What is East Asian Studies?

Nicole Long

East Asian studies focus on the relevance of countries, such as Japan and China, on modern society. Studies focus on various aspects of East Asian culture, history, and current developments. This includes a focus on politics, economics, religion, language, and various other aspects of society.

East Asian studies often involve the study of cultural and historical sites such as China's Forbidden City.
East Asian studies often involve the study of cultural and historical sites such as China's Forbidden City.

In the ever changing global economy, a thorough understanding of other cultures and dominant players in the future of economic growth is necessary. Eastern Asia has provided developments ranging from technological advancements to emerging business models. Studying the contributions and future possibilities related to Eastern Asia can help students, business students in particular, prepare for the global challenges ahead.

An East Asian Studies Major may focus on Japan's Tokugawa Period, during which the shogun ruled a feudal society from his Tokugawa Castle in Edo.
An East Asian Studies Major may focus on Japan's Tokugawa Period, during which the shogun ruled a feudal society from his Tokugawa Castle in Edo.

Core coursework in East Asian studies focuses on providing a foundation for further study. These courses focus on the history, languages, and cultures of China and Japan. Learning the languages of these two countries will require further study, and students often choose one to study intensely.

East Asian Studies courses may delve into how cities such as Shanghai, which is a major Chinese economic center, have developed.
East Asian Studies courses may delve into how cities such as Shanghai, which is a major Chinese economic center, have developed.

Classes focused on the history and cultures of the area extend beyond the intermediate course offerings. These can include classes expanding on the revolutions associated with both Japan and China, past and current leaders, and social movements. Cultural coursework will focus on the literature and culture of both regions, including Chinese and Japanese drama. Focus will also be on popular books, poetry, and authors of the region.

Chinese politics are often covered in East Asian studies.
Chinese politics are often covered in East Asian studies.

East Asian studies also focus on the politics of the region. This includes courses related to Marxist theory, international relations, and modernization of both countries. Coursework also tends to cover the economic growth of the region as well as the contributions the countries have made to the growth of the global economic environment.

Studies based on Eastern Asia may also be used to gain advanced knowledge in another discipline. Students who plan on entering the business world may want understanding of the culture and background of those they may be working with, which will provide a good basis for the development of a friendly, mutual working relationship. In addition to the basic coursework in East Asian studies, students may also choose to further explore finance and political science coursework geared towards Eastern Asia.

Those interested in pursuing other fields of study can also benefit from taking some coursework in East Asian studies. This includes journalism students and history students. For journalism students interested in focusing on societal and business issues, a thorough understanding of the global environment can add additional knowledge and background for research purposes.

East Asian studies focus on the economies, societies, cultures and languages of Asian nations such as Japan.
East Asian studies focus on the economies, societies, cultures and languages of Asian nations such as Japan.

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