Faculty of Arts


Images of Asia


"Images of Asia" is the foundation course for all students in Asian Studies. It provides an introduction to the histories and cultures of China, Japan and Korea —the East Asian countries that are studied in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics— as well as an exploration of the concept of "Asia" more generally.

The course follows a chronological order from the pre-modern and early modern eras through to contemporary times. Within these time frames, we will explore themes that will help us understand how China, Japan and Korea have developed, how they have engaged with each other over time and what makes them the societies that they are today. We will begin the course by considering the concept of "East Asia" and what it means to study East Asian history in Aotearoa New Zealand today.

Learning goals

By the time you have finished ASIAN 100, you will have gained:

  • A critical understanding of the concept of "Asia" and how it has been defined over time and by different groups of people
  • The ability to reflect upon what it means to study these countries in Aotearoa today
  • A basic and broad knowledge of the histories of China, Japan and Korea and how these countries have interacted with each other over time
  • An understanding of some important social, cultural and economic forces that make China, Japan and Korea the countries that they are today
  • A growing ability to find, read and interpret various sources (in English) in the field of Asian studies
  • A growing ability to think critically about topics in the field and to present ideas in academic style 
  • Knowledge and skills that will help you to engage with East Asian peoples and cultures in a culturally sensitive manner


Coursework + exam

Availability 2021

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Dr Ellen Nakamura


Holcombe, Charles. A History of East Asia from the Origins of Civilization to the Twenty-First Century. 2nd ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.


Coursework and exam


ASIAN 100: 15.0 points



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