, ivory carvings and robes.

•  Bowers Museum - Masters of Adornment: The Miao People of China


Dates: Ongoing

Exquisite textiles and silver jewelry highlight the beauty and wealth of the Miao peoples of southwest China. Symbols of status and culture include finely pleated skirts, complex batik pattered cloth, intricate silk embroidery and shining textiles woven with metal.

♦  Teachers on Asia

•  Asia in My Classroom Discussion Forum

Teachers of all levels and subjects are invited to join our "Asia in My Classroom" forum. To become a registered user (enabling you to post to the board), please e-mail us your request along with your name, school, and the grades and subjects you teach.  What teachers have been talking about:


→  On teaching about Hiroshima: "A few months ago I saw a documentary on the bomb...entitled White Light/Black Rain. The video includes interviews with 14 survivors. The tell what they experienced, there is footage of the medical follow up, and they describe their suffering in the intervening decades. To quote: Sakue Shimohira, ten years old at the time, recalls the moment she considered killing herself after losing the last member of her family, saying, 'I realized there are two kinds of courage - the courage to die and the courage to live.'... My students have not grown up under the threat of nuclear war as I did. It's hard to tell how much they are concerned. Yet when they see excerpts from this film, they get it. Never again."


- Alexei Nicolai, Arleta High School

→  On teaching about hibakusha, Japan's atomic bomb survivors: "I often teach John Hersey's book Hiroshima and show Barefoot Gen (true account) in short segments in Japanese with English subtitles. Students love it. I would love to one day use the part of the manga Barefoot Gen for study while teaching Hiroshima. I do at times show the anime Grave of the Fireflies to show how nasty the fire bombing was prior to the atomic bombs. In fact, I find it helpful to show a segment of the documentary The Fog of War when Robert McNamara's account of the 70 cities of Japan that were 50 percent or more destroyed, all prior to the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

- Kevin Spachuk, San Fernando High School

♦  Subscription 
Please feel free to forward this e-mail.  If you wish to unsubscribe, please e-mail


USC U.S. - China Institute

3535 S. Figueroa Street, FIG 202
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1262
United States of America

phone: 213-821-4382
fax: 213-821-2382