Enduring Understandings
1.The physical environment influences human actions.
2.The movement of people through trade and migration has had a significant impact on the sharing of ideas.

Essential questions
1.What impact has the geography of China, Japan and Korea had on the development of each country (politics, economy, society, culture)?
2.Why have patterns of population distribution changed over time?
3.How did ideas spread between countries? (Language, religion, ethnicity)

Geography and Development

Section 1 - China
1.Create a word document (or pages). Label it 'Geography and development'.
2.Use the headings and sub-headings on this page to organize each section of the work. Make sure that you file this document in the sub-folder you have created for 'Geography of East asia'. And of course, make sure that sub-folder is in your subject folder 'Asian History'.
3.Activities 1 and 2 below are mapping exercises. You will need to find a map online to help you complete the task. I am interested in knowing what website/s you will use and how you will know if it is a credible (trustworthy) site. Please create a reference list (bibliography) of the sources you used for each map, and write it neatly on the back of the map you have labeled. Use MLA format.

Activity 1: China in relation to the world

Part A: Download the World Map:
Label the following on the map - Print the map out and label it by hand:
  • 7 continents
  • 4 oceans
  • China
With a partner, help each other to memorize these and test yourselves. We will see how much of this you remember later.

Part B: Questions

Discuss these with a partner, then write out your own individual explanations in full sentences.
1.Why is China in the area known as the Far East? What is it east of?
2.Where is the Far East in relation to the Middle East and England?
3.What if China had established world directions? What would they have considered to be the Far East or the Middle East?
4.Why do we continue to use such terminology? Is it still valid?

Activity 2: Asia

Download the Asia Map (Blank) and label the countries shown

Activity 3: China as a nation

Download the Blank China Map

Print the map out and label the following points:

Yellow River (Huang He)
South China Sea
Yangtze River (Chang Jiang)
The Great Wall
Himalaya Mountains
Hong Kong
Gobi Desert
Taklamakan Desert
North China’s Plains
Plateau of Tibet
Mt. Everest
Pearl River (Zhu Jiang)
Sea of Japan
Pacific Ocean
Indian Ocean
Mongolian Steppes
Tien Shan Mountains

Activity 4:

Download and review this Geography Reading

EVERYONE should read the first 3 pages (up through p. 185)
In groups, prepare a 4-6 slide presentation one of the following:

a. Tibet-Qinghai Plateau and here
b. The Northwestern Deserts and here
c. The Northeastern Plains
d. The North China Plain and click here and here for additional information (Yellow River and North China Plain)
e. The Middle and Lower Chang Jiang Basin and here

The presentation should lay out:
-the terrain
-information about the people who live there (culture, ethnicity, style of living-nomadic, farmers, etc)
-any other interesting, informative features

Supplemental Resources for Assignment:
a. Visit this website for add'l geography information. You will need to click through to find information on your region/ people
b. People of China
b. Asia for Educators is an excellent website. Lots of information on the 4 general regions of China
c. Global Insights has a good overview of China's geography as well

In-class activity:

Geography Questions

Activity 5: Writing Assignment

Write one paragraph addressing the following:
How has a feature/ features of China's geography impacted the country's development?

Use this document to help you brainstorm, organize, plan and write your geography paragraph

Additional Resources

Powerpoint on China's Geography
Quick review on the beginning of Chinese civilization

Activity 6: Population and demography

Click to and review Issues and Trends in China's Demographic History
In a group, answer the questions at the bottom of the page (review them first!!)

Complementary Links:
China's Population Clock
World Population Clock

China's One-Child Policy

Review the background and arguments surrounding China's one-child policy:
a. Issues and Trends in China's population
b. Brief history of One-Child policy
c. Facts and Details re One-Child policy

Link to Today:

Read this article on 'What Keeps the Chinese Up at Night?'

Section 2: Geography of Japan

Focus Questions:
  1. How does geography affect population density?
  2. How does high population density affect the life of the people who live in that country?
  3. How does population density affect the price of land?

Activity 1: : Japan's Geography

Click on Japan's Geography
Review and answer Discussion questions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7 at the end of the webpage.

Activity 2: Predict

Where do you think most people live in Japan? Why?
Class discussion
Your will see the map showing areas of heaviest population on the overhead for class discussion. Click here to view it for yourself.

Discussion Questions:
  1. Why might these areas have a heavier population than other coastal areas?
  2. Given Japan’s population density and geography, how do you think Japan produces its food?
  3. In what ways do you think Japan’s population density and geography affect housing?
  4. How might Japan’s population density and geography affect manners and behavior?
(Adapted from Comparative Geography: Japan and the USA — Part II [The Ohio State University]. Retrieved fromhttp://afe.easia.columbia.edu/geography/element_d/ed9_lp.html#3 on 5.23.2011)

SECTION 3: Korea

Map work
Download a blank map of Korea.
Complete the following:
  1. color in the mountain regions
  2. label North and South Korea
  3. label Pyongyang, Seoul and Pusan
  4. color in the DMZ (demilitarized zone)
  5. Now label these geographic areas (significant to Japan's history)
Honshu (Japan)
the Shandong Peninsula (China)
Yellow Sea
Sea of Japan

Discussion question for below reading:

Identify and explain 2 ways in which Korea's location affected its relationship with other countries (foreign relations)?

Korea's history is hardly one of peace and stability. In fact, Korea's geography, geo-political (political power over a territory) situation, and its natural resources all suggest that Korea is likely to find itself in a constant struggle to remain united, stable and secure.
Korean Topography
While the western and southern slopes of the Korean peninsula are gentle with various types of plains, low hills, and basins, almost seventy percent of the peninsula is covered with hills and mountains, especially in the northern and eastern parts of Korea. These major mountain ranges have ...created regional areas, served as a natural barrier to would-be invading armies, and helped create a powerful incentive for an isolationist foreign policy.
Climate and Natural Resources
Due to its mountainous terrain and dependence on unreliable hydroelectric power, northern Korea has traditionally faced difficulties in agricultural production.
The North's current concerns with food (shortages) is ... one example of a recurring problem.
Both the North and the South lack natural energy resources. This has (led) to the nuclear programs in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK), and Korea's fuel dependency on the outside world...The Korean economy, both in the North and in the South, has to generate enough export earnings to be able to pay at least for its energy bill.
This has a direct impact on the DPRK's foreign trade relationships. For example, by controlling the DPRK's energy supply during the Cold War, when China and the Soviet Union annually exported to the DPRK approximately one million and 800,000 tons of petroleum respectively, Beijing and Moscow had enormous leverage on the development of DPRK economy and its foreign policy priorities.

Korean Geography
The Koreans like to say that their peninsula is like "a small shrimp surrounded by big whales." The Korean peninsula is 102 times smaller than the territory of Russia and 44 times smaller than that of China. Even Japan's total land area is 1.7 times larger than that of Korea.
The combined population of North and South Korea, 68 million people, is still significantly smaller than the populations of neighboring China (1.3 billion people), the Russian Federation (148 million people), or Japan (128 million people).
These powerful neighbors are all located extremely close to Korea. In addition to its land border with China and Russia, China's Shandong peninsula is located only 190 kilometers from Korea, while Japan's island of Honshu is only 180 kilometers away.

Korean Geopolitical Situation
The basic geography of Korea forms the foundation of the geopolitics on and around the Korean peninsula.
Traditionally, Korea has been viewed both as a "menace" and an "opportunity" by all regional great powers in Northeast Asia.

China tends to view the Korean peninsula as a mountain-rigged "natural buffer" protecting its northeastern hinterland from possible invasions by maritime powers.
The Chinese often describe this relationship with a friendly Korea to be as close as "lips and teeth."
A hostile Korea is viewed as a "hammer" hanging over the head of the Chinese dragon.
China served as a source of political legitimacy, military protection, and economic assistance, as well as a developmental model.

Japan tends to perceive the Korean peninsula either as a "dagger aimed at her heart" or as a convenient "invasion route" and "key" to resource-rich mainland Asia.
In general, Korean-Japanese relations ... (are) a love-hate relationship between two very different peoples who might have shared a common ancestor. They enriched and made use of one another. They bitterly fought wars against each other and together against a common enemy.

Russian perceptions of Korea tend to be mixed as well. A friendly Korea offers an "umbrella" protecting Russian Far Eastern outposts from unwelcome storms in Northeast Asia and providing readily available access to warm, ice-free ports...
In general, Russia-Korea relations ... are subordinated to broader security goals and dependent on the dynamics of the Russia-China-Japan-U.S. quadrangle. Bilateral relations tend to be passive, mutually reactive and cautious, with a few glaring exceptions like the Korean War (1950 to 1953).

U.S. perceptions of Korea are more or less benign. Washington believes that Korea can never pose any sustained, direct threat to the U.S. mainland or its global interests, but it can upset the regional balance of power. Korea's role is seen as acting as a regional check and balance on ambitious aspirations of adjacent giants.
The crucial position of the Korean peninsula ... poses threats and presents opportunities to both ascending and descending great powers. It has made Korea a constant object of contention among its more powerful neighbors who have been jockeying for influence, if not for outright control and domination in Korea, for centuries.

(Adapted from Alexandre Y. Mansourov, Enigma of the Land of Morning Calm: Korean Shrimp or Roaring Tiger?, The Brookings Institution, 2000, http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2000/09asia_mansourov.aspx retrieved 5.23.2011)