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    "Teaching Women's History in Asia" March 2023 Workshop Series

    japanese bridal photo

    ARNCTA celebrated Women's History Month with a Three-Part Virtual Series, "Teaching Women's History in Asia." As folk heroes, religious icons, and wartime survivors, women have played crucial roles in shaping East Asian history, and their stories provide a vital window into the culture, society, and politics of China, Korea, and Japan. In this series, Asia scholars and specialists from around the region provided participants with crucial context and concrete strategies for centering women and Asia in their classrooms. Here we've provided recordings of each event as well as a few resources to accompany each topic. We host one workshop each spring, multiple workshops each summer, and one workshop each autumn. To keep up with our pedagogical workshops, check out our News & Events page!

    "What Makes a Heroine: Teaching Chinese History and Culture with Mulan"

    "The Ballad of Mulan" (excerpts and questions)

    Introduction: "This poem was composed in the fifth or sixth century CE. At the time, China was divided between north and south. The rulers of the northern dynasties were from non-Han ethnic groups, most of them from Turkic peoples such as the Toba (Tuoba, also known as Xianbei), whose Northern Wei dynasty ruled most of northern China from 386–534. This background explains why the images conveyed in the 1998 film of a stereotypically Confucian Chinese civilization fighting against the barbaric 'Huns' to the north are inaccurate." Check out this primary source document with DBQs to introduce the poem to your class. Consider the question: What is the proper role of women as indicated in this poem?

    "The Ballad of Mulan" Chinese and English Reading

     This document includes "The Ballad of Mulan" written in Chinese characters, pinyin (romanized Chinese), and the English translation, providing a great opportunity to introduce to your classroom, not only the legend, but also the Chinese language.

    Chinese Dance at Stanford University: "Ode of Mulan"

    The "Ode of Mulan" in dance form, choreographed by the Shanghai Dance Academy and performed at Stanford University.

    The Ballad of Mulan: an Animated Poem

    An animated version of the "Ballad of Mulan."

    The Flowering Plum and the Palace Lady by Hans H. Frankel

    The Flowering Plum and the Palace Lady by Hans H. Frankel is a collection of Chinese poems with interpretations and includes the "Ode of Mulan."

     

    "The 'Comfort Women' System and Its Contested Memory"

    The Origins and Implementation of the Comfort Women System

    "The term “comfort woman” (“慰安婦” pronounced ianfu in Japanese, wianbu in Korean and Wèi’ān fù in Mandarin), literally means “comforting, consoling woman” and is a euphemistic way of referring to those women conscripted by Japan during WWII to provide sexual services for the Japanese military. The term has a long history, tracing back to the 15th century reign of King Sejong in Korea.[1] The comfort women are nonetheless frequently referred to as “sex slaves” or “sexual slaves” in Korea and in the United States by the main Korean and Korean-American CSOs who have championed the comfort women cause. Such groups have lobbied for government resolutions for the vindication of the comfort women among other efforts. More recently they have also sought government support for the erection of dozens of comfort women memorials in the United States." 

    This page is a great starting point for understanding the how the ianfu system functioned, the reasons for its creation, and its lasting repercussions. 

    Fight for Justice

    "The contents of this site are written by researchers and experts who have carried out a great deal of research and fact-finding regarding the “Comfort Women” issue, Japanese colonial rule and the War of Aggression, and how other countries in the world deal with the past, as well as activist organizations and citizens committed to resolving the “Comfort Women” issue."

    Fight for Justice is a Japanese organization whose focus is providing education on the ianfu system and advocating for war reparations.

    What was the Japanese Military Sexual Slavery System?

    This site includes videos of interviews with Korean victims of the ianfu system, clips of demonstrations calling for justice, and a brief summary of the system. The site is sponsored by a Korean organization for the purpose of educating the public about the ianfu system and calling for justice from the Japanese government.

    Relational masculinities, dependence, and insecurity: making sense of the 2015 Comfort Women Agreement by unmasking gender

    In this article, Dr. Jooyoun Lee utilizes a gendered perspective to address the 2015 Comfort Women Agreement between South Korea and Japan that was intended to completely resolve the issue of the comfort women.

    “Comfort Women” The Unresolved History

    This site, sponsored by the "Comfort Women" Justice Coalition, the comfort system as a source of ongoing pain with insufficient reparations having been made by the governments responsible. It introduces prevalent comfort system survivors, summarizes the history of the system, and provides a list of resources for further information. 

     Teaching about the Comfort Women during World War II and the Use of Personal Stories of the Victims | Education about Asia 

    "Using personal stories of the comfort women as teaching materials can help educators emphasize the importance of protecting human rights by providing students a vivid picture of the impact that human rights violations have on people’s lives. Comfort women stories may be graphic, but are necessary to fully understand the human rights violations that those women endured. For students who hear about today’s wars and atrocities from the media, an open and forthright discussion would be helpful to teach how to critically understand such events in both the past and the present." 

    "In the Beginning Woman Was the Sun: Illuminating Japanese Female Icons"

    8 Influential Women and Girls in Modern Japanese History

    "In Japan’s greatest and most progressive moments, we tend to overlook those on the sidelines—instrumental but forgotten. More often than not, these integral components are women. Women have stirred the world into action as writers, artists, politicians, astronauts, entertainers, mothers, and advocates—and I think it’s about time we remember their names. Here are eight Japanese women who have influenced the world."

    Badass Women in Japanese History

    "Learn about the sword-swinging, warrior-beheading exploits of Tomoe Gozen, the 12th century onna musha 女武者おんなむしゃ. Follow the pen of Murasaki Shikibu, the world's first novelist and Heian noble extraordinaire. Explore the mysteries of Queen Himiko, the first ruler of Japan and first historically recorded Japanese person ever."

    Who We Are

    Housed within the Asian Studies Program at the University of Central Arkansas, the Arkansas NCTA aims to empower elementary and secondary school teachers to center East Asian art, literature, history, and culture in their classrooms.

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