We are pleased to publish this general issue of ASIANetwork Exchange, with articles discussing a wide range of topics. We are also featuring the recipient of the 2021 Marianna McJimsey Student Essay Award, “Strangers in a Strange Land: Translating Catholicism in Early Modern Japan” by Christopher Thomas Lough, in which Mr. Lough questions scholarly assessments of Christians’ efforts to promote their faith in Tokugawa Japan as failures. The article reviews the relevant history of the movement, its philosophical assumptions, and the Buddhist and Neo-Confucian language sometimes used by Christians to promote their agenda.
Many readers will be interested in Steve Hess’s article entitled “Simulations and Active Learning in the Asian Studies Classroom: A Look at Model Diplomacy.” The author describes the methods of using simulations-based teaching in the social sciences. His personal experiences and insights into incorporating simulations in Asian Studies classrooms are particularly helpful.
Kevin McIntyre, Qin Fang, Andrew Roberts, and Carly Hudson contribute “Privatizing the Chinese Tiehua Industry: A Qualitative Economic Case Study.” Tiehua is wrought iron painting, a folk art with origins in the province of Anhui in China. The author describes how the tiehua industry has changed over the last twenty-five years as China’s economy has liberalized, with new, smaller structures replacing the former, bankrupted state monopoly. The article describes how the marketization of tiehua centering on private ownership has become meaningful locally and regionally.
The article “Contested Memories of the Past: The Politics of History Textbooks in Taiwan” by Lei Duan investigates the continuing debate over history textbooks in Taiwan, placing the controversy in its domestic and international contexts. Giving an overview of this textbook dispute, the author shows how Taiwan’s representation of its colonial and Cold War past is subject to question and influenced by democratization. The article presents reactions from educators, students, and the general public from a historical perspective.
This issue revives the tradition of book reviews in the ASIANetwork Exchange. As co-editors, we encourage submissions of reviews of books, films, and other materials that authors have found to be especially useful in classroom settings. Such reviews should be pedagogical essays between 800 and 1,000 words, catering primarily to faculty of liberal arts institutions with programs in Asian studies. This issue features reviews of Zen Terror in Prewar Japan: Portrait of an Assassin by Brian Daizen Victoria and of Susan Westhafer Furukawa’s The Afterlife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi: Historical Fiction and Popular Culture in Japan.
As we continue to develop new themed issues and receive individual manuscript submissions on a wide range of topics related to Asia, we would like to ask for your help. If you would be willing and are able to serve as a peer reviewer of manuscripts in your discipline or area of expertise, please contact us. Peer review work is the cornerstone of scholarly publishing, and we recognize the time and effort that goes into such service. Having a comprehensive database of potential reviewers is a valuable tool for us as we work through the peer review process for each submitted manuscript.
Thank you for your ongoing support of ASIANetwork Exchange. We continue to welcome your high-quality manuscripts for peer review and publication and again encourage you to submit appropriate book and media reviews. We welcome proposals for future guest-edited special issues as well. The online format of our journal allows for the inclusion of media, and we hope to expand that functionality in future issues. Please feel free to contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss possible special issue topics or with general questions about ASIANetwork Exchange. Enjoy the issue!
The authors have no competing interests to declare.