Monday, February 8, 2010

Moving...

After some deliberation, I've decided to move this blog over to Wordpress. I'll be transferring some of the older blog posts over to the new blog over the next week or so.

For now, you can continue following this blog at its new home : http://eastasiablog.wordpress.com/

Bloggers, be sure to update your bookmarks and/or blogroll links. This will be my final post on this blog.

See you all over at the new blog address!

Kelly x


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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Daily News Digests

Starting from February 8, 2010, I will be posting daily news digests on the blog. These digests will focus primarily on issues affecting the People's Republic of China, Japan and South Korea but you can also expect to see articles about Taiwan, Hong Kong, North Korea, Tibet and Mongolia.*

Due to the apolitical nature of this blog, articles on political issues will be kept to a bare minimum and the focus will instead be on social and cultural issues. There are plenty of blogs out there which deal with political issues, such as Danwei, China Translated and Letters from Taiwan, so if you're looking for information regarding the latest political news in East Asia, you'd be better off reading those.

The format of these digests will be similar to that seen in my weekly archaeology news digests. Short summaries will be provided alongside links to the full articles and the original sources will be credited where possible.

* Please note that I will not always be able to post a news digest every day. These news digests will be subject to my work and family commitments but every effort will be made to keep readers up to date on what's happening in this vibrant region.


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Blog Roundup - February 7, 2010

  • China Hope Live - Joel talks about traditional Chinese New Year decorations and lucky red panties.
  • Fukuoka Dreaming - Asawa shares a recipe for ginger pork or butaniku no shouga yaki (豚肉の生姜焼き).
  • Japan : Life & Religion - Doug writes about the history of Buddhist precepts in medieval Japan.
  • Just Bento - Maki talks about the scallop rice bento (帆立ごはん弁当) she recently treated herself to.
  • Kyoto Foodie - The Foodie goes behind the scenes to see how onimaki demon rolls (鬼巻) are made.
  • Muza-Chan's Gate to Japan - Muza-chan talks about the customs and traditions of Japan's Setsubun (節分) festival.
  • Osaka Insider - The author lists some of the reasons he likes about living in Osaka (大阪).
  • Rainbowhill Language Lab - Brett shares his tips for holding the ultimate setsubun (節分) party.
  • Shizuoka Gourmet - Dragonlife writes about the delights of oden (おでん), a popular winter food in Japan.
  • Somewhere the Sun is Rising - SS considers Harumi Kurihara's advice on eating about 30 different types of food each day.
  • The China Beat - Alec and Daniel discuss the film Confucius (孔子) and its relevance in modern Chinese society.
  • The Gaijin Gourmet - Louis shares a recipe for oyako-don (親子丼), a rice bowl dish consisting of chicken, egg and vegetables.
  • The Japanese Food Report - Harris cooks up a delicious chicken soba hot pot.
  • The View from Taiwan - Michael blogs about a recent visit to Laos.
  • Tsukublog - Avi talks about one of Japan's most sought-out and unique delicacies, fugu (河豚).
  • Webs of Significance - YTSL lists his top ten Hong Kong movies of 2009.
  • ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal - Tammy counts down the days to Korean Lunar New Year (음력설날) by cooking up 12 fusion dishes made with tteokbokki (떡볶이) rice cakes.
  • 四海为家 - Maria takes a ride on the Harmony Express (和谐号), the world's fastest high-speed train.
That's all for this week. The next blog roundup will be on February 14, 2010.


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Saturday, February 6, 2010

East Asian Archaeology News - February 6, 2010

This week has been a busy week for archaeologists across the region. A skeleton of suspected East Asian origin is discovered in Italy, excavations continue at an ancient graveyard in Guangdong Province, and Chinese archaeologists successfully finish their restoration work on a Tang Dynasty headdress.

Here are some of the stories that made the news this week :

Tomb of Ancient China's "Major General" Unearthed (Oneindia)

Chinese archaeologists are thought to have unearthed the tombs of Major General Zhang Anshi (張安世) and his family near Xi'an in China's Shaanxi Province. Zhang Anshi is thought to have aided Liu Bingyi (who would later become Emperor Xuan of Han) in his ascension to the Han throne in around 74BC.

DNA Testing on 2,000-Year-Old Bones in Italy Reveal East Asian Ancestry (Science Daily)

Researchers excavating a Roman cemetery in Vagnari, Italy, have stumbled upon a skeleton believed to be that of a person of East Asian descent. Archaeologists believe that the bones date back to the first or second century AD and that the man may have been a slave or worker during the early Roman Empire. If the bones are indeed those of a man of East Asian origin, it could indicate that the Roman Empire was a more global and diverse society than previously thought.

Excavation Goes on for Ancient Tombs in Guangdong (CCTV)

The excavations continue at the ancient graveyard discovered at the foot of the Fufuling Hills in China's Guangdong Province. More than 400 tombs dating from the Western Zhou Dynasty have been unearthed during the preliminary excavation, which has yielded some 1,000 artifacts, including bronze vessels and jade ornaments.

Retired Teacher Determined to Find "Sunken City" (China Daily)

Hu Bigui, a retired teacher from China's Sichuan Province, has teamed up with an experienced diver in a bid to find out whether or not the remains of a Han Dynasty city lie submerged in Qionghai Lake in Xichang (西昌). Mr Hu's theory is based on a Google Earth photo of the lake which, he argues, hints at the presence of a sunken city and which he believes may be the remains of Qiongdu (邛都), a county which ancient texts claim was founded by Emperor Wudi during the Western Han Dynasty.

Crown of Ancient Princess Repaired (CCTV)

Archaeologists have just finished repairing a Tang Dynasty headdress which had been excavated from a tomb in Shanxi Province. The repair work took a year and a half to complete and the archaeologists relied on historical documents and wall paintings to help them successfully restore the ancient artifact to its former glory.

Liao Treasures from Inner Mongolia to be Exhibited in Taiwan (Taiwan News)

An exhibition featuring artifacts excavated from Liao Dynasty sites will be held at the National Palace Museum, Taipei, from February 6 to May 16. The collection includes funerary artifacts from three major Khitan burial sites and is the first time that artifacts from the Inner Mongolia Museum are displayed outside of China.

Ancient Mongolian Tomb Holds Skeleton of Western Man (Discovery News)

A DNA analysis of a 2,000-year old skeleton found in eastern Mongolia has revealed that the man was of Western heritage. The identity of the man remains unknown but archaeologists believe that the man may have held a prominent position within the Xiongnu Empire and his presence may be evidence of the ethnic diversity of the Xiongnu polity.



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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

TimesOnline : Learning Mandarin Would Put Children Off

The TimesOnline posted an article today entitled Learning Mandarin Would Put Children Off. The article was written by Dr. Martin Stephen, the head teacher of a school in the United Kingdom, and in it, he argues against the British government's plans to introduce Mandarin lessons in secondary schools across the country.


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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Blog Roundup - January 31, 2010

That's all for this week. The next blog roundup will be on February 7, 2010.


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Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Additions to the Blogroll : January 2009

Here's a list of the blogs which were added to the Eye on East Asia blogroll in January 2010 :

If you have an East Asia-related blog or know of one which you feel should be added to the blogroll, you're welcome to leave a message with a link to the blog(s). Please note that a blog will only be added to the blogroll if it meets the following requirements :
  • The blog's main theme must fit into one of the categories listed in the blogroll.
  • At least half of the blog's content should be on a subject related to East Asia.
  • The blog must be at least 3 months old and must be updated on a regular basis. Blogs which are not updated at least once every 2 months will be removed from the blogroll.
  • Blogs containing racist, sexist or other offensive material will be rejected.
A return link to this blog is not a requirement for inclusion in the blogroll, but it would be very much appreciated.


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East Asian Archaeology News - January 30, 2010



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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chinese Buzzwords & Slang

Language is constantly evolving. New words are coined on a regular basis, new expressions come into common use and Mandarin is by no means an exception. Language students and translators are often confronted with unknown terms and buzzwords and those living outside of the Sinosphere will be at a certain disadvantage. While it is generally accepted that immersion in a foreign language environment is one of the best ways to develop and maintain one's language skills, the Internet can offer a helping hand to those who wish to learn a new language or expand their vocabulary.

As a volunteer translator and Sinophile, living outside of a Mandarin-speaking environment has had a detrimental impact on my spoken Mandarin. The Internet has been a valuable source of information and has allowed me to continue to expand my vocabulary and keep up with the latest news and trends in Mainland China. When I embarked on my quest to learn Mandarin, I was taught using textbooks which were quite blatantly out of date. The Practical Chinese Reader series that I relied on in my first year at university gave me a good introduction to Chinese grammar and hanzi but it was clear that the recommended form of address, "comrade" (同志), wasn't going to cut it in 21st Century China.**

Likewise, many of the buzzwords and slang I learnt during my university days have fallen out of common use. New technologies and trends have sparked a new generation of idiomatic expressions and jargon, so to avoid being left behind in linguistic limbo, I have sought out a few blogs which focus partly, if not solely, on contemporary buzzwords and slang so that I can keep myself abreast of all the latest lingo.

Language learning is a never-ending process and only a fool would claim to know it all. Even after 10 years of Mandarin study, I feel like I have merely scratched the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Fellow Mandarin learners who feel the urge to keep up with all the latest trends and buzzwords should consider checking out the links below :
If anyone knows of a blog, website or online dictionary that should be on this list, please feel free to let me know.

** It's interesting to note that the term 同志 is now used to refer to members of the gay and lesbian community, so it's probably best not to address anyone as "comrade" for fear of calling their sexual preferences into question.


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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blog Roundup - January 24, 2010

  • An Acorn in the Dog's Food - Paul has fun with Korean measure words.
  • ForeignerCN.Com - A short articles on the history and traditions of China's Laba Festival (腊八).
  • Japan : Life and Religion - Doug does some research on traditional Shinto attire.
  • Life in Taiwan - Tony reflects on a Taiwanese wedding he recently attended in Hsinchu (新竹).
  • Lost on Jeju - The author writes about one of the few things he hates about living on Jeju Island (제주도).
  • Maangchi - Maangchi shares an easy recipe for making your own home-made kimchi (김치).
  • Mandarin Segments - Greg explores options for volunteer work in China.
  • Muza-chan's Gate to Japan - Muza-chan posts some beautiful photos of decorated kumade (熊手), bamboo rakes sold as good-luck charms.
  • Notes from Xi'an - Richard talks about the controversy surrounding Google's recent spat with the Chinese government.
  • On the Fringe - Heather spends the day at a ski resort in Yishui (沂水) in China's Shandong Province (山东省).
  • Shizuoka Gourmet - A simple and tasty recipe for kaki meshi (牡蠣飯), or oysters steamed with rice.
  • Speaking of China - Jocelyn shares some advice on how to impress your Chinese boyfriend/girlfriend's family if you're invited to spend Chinese New Year with them.
  • The Gaijin Gourmet - Learn how to make delicious tuna omusubi (御結び) rice balls.
  • The View from Over Here - The author tries her hand at making kimchi bokkumbap (김치 볶음밥), a dish made from fried rice and kimchi.
  • Tsukublog - Avi talks about hanabiramochi (花びら餅), a traditional Japanese sweet from Kyoto whose origin can be traced back to the Heian Period (平安時代).
  • Wandering Taiwan - Micki and Kristen visit Loushan Village (羅山村) and learn how organic tofu (有機豆腐) is made.
That's all for this week. The next blog roundup will be on January 31, 2010.


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Thursday, January 21, 2010

On Second Thoughts...

I've given some thought to my proposal for weekly features and I think it's probably best if I scrap that idea. While I will continue to post weekly blog roundups and will start post bi-weekly archaeology news roundups, I think I prefer a more spontaneous approach to blogging.

Sorry, folks. I don't think I can commit to regular weekly features at this point in time.


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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

East Asian Language Learning : Reviews Will Start Next Week

I was planning on posting a review of the Talk to Me in Korean podcast series today but due to a lack of free time this week, I've decided it's best to give myself another week to listen to some of their podcasts and check out the other features on the website. There's little point in posting a short and rushed review which fails to do the website justice, so the review will be posted next Wednesday instead.


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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

East Asian Archaeology News Roundup - January 19, 2010

One of the main stories in the news over the past week is the controversy surrounding the discovery of what some archaeologists believe may be the tomb of the legendary General Cao Cao (曹操). The validity of the claim has now been called into question and scholars and netizens have become embroiled in a heated debate regarding the identity of the tomb's occupant. Efforts are being made to determine if the tomb found in Xigaoxue (西高穴) is indeed that of the General.
In other news, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Archaeology has announced its top 6 archaeological discoveries of 2009, bronze mirror fragments with Chinese Wei Dynasty inscriptions were discovered in Nara and an exhibition of relics dating from the Three Kingdoms period (三国时代) is being held at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.
That's all for this week's archaeology news roundup. The next roundup will be on Monday 25 January, 2010.


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Monday, January 18, 2010

Archaeology News - Postponed By a Day

This week's East Asian Archaeology News Roundup will be posted on Tuesday 19 January, 2010.

I would like to apologise to all my readers for the slight delay. The East Asian Archaeology News Roundup will be published every Monday starting from next week.


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New Weekly Features

As from this week, readers can expect to see a number of new weekly features on this blog.
  • Mondays - Archaeology and cultural heritage news.
  • Wednesdays - Reviews of language learning resources and websites.
  • Fridays - Recipes and/or restaurant reviews.
  • Sundays - The Eye on East Asia blog roundup.
I will also continue to post news articles, film reviews and news on East Asian events in the Netherlands on a regular basis.

If you have any suggestions for a weekly feature that you would like to see on this blog, you're welcome to leave a comment with your suggestion.



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