INTLC221-22B (HAM)

Understanding East Asia

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts


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Paper Description

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The object of this paper is to explore traditional and contemporary aspects of East Asian history, society and culture. The paper examines key features of East Asia's social and cultural development, as well as some of the historical, cultural and trading interconnections between the East Asian region and the rest of the world. It looks at the relationship between mainstream and minority cultures in East Asian societies, as well as the multi-faceted links (family, marriage, work, trade) with New Zealand, and with Maori.

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Paper Structure

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Weekly topics of lectures will be presented via a mixture of Panopto recordings and Powerpoint on Moodle. These materials will normally be posted on Thursday or Friday of each week. Students will then have until Wednesday of the following week to prepare for their tutorial.

Students will be notified via Moodle when new materials have been posted.

Students will attend tutorials via Zoom, unless otherwise specified.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Students who complete this course will:-

    - have an expanded understanding of some of the key social and cultural features that have shaped the societies of China, Japan, and Korea from ancient times up to the present day;

    -have an enhanced appreciation of the cultural similarities and divergences across East Asia;

    -have developed an awareness of some of the contemporary issues facing the countries of East Asia, and be able to place these in historical and cultural context;

    -gained some insight into issues surrounding the relationship between mainstream society and indigenous/minority groups;

    -acquired an understanding of the main historical connections linking New Zealand and Maori with countries in East Asia

    -demonstrated their enhanced understanding in Moodle quizzes, written assignments, and an oral presentation

    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. China module - 1 online assignment
15 Aug 2022
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. China module - Quiz
24 Aug 2022
3:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. China module - Essay
5 Sep 2022
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Korea module - Quiz
23 Sep 2022
3:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Japan module - Student presentations
19 Oct 2022
3:00 PM
  • Presentation: In Class
6. Japan module - Quiz
26 Oct 2022
3:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Gardner, D. (2014). Confucianism: A Very Short Introduction. OUP

Gustafsson, B., Hasmath, R., Ding, S. (2020). Ethnicity and inequality in China: An introduction. In Ethnicity and inequality in China (pp. 1-24). Routledge.

Frank, A. (1998). ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age. (Selected sections.) University of California Press.

Ip, M. (2013). Being Maori Chinese: Mixed Identities (pp. 1-20). Auckland University Press.

Hendry, J. (2012). Sources of Japanese identity: Historical and mythological foundation of Japan. Understanding Japanese society (pp. 5-22). Routledge.

Siddle, R. (2011). Race, ethnicity, and minorities in modern Japan. In L. B. Victoria, T., C. Bestor & A. Yamagata (Eds.), Routledge handbook of Japanese culture and society (pp. 150-162). Routledge.

Kim, Y. (2017). Korean Culture and Society. In The Routledge Handbook of Korean Culture and Society (pp. 3-27). Routledge.

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Recommended Readings

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Additional Suggested Readings or video viewing may be provided on individual topics.

Hennig, A. (2017). Daoism in Management. In Philosophy of Management, 16, pp. 161-182

Nelson, E. (2020). Daoism and Environmental Philosophy: Nourishing Life. Routledge.

Mackerras, C. (1994) China’s Minorities: Integration and modernization in the twentieth century. OUP

Gul, F. & Lu, H. (2011) Truths and Half Truths: China’s socio-economic reforms (1978-2010) (For official corruption, environment, censorship and surveillance)

Ip, M. (1996). Dragons on the Long White Cloud: The making of Chinese New Zealanders. Tandem Press.

Ip, M. (2003). Unfolding History, Evolving Identity: The Chinese in New Zealand. Auckland University Press.

Ip, M. and Murphy, N. (2005). Aliens at My Table: Asians as New Zealanders see them. Penguin Books.

Bol Jun Lee, J. (2007). Jade Taniwha: Maori-Chinese identity and schooling in Aotearoa. Rautaki Ltd.

Shiraishi, H. (2022). Ainu: An urban-rural indigenous language of the North. In J.C. Maher (Ed.), Language communities in Japan (pp. 68-76). Oxford University Press.

Yotsumoto, Y. (2020). Revitalization of the Ainu language: Japanese government efforts. In S. Brunn & R. Kehrein (Eds.), Handbook of the changing world language map (pp. 1711-1727). Springer, Cham.

Youtube viewing:

"Eastern Philosophy", Part 1 (Documentary Base) -

Unofficial Begin Japanology. (2020, April 4). BEGIN Japanology - Tea Ceremony [Video]. Youtube.

jegggan. (2016, November 21). [Japanology Plus] The Roots Of Japan's Yokai Creatures 妖怪 Season 1 EP 23 [Video]. YouTube.

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Online Support

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There is an online Moodle community for this course. Moodle can be accessed via iWaikato. Lecture presentations, tutorial exercises, assignment details, important dates and the paper outline are all available from this site. You may want to print out lecture presentations and bring them to the lectures so that you don’t have to spend so much time writing things down.

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This paper involves 1 contact hour per week, plus an additional 10 hours (approx.) to view Panopto recordings and PPT materials, and to prepare for one online assignment, one essay, a presentation and three Moodle quizzes.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: CHIN221, CHIN222, JAPA221, JAPA222, INTL221

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