About Japan, A teacher's resource


This site provides educators and specialists in Japan Studies a space for sharing, discussing and developing teaching ideas and resources about Japan, especially as they relate to K-12 classrooms. The site features thought-provoking essays; classroom-ready lesson plans; an area for asking and answering questions; resources including historical documents, maps and images; and member profiles. In addition to user-generated content, the editorial team will develop original materials organized around different themes.  We invite you to contribute materials of your own and join the discussion.

This image of Yoshinori Sakai lighting the Olympic Flame to open the 1964 Tokyo Olympics is filled with symbolic meaning. Click here to learn more.

Featured Content

Essay: Japan's Rebirth at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics

Professor Paul Droubie gives an overview of the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics, which were the first hosted in a non-white, non-Western country. The essay highlights the significance of these games in the context of Japanese social and diplomatic history.


Resource: Personal Testimonies – President Harry Truman’s grandson and a Korean atomic bomb survivor

The video introduces striking testimonies by Clifton Truman Daniel, President Harry Truman's grandson, and Jong-Keun Lee, a Korean native residing in Japan and a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.


Lesson: Japanese Paper Drama Tradition: Kamishibai

Grade Level: Elementary
Subject Area: English and Language Arts,Social Studies,Visual & Performing Arts

Children learn about the history of kamishibai, a type of Japanese storytelling, and work in small groups to create their own to illustrate and perform for the class.


Resource: Japanese Entryway

A short video of a typical entryway in a Japanese home.


Resource: No Second Thought Decree - Primary Source Document

After British sailors committed several violent acts off Japan’s southern shores in subsequent years, the government issued this no-nonsense 1825 decree, barring all foreign ships. The decree stayed into effect until the 1840s.


Essay: Are the Japanese People Religious?

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


Resource: Elementary Physical Education Class

A physical education class in a Japanese elementary school.


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.