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Maiko Tamagawa Bacha is the instructor for the Stanford e-Kawasaki Program and Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan for the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE).

Prior to joining SPICE, she worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for 14 years and served in Tokyo, Japan; Bangkok, Thailand; Vientiane, Laos; and San Francisco, United States. She has experience working in different areas of international relations, including disarmament of conventional weapons, United Nations affairs, Japan–Laos bilateral relations, and public diplomacy. In her most recent role as Advisor for Educational Affairs at the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, she had an opportunity to work closely with SPICE to support its Reischauer Scholars Program, an online course on Japan and U.S.–Japan relations for U.S. high school students.

Maiko received a BA in American Area Studies from University of Tokyo, and an MA in International Policy Studies from Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California. She was born in Fukuoka, Japan, and grew up in Chiba, Japan.


Instructor, Stanford e-Entrepreneurship Japan
Instructor, Stanford e-Kawasaki
Gary Mukai
Gary Mukai
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On January 18, 2019, Stanford Global Studies and the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) hosted a book talk by Professor Michael McFaul. McFaul served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council (2009–2012), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012–2014). He is also one of several contributing scholars to Inside the Kremlin, SPICE’s lesson plan on Soviet and Russian history. McFaul’s talk was given to approximately 30 community college and secondary school educators from the San Francisco Bay Area. Three of the educators—Nancy Willet, Phillip Tran, Don Uy-Barreta—are 2018–19 Stanford Education Partnership for Internationalizing Curriculum (EPIC) Fellows, and this article highlights their reflections.

Ambassador McFaul has described From Cold War to Hot Peace as “three books in one.” First, it is a book that explains the arc of U.S.–Russia relations since the end of the Cold War. Second, it a book that describes the “reset” in U.S.–Russia relations and its aftermath during the Obama presidency. Third, it is a book about McFaul’s life that describes how his involvement with the debate team at Bozeman High School, Montana, sparked his interest in Russia and led to his subsequent study of Russia at Stanford University, Oxford University, and in Russia itself. During his talk, he touched upon all three.

McFaul’s reflections not only provided the educators with important content on U.S.–Russia relations and insights from his youth to his ambassadorship, but also prompted the educators to consider effective teaching and pedagogical strategies. McFaul’s use of storytelling, presentation of multiple perspectives, emphasis on interdisciplinarity, and sharing of first-hand accounts gave the educators a glimpse into McFaul not only as an academic and diplomat but as a teacher.

EPIC Fellow Nancy Willet, Co-chair of the Business & Information Systems Department, College of Marin, noted, “I was most impressed with Ambassador McFaul’s engaging storytelling. His first-hand insights of his time spent studying and working in Russia challenged some of my misguided assumptions and helped expand my understanding of the complexities of U.S.–Russia relations. I grew up during the Cold War and the Ambassador disrupted some of my deep-rooted misconceptions about the former Soviet Union and further opened my mind for a more nuanced understanding.” In a follow-up communication, Willet said that she is devouring From Cold War to Hot Peace and plans to share McFaul’s scholarly insights with her law students—particularly when discussing democracy and rule of law—here and abroad.

EPIC Fellow Philip Tran, Instructor of Business, San Jose City College, remarked that “Ambassador McFaul’s talk reinforced the complicated notion of human relations and the importance of an interdisciplinary study of it—including political science, business, economics, etc. Interdisciplinarity is a key to grasping a better understanding of human relations.” He continued by noting that the biggest take-away from McFaul’s talk was that it cautioned him as a teacher to “refrain from the natural ‘knee-jerk’ reactions and to seek a deeper understanding of the situation from all sides…. Even though Ambassador McFaul is a subject matter expert on U.S.–Russian relations, he displayed humility and acceptance of ambiguity in his responses to some of the toughest questions regarding the U.S. relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin.”

EPIC Fellow Don Uy-Barreta, Instructor of Economics, De Anza College, reflected upon the significance of sharing first-hand experiences with students. He noted that “Reading about Ambassador McFaul’s experience is very informative, but being able to ask questions and hearing it from the source is a whole different level of experience. As he was telling us about his days in Russia, it felt like I was right next to him, and it gave me goosebumps.” Uy-Barreta found inspiration in McFaul’s talk as he prepares for his presentation on global economics at the EPIC Symposium on May 18, 2019 during which the 2018–19 EPIC Fellows will present their research at Stanford.

McFaul has given numerous talks on From Cold War to Hot Peace but this was the first geared to an audience of educators. As I observed his talk, I was primarily attentive to the pedagogical strategies that he utilized to engage the educators. For me, his effective teaching made the history and insights in From Cold War to Hot Peace come alive and feel more like “four books in one.”

This book talk was made possible by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant that provides professional development opportunities for K–12 teachers and community college instructors. Among these opportunities is EPIC, a program that provides one-year fellowships to community college instructors. Title VI grant collaborators include Stanford Global Studies (SGS), SPICE, Lacuna Stories, and the Stanford Graduate School of Education’s Center to Support Excellence in Teaching. SGS’s Denise Geraci and SPICE’s Jonas Edman organized and facilitated the talk by Ambassador McFaul.

SPICE also offers professional development opportunities for middle school teachers and high school teachers. To stay informed of SPICE news, join our email list or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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Gary Mukai
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The U.S.-Japan Council’s TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) identifies, cultivates, and empowers a new generation of Japanese American leaders. A new cohort of Emerging Leaders is selected annually to attend USJC’s Annual Conference, participate in leadership education, and join program alumni in bridging the future of the U.S.–Japan relationship.

SPICE’s Rylan Sekiguchi, Manager of Curriculum and Instructional Design, recently returned from Washington, DC, where he participated in the U.S.-Japan Council’s annual conference as a member of the 2017 TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). USJC was conceptualized by the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii and Irene Hirano Inouye, President of USJC.

Sekiguchi was born and raised in Honolulu, and from as far back as he can remember, Senator Inouye was a role model and iconic figure in Hawaii, serving as the state’s U.S. Senator from 1963 to 2012 and as President pro tempore of the Senate from 2010 until his death in 2012. Sekiguchi graduated from Roosevelt High School and chose Stanford University over Harvard and Yale—to avoid the snowy winters—for his undergraduate studies. He joined SPICE in 2005 shortly after graduation.

“I feel honored to participate in USJC and the ELP specifically,” reflects Sekiguchi. “The ELP is such an incredible program, and knowing that USJC was conceptualized by my home state’s late Senator Inouye makes the experience even more meaningful to me. The 2017 ELP cohort has five members who are originally from Hawaii, and I hope that we and the others in my cohort will help realize Senator Inouye’s vision of empowering a new generation of leaders in the U.S.–Japan relationship.”

Sekiguchi is one of 12 delegates of the eighth ELP cohort. “Acceptance into the ELP is highly competitive,” notes Kaz Maniwa, Senior Vice President of  USJC, who has directed the ELP since its inception. Maniwa closed his law practice in San Francisco after 36 years to dedicate himself to the Council and the empowerment of youth specifically through the ELP. “It’s exciting to be able to work with the next generation of leaders of our community and in U.S.–Japan relations. The ELP delegates are smart, compassionate, ambitious in a good way, forward-thinking and supportive of each other. They come from across the United States and Japan and have developed into a broad network of future leaders.”

Rylan Sekiguchi at the 2017 U.S.-Japan Council conference
Rylan Sekiguchi at the 2017 U.S.-Japan Council conference in Washington, DC

Besides receiving leadership training and networking with program alumni, the 2017 ELP delegates attended the U.S.-Japan Council’s annual conference and met with leaders in the business, nonprofit, and government sectors. This year’s conference theme was “Unity in Diversity: Shaping the Future Together,” and its panelists and keynote speakers spanned a wide range of backgrounds, expertise, and politics, and included two current members of the U.S. Cabinet. Delegates considered changes that have arisen under the new White House administration and how Japan and the United States can continue to work together toward mutually beneficial goals.

Sekiguchi and his fellow ELP delegates have already seeded ideas to help strengthen U.S.–Japan relations. Some of the ideas lie in the area of education. For example, Sekiguchi shared his current SPICE work with the Mineta Legacy Project, which focuses on the life of former Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, Vice Chair of USJC’s Board of Councilors. Secretary Mineta served as President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Commerce and President George W. Bush’s Secretary of Transportation. The Mineta Legacy Project will include a documentary being developed by USJC Council Leaders Dianne Fukami and Debra Nakatomi and an educational curriculum that is being developed by Sekiguchi.

The U.S.-Japan Council’s 2018 conference will take place in Tokyo in November, and plans are already underway for the eighth ELP cohort’s first reunion.


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On May 27, 2016, President Obama will become the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima. This webinar will feature a talk, “Beneath the Mushroom Cloud,” by Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of President Harry S. Truman and author of Growing Up with My Grandfather: Memories of Harry S Truman. Following a question and answer period with Mr. Daniel, SPICE staff will share classroom resources (Sadako’s Paper Cranes and Lessons of Peace and Divided Memories) that introduce diverse perspectives on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Webinar Link:

To join the webinar, click on the link above and select “Enter as Guest.” Enter your name when prompted. If you are unable to "enter" the webinar, it means we have reached participant capacity. However, a video recording of this webinar will be posted on the SPICE website upon the conclusion of the event.

Activist and Author
Clifton Truman Daniel Activist and author

616 Jane Stanford Way
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Dr. Gary Mukai is Director of the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE). Prior to joining SPICE in 1988, he was a teacher in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, and in California public schools for ten years.

Gary’s academic interests include curriculum and instruction, educational equity, and teacher professional development. He received a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from U.C. Berkeley; a multiple subjects teaching credential from the Black, Asian, Chicano Urban Program, U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education; a master of arts in international comparative education from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education; and a doctorate of education from the Leadership in Educational Equity Program, U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education. 

In addition to curricular publications for SPICE, Gary has also written for other publishers, including Newsweek, Calliope Magazine, Media & Methods: Education Products, Technologies & Programs for Schools and Universities, Social Studies Review, Asia Alive, Education About Asia, ACCESS Journal: Information on Global, International, and Foreign Language Education, San Jose Mercury News, and ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies; and organizations, including NBC New York, the Silk Road Project at Harvard University, the Japanese American National Memorial to Patriotism in Washington, DC, the Center for Asian American Media in San Francisco, the Laurasian Institution in Seattle, the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, and the Asia Society in New York.

He has developed teacher guides for films such as The Road to Beijing (a film on the Beijing Olympics narrated by Yo-Yo Ma and co-produced by SPICE and the Silk Road Project), Nuclear Tipping Point (a film developed by the Nuclear Security Project featuring former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, former Senator Sam Nunn, and former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell), Days of Waiting: The Life & Art of Estelle Ishigo (an Academy Award-winning film about Japanese-American internment by Steven Okazaki), Doubles: Japan and America’s Intercultural Children (a film by Regge Life), A State of Mind (a film on North Korea by Daniel Gordon), Wings of Defeat (a film about kamikaze pilots by Risa Morimoto), Makiko’s New World (a film on life in Meiji Japan by David W. Plath), Diamonds in the Rough: Baseball and Japanese-American Internment (a film by Kerry Y. Nakagawa), Uncommon Courage: Patriotism and Civil Liberties (a film about Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service during World War II by Gayle Yamada), Citizen Tanouye (a film about a Medal of Honor recipient during World War II by Robert Horsting), Mrs. Judo (a film about 10th degree black belt Keiko Fukuda by Yuriko Gamo Romer), and Live Your Dream: The Taylor Anderson Story (a film by Regge Life about a woman who lost her life in the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami). 

He has conducted numerous professional development seminars nationally (including extensive work with the Chicago Public Schools, Hawaii Department of Education, New York City Department of Education, and school districts in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County) and internationally (including in China, France, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, and Turkey).

In 1997, Gary was the first regular recipient of the Franklin Buchanan Prize from the Association for Asian Studies, awarded annually to honor an outstanding curriculum publication on Asia at any educational level, elementary through university. In 2004, SPICE received the Foreign Minister’s Commendation from the Japanese government for its promotion of Japanese studies in schools; and Gary received recognition from the Fresno County Office of Education, California, for his work with students of Fresno County. In 2007, he was the recipient of the Foreign Minister’s Commendation from the Japanese government for the promotion of mutual understanding between Japan and the United States, especially in the field of education. At the invitation of the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea, San Francisco, Gary participated in the Republic of Korea-sponsored 2010 Revisit Korea Program, which commemorated the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War. At the invitation of the Nanjing Foreign Languages School, China, he participated in an international educational forum in 2013 that commemorated the 50th anniversary of NFLS’s founding. In 2015 he received the Stanford Alumni Award from the Asian American Activities Center Advisory Board, and in 2017 he was awarded the Alumni Excellence in Education Award by the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Most recently, the government of Japan named him a recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays.

He is an editorial board member of the journal, Education About Asia; advisory board member for Asian Educational Media Services, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; board member of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Alumni Association of Northern California; and selection committee member of the Elgin Heinz Outstanding Teacher Award, U.S.–Japan Foundation. 


616 Jane Stanford Way
Encina Hall, E007
Stanford, CA 94305-6060

(650) 724-4396 (650) 723-6784

Naomi Funahashi is the Manager of the Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP) and Teacher Professional Development for the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE). In addition to her work as the instructor of the RSP, she also develops curricula at SPICE. Prior to joining SPICE in 2005, she was a project coordinator at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California and worked in technology publishing in San Francisco.

Naomi's academic interests lie in global education, online education pedagogy, teacher professional development, and curriculum design. She attended high school at the American School in Japan, received her Bachelor of Arts in international relations from Brown University, her teaching credential in social science from San Francisco State University, and her Ed.M. in Global Studies in Education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

She has authored or co-authored the following curriculum units for SPICE: Storytelling of Indigenous Peoples in the United States, Immigration to the United States, Along the Silk Road, Central Asia: Between Peril and Promise, and Sadako's Paper Cranes and Lessons of Peace.

Naomi has presented teacher seminars nationally at Teachers College, Columbia University, the annual Asia Society Partnership for Global Learning Conference, the National Council for Social Studies and California Council for Social Studies annual conferences, and other venues. She has also presented teacher seminars internationally for the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools in Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia, and for the European Council of International Schools in France, Portugal, and the Netherlands.

In 2008, the Asia Society in New York awarded the 2007 Goldman Sachs Foundation Media and Technology Prize to the Reischauer Scholars Program. In 2017, the United States–Japan Foundation presented Naomi with the Elgin Heinz Teacher Award, an honor that recognizes pre-college teachers who have made significant contributions to promoting mutual understanding between Americans and Japanese. Naomi has taught over 300 students in the RSP from 35 U.S. states.

Manager, Reischauer Scholars Program and Teacher Professional Development

616 Jane Stanford Way
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Stanford, CA 94305-6060

(650) 725-1486
Rylan Sekiguchi is Manager of Curriculum and Instructional Design at the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE). Prior to joining SPICE in 2005, he worked as a teacher at Revolution Prep in San Francisco.

Rylan’s professional interests lie in curriculum design, global education, education technology, student motivation and learning, and mindset science. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Symbolic Systems at Stanford University.

He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen curriculum units for SPICE, including Along the Silk Road, China in Transition, Divided Memories: Comparing History Textbooks, and U.S.–South Korean Relations. His writings have appeared in publications of the National Council for History Education and the Association for Asian Studies.

Rylan has also been actively engaged in media-related work for SPICE. In addition to serving as producer for two films—My Cambodia and My Cambodian America—he has developed several web-based lessons and materials, including What Does It Mean to Be an American?

In 2010, 2015, and 2021, Rylan received the Franklin Buchanan Prize, which is awarded annually by the Association for Asian Studies to honor an outstanding curriculum publication on Asia at any educational level, elementary through university.
Rylan has presented teacher seminars across the country at venues such as the World Affairs Council, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Art Institute of Chicago, and for organizations such as the National Council for the Social Studies, the International Baccalaureate Organization, the African Studies Association, and the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia. He has also conducted presentations internationally for the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools in Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines; for the European Council of International Schools in Spain, France, and Portugal; and at Yonsei University in South Korea.
Manager of Curriculum and Instructional Design
Instructor, Stanford e-Hiroshima
Manager, Stanford SEAS Hawaii
Clifton Parker
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From atomic bombs to harsh military occupations in the World War II period, the past is very much the present in the Asia Pacific region.

Stanford scholars are striving to help heal these wounds from yesteryear. Helping old enemies better understand each other today is the aim of the Divided Memories and Reconciliation project, a multi-year comparative study of the formation of historical memory regarding the wartime period in countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States.

Left unattended, misguided wartime narratives may exacerbate current disputes to the point of armed conflict, said Daniel Sneider, associate director of research at Stanford's Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. He leads the Divided Memories project along with Gi-Wook Shin, a Stanford sociology professor and the Shorenstein center director.

Sneider points out the critical importance of textbooks and what is taught in schools – especially given the rise of nationalism among youth in China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

"Dialogue among youth of the different nations is needed, along with an appreciation for the diversity of views and the complexity of history," he said.

Shin said, "Each nation in northeast Asia and even the U.S. has selective or divided memories of the past, and does not really understand the views of the other side."

Education and history

Launched in 2006, the Divided Memories project has published research findings, issued recommendations and convened conferences. In the early days, the researchers examined high school history textbooks in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and America.

divided memories 1
The outcome was the project's first book in 2011, History Textbooks and the Wars in Asia: Divided Memories, which suggests that an "introspective effort" to understand national narratives about WWII has the potential to bring about historical reconciliation in the region. Sneider describes it as the first comparative study of textbooks in the countries involved; it soon evolved into a classroom supplemental textbook published by the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education.

"Formal education is a powerful force in shaping our historical understandings," Sneider noted. "We wanted to look at the textbooks that have the most impact and usage."

A 2014 book, Confronting Memories of World War II: European and Asian Legacies, which was co-edited by Shin, Sneider and Daniel Chirot, a sociologist with the University of Washington, compared successful European WWII reconciliations with lagging Asian efforts. Another book, Divided Lenses, published earlier this year, examined the impact of dramatic film and other forms of popular culture on wartime memory. A new book is due out this summer, Divergent Memories: Opinion Leaders and the Asia-Pacific War, which focuses on leaders in politics, the media and academia in Japan, China, South Korea and the U.S.

The Divided Memories project aims to generate discussions and collaborations among those who create "historical memories" – educators, policymakers and government leaders. One report that grew out of such dialogues included suggestions for reconciliation:

  • Create supplementary teaching materials on the issue. 
  • Launch dialogues among Asian, American and European historians. 
  • Offer educational forums for journalists, policymakers and students. 
  • Conduct museum exchanges and create new museums, such as one wholly dedicated to WWII reconciliation in Asia. 
  • Increase student exchanges among all the countries involved. 

History is reflected in today's geopolitics, as noted in the revived disputes by these nations over rival claims to islands in the South China Sea and elsewhere. Without resolution, these disagreements can flare up into military conflicts, Sneider wrote.

"The question of history taps into sensitive and deeply rooted issues of national identity," he noted.

Whether recounting Japanese atrocities in China, China's exaggerated account of its Communist fighters' role in World War II, or the U.S. decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan, no nation is immune to re-creating the past to further its own interests today, Sneider wrote.

For example, Divided Memories research on Chinese textbooks shows how the Chinese government in recent decades embarked on a "patriotic education" campaign to indoctrinate young people by exaggerating its role in Japan's WWII defeat. This narrative suits the nationalistic desires of a Chinese government no longer exclusively motivated by communist ideology, Sneider said.

One project of APARC and its Japan Program that was also an outgrowth of Divided Memories involved Stanford scholars urging Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to show "clear, heartfelt remorse" in a 2015 speech on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. A 15-page report featured hypothetical statements suggesting what Abe might say to make amends for Japanese actions in China and Korea.

"While we cannot claim to have directly influenced the prime minister, his statement did go further in the direction of an expression of remorse over the war and the need to continue to look clearly and honestly at the past than many expected," said Sneider.


divided memories 2

A workshop on history textbooks co-hosted by Shorenstein APARC and Academia Sinica's Center for Asia-Pacific Area Studies takes places in Taipei, Sept. 3, 2008.

Generations and grievances

Consciousness-raising on other fronts, however, is getting results, thanks to Stanford's Divided Memories project. A 2015 landmark agreement between Japan and South Korea over the WWII "comfort women" dispute was reached due to extensive U.S. involvement. Comfort women were women and girls who were forced into sexual slavery by the Imperial Japanese Army in occupied territories before and during World War II.

In an article, Sneider explained how the U.S. perceived that the dysfunctional relationship between South Korea and Japan over this issue, among others, threatened to undermine American strategic interests in Asia. 

Shin highlights the importance of U.S. involvement. "The U.S. is not just an outsider to historical and territorial disputes in the region," he said. "From a geopolitical perspective, the U.S. has done a wonderful job in reviving the devastated region into a prosperous one after 1945, but from a historical reconciliation perspective, the U.S. has done a poor job."

He suggests that America should "play a constructive role in promoting historical reconciliation" among the countries involved. And so, the Divided Memories project has included the United States in its efforts.

According to Sneider, Divided Memories is unique among all reconciliation projects for its emphasis on the inclusion of the U.S.; comparative analyses across countries; and real-world policy impacts. As part of the Shorenstein research center, it is housed within Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

"This project reflects what Stanford, our center and the Freeman Spogli Institute are all about – true interdisciplinary research and engagement," Sneider said.

Clifton Parker is a writer for the Stanford News Service.

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