About Japan, A teacher's resource


Essays provide unique perspectives on topics typically overlooked by textbooks and classroom resources. Offering analysis from experts in the field, essays serve as points of departure for dialogue and further inquiry. Ideally, the essays will speak to each other and thereby reflect some of the larger debates that are shaping latest scholarship but are also highly relevant to classroom teaching. All members are invited to participate in the discussions.

Explore Essays

Education and Budo

Michael Wert, Associate Professor, Marquette University examines the Budō in Japanese education discusses potential ethical problems that might arise.


Violence and Democracy in Imperial Japan

Dr. Eiko Maruko Siniawer of Williams College examines violence and democracy in imperial Japan.


The Many Faces of Kamishibai (Japanese Paper Theater): Past, Present, and Future

Dr. Tara M. McGowan explores the past, present, and future of Kamishibai, Japanese Paper Theater.


Are the Japanese People Religious?

Professor Helen Hardacre analyzes the question of whether the Japanese are religious through historic and cultural lenses.


Origami in the Classroom: Where Every Child Counts!

Practical tips and techniques for using origami in the elementary classroom.


Social Media and the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011

Examination of the role social media played in communication after the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident of March 11, 2011. The article explores the relationship between "scientific communication" and "ordinary communication."


Recent Trends In Education Reform in Japan – The Impact on International Comparisons on Educational Policy

Essay summarizing recent trends in Japanese education reform, which is particularly relevant in light of the release of the 2009 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) scores on Dec. 7. Japan’s education policies this past decade have been influenced by Japan’s performance on tests comparing the educational skills of its students, including PISA.


Hibakusha Testimony as Oral History: Thoughts for Teachers

Associate Professor James Orr provides insight as to how a-bomb survivors, or hibakusha's, testimonies should be approached, heard, and of course, discussed.


Hiroshima: History, City, Event

Indiana University Associate Professor Scott O'Bryan expands the story of Hiroshima beyond the 1945 atomic bombing. A broader history of the city and its importance in national developments are introduced, while remaining mindful of the significance of the bombing itself. Suggestions encouraging students to investigate multiple perspectives of the event are included.


The Japanese Missions to Tang China, 7th-9th Centuries

From 630 to 894, the Japanese court sent a number of official envoys to Tang China. These missions profoundly affected Japan's government, economics, culture and religion. This essay helps clarify how cultural interaction between Japan and China worked during this early era -- an essential element for understanding and teaching East Asian history in the 7th-9th centuries.


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Education Programs are made possible by generous funding from The Freeman Foundation.
Additional support is provided by The Norinchukin Foundation, Inc., Chris A. Wachenheim, Jon T. Hutcheson, and Joshua S. Levine and Nozomi Terao.
About Japan: A Teacher’s Resource
is generously funded, in part, by a three-year grant from the International Research and Studies (IRS) Program in the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education (P017A100018).

NY CultureStudent and Family Programs are supported by the New York City
Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.