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    Resource Guides


    If you are an educator teaching about Japan, these featured resources are designed for you. The websites linked below offer informative primary sources, organized curriculums, and other classroom materials aimed at bringing Japanese history, art, and culture into the classroom. In addition to the resources featured here, our Resources for Teachers page includes more generalized resources on East Asia as well as resource pages designated to specific East Asian countries (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan). You can also find many other online materials listed on the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia website. Be sure to also visit NCTA's Partner Sites who provide excellent content on East Asia for K-12 educators.

    General Resources 

    flag of japan

    Around the Globe: Japan | PBS

    PBS LearningMedia's Around the Globe: Japan is a large collection of resources including webpages, documents, audio files, images, videos, media galleries, and lesson plans centered around Japan, its society and its culture. Resources are available for grades 3-12.


    TEA PreviewBecoming Modern: Early 20th-Century Japan through Primary Sources

    This curriculum is one of several Teaching about East Asia (TEA) Online Curriculum Projects from the University of Colorado Boulder that offers secondary teachers interesting resources. This curriculum offers seven lessons that examine a critical period in Japanese and world history: the period of Japan’s modernization and international expansion from the 1880s through the 1920s, a time span overlapping the late Meiji, Taishō, and early Shōwa periods. The lessons draw upon a range of historical source materials—including art, literature, memoir, interviews, board games, and government documents—to teach Japanese history using pedagogical approaches that address national content standards and Common Core skills.

    japan on the globe2

    Elementary Level Resources: Japan | Asia For Educators

    Asia For Educators, at Columbia University's Weatherhead East Asia Institute, has compiled a collection of resources for K-5 teachers. This collection is centered around Japan and offers resources for a wide variety of subjects: geography, language, culture, history, science, math, literature, arts & crafts, and drama & dance. 


    Arts and Culture 


    Imaging Japanese History

    Another online curriculum designed by TEA, "Imaging Japanese History" enhances students’ visual literacy skills, historical thinking skills, and knowledge of Japanese history. Five online modules each provide a case study in the role of art in capturing and conveying not only the history of Japan, but the human experience at large.


      Philosophy and Religion  

    Shinto: An Introduction (Lesson Pack) - World History Encyclopediashinto 

    Shinto: An Introduction is a lesson plan for History classes that enables educators to teach about Shinto—the oldest religion in Japan—through its beliefs, values, and rituals. This resource, provided by the World History Encyclopedia, offers a complete lesson plan, activities, homework, assignments, and answer keys, altogether providing everything needed to make understanding Shinto accessible to students. The lesson itself covers Shinto's gods and core beliefs, its application to everyday life, and classroom ethics teachings on values and accountability. This informative and engaging resource is available for free download as a PDF or Microsoft Word document.   





    Hiroshima and Nagasaki 

    mitvisualizingculturesMIT Visualizing Cultures: Ground Zero 1945 

    The MIT Visualizing Cultures project is an online database of historical images accompanied by essays that teach world history, and one of their most important pages is "Ground Zero 1945." This page teaches about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki through drawings from survivors and an essay by John H. Dower. This is a great interactive resource for high school history classes that will allow students to visualize this unimaginable event. Please note that, though the atomic bombings are a crucial part of history to include in classrooms, the drawings in this resource are graphic depictions of painful and disturbing events. Discretion is advised.

     hiroshima peaceHiroshima Peace Memorial Museum | Permanent Exhibitions

    The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, though located in Hiroshima, offers permanent exhibitions available for free and easily accessible online. Housed within the museum are items of material culture that represent the victims of the bombing of Hiroshima, in which a single atomic bomb killed tens of thousands of the city's inhabitants, most of whom were civilians. The museum stands as a testament to the permanently altered way of life led by the survivors, and as a memorial to those who perished. Those who visit the museum's virtual exhibitions can navigate the site's user friendly pages to view the entire permanent collection. This interactive resource is encouraged for use in history classrooms in particular.

     Miscellaneous Resources 

    the girl who loved caterpillars

    Texts and Contexts: Teaching Japan through Children's Literature

    This curriculum made by TEA is a collection of teacher-developed, standards-based, cross-curricular K-6 lessons. The collection is designed to promote the teaching of cultural studies of Japan while developing students’ knowledge and skills in literacy and communication. Each of the six lessons features an authentic children’s literature book on an aspect of Japanese culture.




    ROGU 107 Sea Lords Thumbnail FINAL CLEAN 2.jpg.resize.992x558Japanese Sea Lords | Rogue History

    "Japanese Sea Lords" from Rogue History on PBS Learning Media offers an exploration into the sea lords of Japan's maritime past, designed for students in grades 6-12. Labeled as "kaizoku," or pirates, these lords reigned the seas from the fourteenth to sixteenth century, guarding vital sea zones and supervising maritime trade. This resource delves into their complex roles in Japanese society, challenging historical labels and revealing the legacy left by the Noshima Sea Lord family.

    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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