Taisuke Itagaki (1837-1919)

(1837-1919) Founder of Japan’s first political party, the Liberal Party. In the 1860s he became military leader of the domain of Tosa, and under his command Tosa’s troops participated in the Meiji Restoration. He served sporadically in the new government, but discontent led him to found first a political club and then a national ‘Society of Patriots’ in support of greater democracy. In 1881 he formed the Liberal Party (Jiyuto). Though he retired in 1900, he remained its symbolic leader.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Cultural Literacy: Bangladesh

Here, on one of the last Monday mornings of the 2017-2018 school year, is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Bangladesh. Incidentally, if you get down to Lower Manhattan, I recommend most of the excellent Bengali food carts down here.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Yalu River

Korean Amnok River River between NE China and N. Korea. Some 491 mi (790. Km) long, it rises on the N border of N. Korea, then flows to Korea Bay. It is an important source of hydroelectric power and is navigable by smaller vessels for most of its course. It became a political boundary in the 14th cent. During the Korean War, as U.N. forces battled toward it in 1950, Chinese troops crossed it, in effect marking their entry into the war.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

The Weekly Text, May 18, 2018

It has been raining for three days in New York City, so it’s a good time to work inside. Here, for this week’s Text, is a reading on Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha along with this comprehension worksheet to accompany it.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Enlil

Storm god of the air. Enlil was born of the union of An (heaven) and Ki (earth), who were regarded as joined together. Enlil separated them—the element air may have been thought to separate the vault of heaven from earth by its own expansion. Enlil married Ninlil, who bore him three gods of the underworld (Nengal, Ninazu, and an unknown god) and Nanna, the moon, who in turn became the father of Utu, the sun. Next, Enlil impregnated his mother Ki and produced Nintu, another earth goddess. Enlil became more important in the pantheon than his father An, and in turn he was himself to a degree supplanted from his place as principal god by Enki. Enlil was the chief god of the Sumerian city of Nippur. In the Babylonian period, Marduk took on many of his attributes, and Akad became a storm god.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Cultural Literacy: Salman Rushdie

On this Thursday morning, Mark’s Text Terminal offers you this Cultural Literacy worksheet on Salman Rushdie.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Abzu

In Sumerian mythology, the river that is supposed to surround the earth. The Abzu seems almost identical with the Greek Oceanus, the ‘river of ocean.’ In Babylonian mythology, it is personified as Apzu, the fresh water, who has existed from the beginning of time with his wife, Tiamat, the salt water; he plays an important role in the War of the Gods. The Sumerian Enki and the Babylonian Ea, almost identical gods of water and wisdom, live in a palace in the Abzu, which was probably the Persian Gulf. The shores of which in the early days may have reached northward to the city of Eridu.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.