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Indiana University


Video Lending Library

East Asia

Program Title: The Meiji Revolution, Fight for Democracy, From the Barrel of a Gun, Writers and Revolutionaries
EASC Code: AP-14
Series Title: Pacific Century Preview
Region/Country: Asia
Language: English
Subject: Arts & Music
Program Type: Documentary
Media Type: VHS
Release Date:
Running Time:
Color or BW: Color
Program Abstract: The Pacific Century is a 13-unit telecourse consisting of ten one-hour videos. Each video can be divided into half-hour segments for classroom use. A wide variety of Asian countries are looked at - China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, and the Philippines - as well as relationships between those nations and the West, particularly the United States. The videos survey 150 years of the Pacific Basin's economic and political development; maps, charts, and archival photos and film footage are used to good effect. This review concerns four of the programs in the series.

The Meiji Revolution covers the period in which Japan was opening itself to the West. Japanese and US experts are used to help explain and clarify the many changes that occurred in the Japanese government, economy, and culture during this period.

The Fight for Democracy focuses on the role of women in South Korea. The women's movement there is fighting to bring equal rights into the relationships between men and women, reasoning that once there are equal rights in the home, it will be easier to create equal rights and democracy in the nation.

From the Barrel of the Gun describes Ho Chi Minh's life as a child in French-controlled Vietnam and as a student in Paris. It explains how he turned to communism after the Treaty of Versailles ignored the rights and wishes of Asians.

Writers and Revolutionaries shows how the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations were named for and modeled after the May 4th Movement of Chinese students in the early 20th century. Those earlier demonstrators were inspired by Lu Xun, an intellectual who used his satiric stories to look at the traditional strengths and weaknesses of China.

The series is closed captioned. There are accompanying print materials available - a textbook, study guide, and faculty guide. All technical aspects are excellent, with one small exception in The Meiji Revolution where the narrator sounds as if he had been recorded alternately in a small studio and a large, empty lecture hall.

Highly recommended for high school through adult audiences.

Data Entry Date: 1/6/2004