Tag Archives: Asian Pacific History

Independent Practice: Samurai

OK: here is an independent practice worksheet on samurai. This material is fundamental to understanding feudal Japan, as well as one of the greatest films of all time, Akira Kurosawa’s masterful (I was going to say masterpiece, but Kurosawa produced many masterpieces) Seven Samurai.

If you’ve seen The Magnificent Seven, than you’ve seen Seven Samurai–though arguably a lesser version of it.

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.

Bushido

“Bushido: (Japanese, ‘way of the warrior‘) At first an unwritten code of ethics, devised for the moral and spiritual guidance of the entire military class by military leaders during the Kamakura period, bushido was codified during the Tokugawa regime. Emphasis was always placed upon personal and reciprocal loyalty and duty, both among and between samurai and lord. By the Tokugawa period, the code had evolved to incorporate both the aesthetic and ascetic elements that are contained in Zen discipline.”

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

The Weekly Text, April 10, 2020

OK, last but not least this morning, this week’s Text, in this blog’s ongoing observation of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2020, here is a reading on Zen along with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

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.

The Satanic Verses

The Satanic Verses: A novel (1988) by Salman Rushdie (b.1947). Questions of faith and doubt underlie this panoramic vision of the clash of cultures between East and West, which encompasses Britain during the Thatcherite era, India, and the mystical landscape in which the Prophet Mahound does battle. The ‘satanic verses’ are whispered by Shaitan in the ear of Mahound, who then repudiates them:

‘The devil came to him in the guise of the archangel, so that the verses he memorized…were not the real thing but its diabolical opposite, not godly, but satanic.’

The novel gave offense to Muslims for certain remarks put into the mouths of its characters. As a result, a Muslim fatwa (legal ruling) was issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, the religious leader of Iran, declaring Rushdie and apostate who should be killed for insulting the Prophet Muhammad. On 24 September 1998, after Rushdie had spent the intervening period in hiding, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran announced that it had no intention, nor would it take any action, to threaten Rushdie’s life or anybody associated with his work, or encourage or assist anybody to do so.”

Excerpted from: Crofton, Ian, ed. Brewer’s Curious Titles. London: Cassell, 2002.

Independent Practice: The Mauryan Empire

Here is an independent practice worksheet on the Mauryan Empire.

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.

Osamu Dazai

Osamu Dazai: (1909-1948) Japanese author. Although chiefly known for his fiction, Dazai also wrote personal essays and memoirs, children’s stories, and historical narratives. His work has attracted a large and dedicated readership, for whom the author’s deeply troubled life, and its brilliant retelling, have struck a responsive chord. In masterpieces such as Shayo (1947; tr The Setting Sun, 1956), and Ningen shikkaku (1948; tr No Longer Human, 1957), Dazai captured the postwar crisis of Japanese cultural identity and the travail of a lost generation of youth. The characteristic Dazai protagonist, in his addictive, womanizing, self-indulgent excess, artfully mirrors the life of the author, who, following numerous failed suicide attempts, eventually succeeded. This final act of self-dramatization is reminiscent of Akutagawa and Mishima.”

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

Everyday Edit: Japan’s “Coming of Age Day”

Here is an Everyday Edit worksheet on Japan’s “Coming of Age Day.” If you like these worksheets then you are in luck! The generous people at Education World give away a yearlong supply of them, and if you dig a little deeper over there, you’ll find the answer keys as well.

 

Mahabharata

“Mahabhrata: One of the two great epic poems of ancient India (the other being the Ramayana), about eight times as long as the Iliad and the Odyssey together. It is a great compendium, added to as late as AD 600, although it had very nearly acquired its present form by the 4th century. Covering an enormous range of topics, the Mahabharata, with its famous interpolation, the Bhagavadgita, has as its central theme the great war between the sons of two royal brothers, in a struggle for succession. The brothers are Dhritarashtra and Pandu, their families being referred to respectively as the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The Pandavas ultimately prevail, the eldest of them, Yudhishtira, gains the throne, and Arjuna, one of his younger brothers and in many ways the hero of the entire epic (especially through the Bhagavadgita), gains the hand of the lovely Draupadi and brings her home as the wife of all five brothers, The epic also contains the Shantiparvan, an important discourse on statecraft, and the famous Savitri episode, the tale of Nala Damayantt. In its totality, it is an encyclopedia of Hindu life, legend, and thought: ‘What is not in the Mahabharata,’ says the Mahabharata, ‘is not to be found anywhere else in the world.'”

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

Independent Practice: Indus Civilization

In the ongoing observation of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2020, here is an independent practice worksheet on Indus Civilization. This was key material in the global studies curriculum in New York City; it is integral, I would think, to understanding the rise of civilizations in river valleys around the world.

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.

Jayanta Mahapatra

Jayanta Mahapatra: (1928-) Indian writer, translator, and educator, Born in Cuttack, India, he continues to live and work in his native Indian state. Mahapatra has taught college physics for most of his life, He came to writing late, publishing his first book at the age of forty. He is best known for his poetry in English, which is often characterized by a brooding tone and a mixture of concrete images with metaphysical abstractions. In the 1970s he began to achieve an international reputation. In addition to his many volumes of poetry, he has published juvenile fiction and English translations from Oriya.”

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