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STANDARD 9: The characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on earth's surface
  • Where do 1.3 Billion People Sleep? A website about China with materials for K-6 students: Map, photographs, "fun links" about Chinese names, numbers, and more.

  • Shortage of Girls in China: Causes, Consequences, International Comparisons, and Solutions 2003 PowerPoint presentation by Dr. Judith Banister, a demographer specializing in the People's Republic of China and other Asian countries
  • China's Population: New Trends and Challenges This 2004 article examining three themes:
      • China's low fertility rate ensures rapid population aging in this century.
      • Open markets and trade have widened income and health gaps in China.
      • Policy changes and economic growth have spurred labor migration in China.
  • China's Concern Over Population Aging and Health A June 2006 article with text and graphs discussing China's dilemma: "… as a result of the success of its "one-child" policy, the country faces the prospect of having too few children to support a rapidly aging population."

  • Great Wall Badaling and Great Wall of China [The Beijing Guide] Few places pique the imagination as much as the Great Wall of China. This interactive site brings you to the wall at Badaling and Simatai allows an interactive and panoramic view of its majesty. The Great Wall affected China's population by keeping invaders at bay. For other panoramic views in China, go to the homepage.
  • What Japan Can Do to Push Its Longevity Envelope [Population Reference Bureau] May 2006 article discussing ways to manage Japan's long-lived population: "…in the past 60 years, Japan 's life expectancy at birth (LEB) has grown 28 years for men (to age 78) and 31 years for women (to age 85, see Table 1). Japan 's overall LEB of 82 years—the highest in the world—is four years longer than that for the United States."
  • HyperHistory 3,000 years of world history with an interactive combination of timelines and maps may be helpful in following the migrations and population changes over the millennia. The maps on the site, particularly these listed here, are excellent graphic illustrations of the growth and spread of East Asian populations (as defined by political units).
  • Human Geography: People, Places, and Change [Annenberg Media] This site explores the relationships between humans and the physical environments in which they live. The Videos on Demand (VoD) on the site track the broad social patterns that shape human societies. Scroll down at the above site to the icon for the VoD for # 10 The World of the Dragon: “What is happening in the East today, especially in China and Japan, disrupts simple notions of East vs. West and challenges Western accounts of globalization. This concluding program draws attention to developments in the East that have potential consequences for the West and examines the role that 'overseas Chinese' play in the transnational network of the Chinese business world.” Produced by the BBC.
  • Journey to Planet Earth: Country Profiles: China [PBS] Map, background, statistics, natural resources, ethnic groups, religions, languages, economy overview, and more.
STANDARD 10: The characteristics, distribution, and complexity of earth's cultural mosaics

Case Study: China

  • Teaching about Chinese Houses: My Home, Your Home [Ronald G. Knapp, SUNY New Paltz] This website includes links for handouts, an extensive list of websites, and a bibliography. It is a vast research resource for teachers and students. The website serves to guide teachers and students:
      • To encourage thinking about houses as dynamic forms of material culture
      • To stimulate thinking about relationships between spaces within a house and the social organization of a family
      • To understand the substantial variation in China’s (and America’s) housing forms, just as with other aspects of material culture
      • To appreciate the differences in lifestyles/living patterns across time and space
      • To nurture an appreciation of cross cultural comparison
  • Chinese Vernacular Architecture [Ronald G. Knapp, SUNY New Paltz] This list of Web links is another vast research resource for teachers and students.
  • Chinese Earth: Sheltered Dwellings [Ron Long, University of Idaho] This page provides a brief view of Chinese vernacular architecture, specifically earth sheltered dwellings. Text and diagrams of earth dwellings in northern China.

Case Study: Japan

Case Study: Korea

Fengshui: China’s fengshui (‘wind and water’ or geomancy) and its variants in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam reveal clearly an awareness of sensitivity to recurring patterns of nature and a high level of environmental awareness. For an introduction to this subject in various contexts, visit:





  • The Korean Language Originally, Korean written language among the intelligentsia made use of Chinese characters. In 1446, King Sejong of the Choson dynasty created a 28-element phonetic writing system, as described on this website. Some of the written sound symbols, however, are reminiscent in shape of Chinese characters.
  • Linguistic and Philosophical Origins of the Korean Language"Unlike almost every other alphabet in the world, the Korean alphabet did not evolve. It was invented in 1443 (promulgated in 1446) by a team of linguists and intellectuals commissioned by King Sejong the Great." The linguistic discussion and diagrams show the relationship between the written symbols and mouth and tongue positions.
  • "Korean Language" Search on Type in "Korean language" in the search field. Brings up multiple encyclopedic entries on all aspects of Korean language, some with diagrams and examples of phrasing.
  • The Edible Journey Through China [ThinkQuest] This website explores Chinese food and related customs, in the process uncovering the important regions within the country. Developed by teachers and students for teachers and students.


  • Tea Talk A comprehensive site about tea in Asia with essays about origins and use of tea in China, Japan, Taiwan, India, and more.
  • Tea Gardens [Holy Mountain Trading Company] A website with information about two Japanese gardens, one in Japan, on in the United States. Accompanying the "Ritsuren Koen" garden is a page about the great Japanese tea master, Sen-no-Rikyu. Good explanation of who he was and of tea drinking in Japan. Also, information about ikebana.
  • Japanese Tea Ceremony Complete descriptions of all aspects of the tea ceremony and links to other sites with information on this subject.

Rice Culture

Other Foods
STANDARD 11: The patterns and networks of economic interdependence on earth's surface

The entire guide can be downloaded in PDF format, section by section. The geography section (Geography along the Silk Roads [PDF]) is especially strong.

// CHINA AND EUROPE: 1500-2000
STANDARD 12: The process, patterns, and functions of human settlement
// CHINA AND JAPAN: 1000-1900
  • Metadata Database of Japanese Old Photographs In Bakumatsu-Meiji Period (1860-1899) [Nagasaki University Library Collection] View photographs by category or keyword, "urban." Includes photographs of urban scenes in Yokohama, Tokyo, and other cities. The composition of the photos by Japanese photographers is reminiscent of that in wood-block prints.
  • Welcome to Edo! Text and images from Edo-era Japan, including an illustrated text about Edo society and customs, a "Ukiyo-e" gallery of the artist Hokusai's "Fifty-three views of the Tokaido Road." This latter includes detail images of travelers passing dwellings and trades people occupied in their activities.


  • The China Guide Although this is a commercial travel site, it contains good images and plans of major sites in and around Beijing: The Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Great Wall, and more.
  • Displaying the Forbidden Images of China's Imperial Palaces [UC Riverside, Museum of Photograph] For historic images of the Forbidden City taken by the Swedish scholar and photographer Osvald Siren (1879-1966). The photos are small, black and white, and do not enlarge, but they do show 1920s views of the Forbidden City, exterior and interior, as well of other places in China.
  • The Hedda Morrison Photographs of China, 1933-1946 [Harvard College Library] This collection of black-and-white photographs by Hedda Morrison (1908-1991) includes images of architectural sites, street scenes, shop signs, fields, and more. This resource opens a rare window onto China during the period preceding the People's Republic of China. The contrast to images of today's China is especially striking. Of the numerous albums in this collection, the Pao-ting Fu Album (ca. 1933-1946) is a particularly rich resource for images of life in a small provincial city. To view the images, first scroll through the "Contents of the Albums" page to note the title of an album that you would like to search for. Then use the "Search VIA" link to get to the albums. In the search dialogue type "Hedda Morrison" in the first field, then select "in NAME" on the dropdown menu. In the next search field type in the name of the album you would like to see. An album will only come up with a single image; click on the image to bring up all the images in the album.

    Selection of images from the Harvard Library's
    Hedda Morrison Photograph Collection
    Man hanging noodles out to dry on a roof of a building; from the "Street Life Album 2" (1933-1946, Beijing) Drummers leading a procession with a sedan chair out of a courtyard and view of moat in background; from the "Shop Signs, Calls, Houses, Fields Album" (1933-1946) Woman with baskets of wool, in Baoding, Hebei Province; from the "Pao-ting Fu Album" (1940)
  • Shanghai Pudong New Development Area [The China Guide] Since the early 1980s, the farm fields of Pudong area across the river from the city have been turned into a spectacular high-rise architectural landscape. See a panoramic moving image of the area and brief text at this site. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "The Bund" for a panoramic view of Shanghai's traditional waterfront. Clicking on the buildings in this image will label the buildings and make text about the building's history appear below the panorama. In combination, these two panorama show China's urban transition over the last hundred years: 1900 to 2000.
  • Ancient City of Ping Yao [UNESCO] Take a virtual tour around this ancient Chinese city to see 21st-century street scenes and ancient buildings. This site offers an interesting group of virtual vistas to compare with Hedda Morrison's mid-20th-century black-and-white photographs of Pao-ting Fu (above). To get to the virtual tour, click on WHTour link at the very bottom of the page.
  • Diaolou, Kaiping [Instituto Cultural do Governo da RAE de Macau] Text and photographs about "dialou" (fortified watchtowers) of the Qing dynasty in Guandong province.


  • Tokyo Past and Present [Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan] Click on the side menu item "Tokyo Knowledge" for a site page with links to many aspects of life in Tokyo during the Edo era and the present.
  • Japan Teaching Module: Geography Component 1: Japanese Cultural Landscapes [University of Tennessee at Chattanooga] An excellent resource for teachers and students, with text, maps, and numerous photographs, organized into five sections: 1) General Characteristics of Japanese Cultural Landscapes; 2) Specific Characteristics of Japanese Cultural Landscapes; 3) Japan's Urban Cultural Landscapes; 4) Japan's Suburban Cultural Landscapes; 5) Japan's Rural Cultural Landscapes.
STANDARD 13: How forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of earth's surface

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