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Asian Studies

Asian Studies


The program invited Dr. Robert Kuhn, author of The Man Who Changed China: The Life and Legacy of Jiang Zemin and The Inside Story of China's 30-Year Reform, to be its host and writer.

China's Challenges is a warts-and-all look at some of the problems that China faces as a result of its economic boom- including rich vs poor, urban vs rural, and other social issues.

Through interviews with high-level officials, experts, scholars, and ordinary people, China's Challenges reflects the changes and progress in the country after China's opening up, especially during the past ten years, examining efforts made by the Government in confronting those challenges.

Where is China's Economy Going?
Are the Chinese People Happy?
China Can Produce. Can China Create?
Are the Chinese People 'Real' Citizens?
What do the Chinese People Believe?

5 DVDs (English and Chinese, With English and Chinese Subtitles) / 2013 / 240 minutes

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What happens to foreigners when they arrive at China? what obstacles they must overcome? Be sure to watch this program, as we take you into the world of Foreigners living in Shanghai.

DVD (English and Chinese, With Chinese Subtitles) / 2012 / 24 minutes

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Hidden China takes an in-depth look into this country's meteoric rise to economic superpower in this behind the scenes show. Through access to exclusive interviews and on-camera visits to areas forbidden to journalists, discover how China has rapidly changed from a state run disaster to the world's powerful economy.

China is attempting to do in one generation, what other countries have needed three to accomplish. From one of the world's largest gaming industries, to global corporations, China is now most certainly on the world's stage.

In the 1970's, thanks to Supreme Leader Deng Xiaoping's pragmatism, China moved from a classic Soviet style command economy to a consumer economy virtually from scratch. This meant China needed to commercially reconnect with the rest of the world breaking away from centuries of tradition.

Learn how the inner battle between tradition and modernization continues to rage on as the world's most powerful economy continues to grow. With economic growth at over Ten percent a year, tradition is giving way.

DVD / 2009 / (Senior High - College) / 45 minues

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By Kenichi Watanabe

JAPAN, THE EMPEROR AND THE ARMY examines how Japan's demilitarization in the months following the WWII continues to resonate today- in Japanese politics, national identity and cultural influence on the international stage.

This historically insightful documentary follows the transitional aftermath of WWII, when Japan demilitarized in order to regain international confidence and thus adopted Article 9 in its new constitution, famously decreeing that land, sea and air military forces will never be maintained- essentially renouncing war forever. Previously, Emperor Hirohito as sovern head of state was commander of the army and had full authority to wage war.

General MacArthur as head of U.S. forces occupying post-war Japan, sought to separate the emperor from the military as war was traditionally waged in Japan on behalf of the emperor, not the nation, with kamikaze missions being seen as the ultimate way of honoring your deity-like commander. Hirohito remained as an imperial symbol of the pre-war Japan in post-war, becoming the first emperor to become a mere "mortal."

However today, Japan's "Self-Defense Force" is one of the 5 largest militaries in the world. Topics that were once taboo- amending Article 9, maintaining the primacy of the emperor, honoring Japan's military past - are now openly discussed by politicians at the highest levels.

Featuring interviews with Japanese and Western historians, as well as activist lawyers, WWII veterans and politicians, JAPAN, THE EMPEROR AND THE ARMY provides much-needed context for the resurgence in Japanese nationalism, its roots in the United States' management of its post-war occupation, the challenges and limitations of Japan's pacifist constitution and the country's evolving role in the military-industrial complex.

  • "Critics have said Watanabe's film should be used as a criterion for understanding Japan." -The Japan Times

  • "Technically, this video is outstanding... The controversy over Article 9 leads to profound questions on the nature of what it means to be Japanese in the 21st century. Recommended." -Educational Media Reviews Online

  • "Fascinating documentary... Charting the development of Japan's ever-growing 'self-defense' force, Watanabe captures a critical transitional moment and eventually leads viewers to the state of Article 9 in the 21st century, explaining how the recent surge in Japanese nationalism is specifically directed at gaining independence from the passage's pacifist principles. Informative and thought-provoking, this is highly recommended." -Video Librarian

    DVD (Color, Black and White) / 2009 / 90 minutes

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    The episode presents an overview of major developments in China ' s foreign policies.

    The episode examines major developments in China's foreign relations in the 60 years since its founding: one-sided support for the Soviet Union; participating in the Geneva Conference and the international community; proposing the Five Principles for Peaceful Co-existence at the Bandung Conference; export of revolution to countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America; keeping a low profile after the June Fourth Incident; and developing partnership diplomacy with great powers and neighbours.

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    Sino-Soviet relations have been a roller coaster ride since New China's founding: from alliance in the 1950s, split in the 1960s, hostility in the 1970s, reconciliation in the 1980s to the Soviet Union's dissolution and China's emergence as a new global power in the 1990s. How have changes in Sino-Soviet relations influenced the development of the international community?

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    While China and Vietnam borders each other, their fates are intricately connected. Yet over the past 60 years, the two socialist powers have gone through good and bad times in their relations. This episode tells the ups and downs of Sino-Vietnamese relations, from a bond stronger than brotherhood, to a dramatic fallout and then hearty reconciliation.

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    The Korean Peninsula, located in Northeast Asia, is China's gateway in the northeast, one of immense strategic importance.

    In June 1950, the Korean War broke out. New China, despite the urgent need for domestic reconstruction, entered the war with great determination, for its own national security and also to support communist North Korea. China paid a huge price for the war but had North Korea's friendship in exchange. It was a friendship cemented by blood.

    In the late 1970s, China implemented its reform and opening-up policy and began to drift away from North Korea ideologically. Then the building of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea in 1992 further damaged Sino-North Korean relations.

    Today, as the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula intensifies, all eyes are on the peninsula, as well as China - whether its influence on North Korea will prevail.

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    China and Indonesia are only a sea apart, and Indonesia has the largest overseas Chinese population in the world, bringing the two countries even closer.

    Indonesia built diplomatic relations with the PRC in 1950, and was among the first countries to recognise China's new political regime. In the mid 1950s, with Indonesia ' s help, China was able to attend the Bandung Conference and opened the door to foreign relations with Asian and African countries. Yet in the 1960s, as a new president took office in Indonesia, the country launched a series of anti-communism and anti-Chinese campaigns, which eventually resulted in the breaking up of diplomatic relations.

    Sino-Indonesian relations were built in 1950s, severed in 1967 and re-established in the 1990s. In 60 years, the two countries have gone through a great deal to peaceful coexistence today.

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    Although Sino-Japanese diplomatic relationship was only re-established in 1972 after Japanese Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei's China visit, non-government contacts were frequent prior to normalization. Premier Zhou Enlai admonished the Japanese that 'past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future'. But Japan has never admitted to its invasion of China and the atrocities it had committed there. 1970-80 were Sino-Japanese relationship's honeymoon years. Japan's Official Development Assistance helped China build up its infrastructure. Reviews the ebb and flow in diplomatic relationships in ensuing years. Observes that Sino-Japanese relationship will remain like this in the future.

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    Neighbouring countries China and India are both ancient Asian civilisations with vast territory and a large population. In 1962 the two countries went to war as a result of border conflicts, and in recent years India granting asylum to the Dalai Lama as well as the issue of Tibetan refugees have created tension in Sino-Indian relations. Yet Sino-Indian economic and trade relations have developed in spite of political disparities. India's advantage in software, combined with China's sufficiently developed infrastructure and hardware, is set to create mutual benefits for the two countries. As emerging BRIC countries, China and India have caused significant concern in western countries. While the two countries compete for power and influence in the international community, they are strategic partners in business and commerce. China and India, enemies and friends all at once, give their best performance on the stage of the world.

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    In the 1990s, global politics underwent a major reshuffle. As the Soviet Union dissolved and its 15 republics declared independence, China saw the addition of five emerging Central Asian countries along its borders. A new balance has to be found in international politics, and China is forming new relationships with its five new neighbours though new diplomatic thinking and strategies. Kazakhstan declared independence from the Soviet Union in December 1991 and China was among the first countries to recognise its independence. Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country.

    With rich natural resources, it borders Xinjiang and has become China's new partner in energy diplomacy. Kazakhstan is the most powerful country among the five countries of Central Asia. Located at the heart of Eurasia, Central Asia has become a major battlefield for the global competition for resources. In May 2004, China and Kazakhstan inked an agreement to build the China-Kazakhstan oil pipeline. This is China's first land pipeline for crude oil import; it reduces the country's reliance on its marine pipeline and hence the risks of importing oil from the Middle East and Africa.

    Besides cooperating on energy projects, China and Kazakhstan are also partners in anti-terror efforts. In June 2001, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Russia founded the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, an anti-terror initiative to fight the forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism. 60 years after its founding, New China is directing its diplomatic efforts towards a brand new way of thinking.

    DVD / 2009 / 30 minutes

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    The Dynamic Culture of Contemporary Korea (Volume 1) introduces various aspects of Korea's contemporary culture. It reveals the dynamism of Korean culture with scenes of samulnori, a form of traditional percussion music, Nanta, a high-energy non-verbal stage performance, and the frenzied "street cheering" during the 2002 World Cup. There are also highlights of the hallyu (Korean wave) phenomenon, which has led to the spread of Korean pop culture throughout Asia and beyond.

    DVD (Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish) / 2005 / 40 minutes

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    The Clothes, Foods and Houses of Korea (Volume 2) is a general overview of the Korean ways of living. This includes a description of a traditional Korean house, hanok, and its noteworthy characteristics: ondol, underfloor heating system, maru, traditional wooden floor, and jeongwon, a Korean-style garden. In addition, it explains about the dietary practices of Koreans, like kimchi and soy-bean uses.

    DVD (Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish) / 2005 / 40 minutes

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    The Life of Koreans (Volume 3) provides information about the world of Korea's traditional customs and rituals, including, dol, a first-year birthday celebration, as well as practices related to the rite of passage, wedding, funeral, and memorial services in Korea.

    DVD (Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish) / 2005 / 40 minutes

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    The Beauty of Traditional Korean Arts (Volume 4) explores various genres of traditional Korean art, including traditional fine arts, such as calligraphy, pottery, and landscape painting; traditional music forms like pansori and minyo, and musical instruments gayagum and geomungo; and Korean dance, such as salpuri (exorcist) and buchaechum (fan dance).

    DVD (Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian, Spanish) / 2005 / 40 minutes

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    By Shinsuke Ogawa and Peng Xiaolian

    The ostensible subject of this remarkably beautiful film is the growing, drying, peeling and packaging of persimmons in the tiny Japanese village of Kaminoyama. The inhabitants explain that it is the perfect combination of earth, wind and rain that makes their village's persimmons superior to those grown anywhere else, including the village just a few miles away. The film's larger subject, however, is the disappearance of Japan's traditional culture, the end of a centuries-old way of life.

    Begun by the Japanese director Shinsuke Ogawa in the late 1980s, RED PERSIMMONS was completed after his death by his Chinese disciple, Xiaolian Peng, who remained true to the delicate, wry sensibility inherent in the original footage. In addition to elegant depictions of the manufacturing process, the film features fascinating portraits of the people who invent and make the various tools and implements used in persimmon agriculture, as well as the colorful spiel of the old men and women who run the persimmon trade.

    In portraying the basic process of peeling and drying the persimmons, the film chronicles the improvements since the 1920s through the periodic introduction of more efficient, mechanized methods. An elderly man explains how in 1931, using old bicycle parts, he invented a peeling machine, thus enabling the village to produce persimmons in large enough quantities to turn them into a major cash crop. A series of discussions with other elderly farmers illustrates the progressive mechanization that gradually introduced modernity to rural Japan.

    Apart from its fascinating record of a vanishing way of life and its colorful anecdotes about human inventiveness, however, RED PERSIMMONS is a film of stunning visual beauty. Its scenes of time-lapse photography, whether revealing the gorgeous deep red-orange colors of the fruit in full blossom or drying after having been peeled, bathe the screen in radiant beauty.

  • "Multidimensional, deeply contextual, and beautifully shot. Peng Xiaoliang should be commended for finishing this film while remaining true to Ogawa's vision and voice. - Karen Nakamura, Asst. Professor of Anthropology, Yale University, for Visual Anthropology Journal

  • "Recommended! Thoughtfully conceived and beautifully filmed... It not only offers facts about persimmon growing, but insights into the inner workings of traditional Japanese rural life." - Educational Media Reviews Online

  • "Elegant as a print by Hokusai... A moving revelation of a microcosm soon to vanish." - The Village Voice

  • "A moving, wistful look at the effulgent, eternal cycle of life and death." - Film Journal International

  • "Part living relic, part social study, RED PERSIMMONS regards its endearing subjects with respect and humility." - Time Out

  • "Oddly fascinating...Exquisitely beautiful." - TVGuide.com

    DVD (Color) / 2001 / 90 minutes

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    By Ikeda Hajime and Chet Kincaid

    Like peoples elsewhere, Japanese throughout their history have encountered aliens in reality and in fantasy, and then have tried to incorporate them into their view of the world. Ronald P. Toby, noted historian of Japan, examines ways that Japanese have expressed their understanding of the foreign such as Koreans, Okinawans, Chinese and Americans, both black and white. The program includes a rich array of drawings, paintings and other visual images, mostly from eighteenth and nineteenth century Japan, showing aliens in popular art and aliens as enacted in festivals of the era. The program is suitable for use at the secondary school level and above, for courses not only about Japan but about ethnic relations anywhere.

    DVD (Color) / 1999 / 15 minutes

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    One fifth of all people on Earth live in China, the world's most populated country: modernization is on the fast track.

    DVD / 1998 / (Senior High - College) / 50 minutes

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    Now under Chinese rule, Hong Kong aims to remain a magnet for international business and trade.

    DVD / 1998 / (Senior High - College) / 50 minutes

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    An industrial superpower, Japan both treasures its ancient traditions and embraces new cultural influences.

    DVD / 1998 / (Senior High - College) / 50 minutes

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    Both countries are rich in history and architecture, and are now capitalizing on their traditions for Western tourists.

    DVD / 1998 / (Senior High - College) / 50 minutes

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    Progress versus culture, preserving archaeological sites, and rebuilding war -torn nations are featured in this program. A Frenchman and a Laotian are working together to improve the lives of local farmers in Laos by incorporating the farmers' opinions and cultural concerns. In Cambodia, efforts by the UN to preserve Angkor Wat, the famous archaeological site and temple in Angkor, are detailed. In Vietnam, 62 -year -old American Bob Sidell is helping the people of Dai Loc to rebuild infrastructures and generally improve their lives.

    DVD / 1994 / 28 minutes

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    Economic transition and wildlife preservation are featured in this program. Mongolia finds itself free of Soviet domination but without currency and facing an economic crisis. A young Englishman dedicates himself to protecting and preserving the panda population of China, whose land is being taken over by Chinese farmers. And in Nepal, Kanchha, a two -year -old rhinoceros, is one of the country's 500 -member rhinoceros population which is threatened with extinction. Efforts to save them are detailed.

    DVD / 1994 / 30 minutes

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    Cultural and environmental deprivation are featured in this program. The first part details efforts under way to improve the lives of the 150,000 people living on the active "Smoky Mountain" volcano near Manila, where the city dumps its garbage. Life on the South Pacific island of Kiribati is shown as something less than paradise. Isolation, poor soils, limited resources, scarce drinking water, and frequent, devastating hurricanes make life a daily struggle for residents.

    DVD / 1992 / 22 minutes

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    By Anand Patwardhan

    BOMBAY: OUR CITY tells the story of the daily battle for survival of the 4 million slum dwellers of Bombay who make up half the city's population. Although they are Bombay's workforce - industrial laborers, construction workers, domestic servants - they are denied city utilities like electricity, sanitation, and water. Many slumdwellers must also face the constant threat of eviction as city authorities carry out campaigns to "beautify" Bombay.

    BOMBAY: OUR CITY is an indictment of injustice and misery, and a call to action on the side of the slumdwellers.

  • "Perhaps disturbing to those looking for objective overviews, but especially interesting to viewers considering the problem of the film: What should be done about Bombay's thousands of shanty-dwellers?... BOMBAY is a very powerful film, a documentary with a point of view on people's rights, urban welfare, and other key issues in India's major cities and in cities all over the world." - Joan L. Erdman, American Anthropologist

  • "Patwardhan gives us this story simply and clearly, with restrained passion, and it becomes, finally, appalling and moving." - Michael Wilmington, Los Angeles Times

  • "Quite clearly, BOMBAY: OUR CITY is the best documentary ever made in India." - K. Mohamed, The Times of India

  • "Excellent... Recommended for libraries serving students in courses in urban problems, political science, and anthropology/sociology at the undergraduate and graduate level." - D.L. White, Choice

  • "An eye-opening film... It helps viewers see the totality of the unjust conditions of the working-class people in urban Bombay, and to empathize with them. It is a low-budget activist film whose main actors are the common slum dwellers revealing themselves to be intelligent and compassionate people." - Development Update

  • "One of the best documentaries I have ever seen." - Sean Cubitt, City Limits (London)

  • First Prize Winner, 1986 Cinema du Reel

    DVD (Color) / 1985 / 57 minutes

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    ASIA 1600-1800

    The response of the Asiatic societies to the arrival of the Portuguese, Dutch and English. There was a reaction against the west (especially in Japan) Chinese and Japanese technology ceased to advance. The weakness of the Mogul empire in India is considered a factor as to why the British were able to play off the Indian elements against each other.

    DVD / 1985 / (Senior High - College) / 26 minutes

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    CHINA AND JAPAN 1279-1600

    The Mongol warrior Kublai Khan brought the whole of China under foreign rule for the first time In history. Later the Ming built the great wall In Japan, under the Kamakura and Ashikaga shogunates a heavy influence of Zen Buddhism was in evidence.

    DVD / 1985 / (Senior High - College) / 26 minutes

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