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Postcards from Asia was created in 2005 by Randi Hacker, the Outreach Coordinator at the Center for East Asian Studies at University of Kansas and funded by a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation. The program was conceived as a way to extend the scope of our outreach and to enter show biz. For the first several years, the scripts were recorded by Dr. Bill Tsutsui, professor of history and director of the Center. After he left to become a dean in Texas, Randi Hacker inherited the talent spot while continuing to write the majority of the scripts.

Each of the 60-second spots is designed to give the listening audience (a potential 75,000 strong) a glimpse of some of the quirkier and more intriguing aspects of East Asian culture both contemporary and historic. Each spot is broadcast twice weekly (Wednesday evenings at 9:58 and Saturday afternoons at 1:04) on KANU, the KU NPR affiliate.

Though Postcards aims to entertain and amuse, each spot contains factual information that can be of use to East Asianists and historians. We are honored to be a part of KU ScholarWorks. The broadcasts themselves can heard or downloaded as podcasts by visiting http://www.ceas.ku.edu/resources/audio.shtml.

Recent Submissions

  • Transition Announcement 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2014-01-29)
    Broadcast Transcript: This is Randi Hacker with another Postcard from Asia from the KU Center for East Asian Studies. "Postcards from Asia" has been on the air for nine years now. Time flies, doesn't it? We've broadcast ...
  • May the Horse Be With You 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2014-01-08)
    Broadcast Transcript: This is Randi Hacker with another Postcard from Asia from the KU Center for East Asian Studies. In Japan and China and Korea and Mongolia, when someone asks you what year you were born they aren't ...
  • Ondoor Nastai, Tall in Years 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2014-01-01)
    Broadcast Transcript: This is Randi Hacker with another Postcard from Asia from the KU Center for East Asian Studies. As a rule, age is well-respected in East Asia. Confucius laid out rules for hierarchical relationships ...
  • Kimchi Museum 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-12-25)
    Broadcast Transcript: This is Randi Hacker with another Postcard from Asia from the KU Center for East Asian Studies. Kimchi is the national dish of Korea. It is eaten at all meals. It was sent to outer space in a Korean ...
  • Jin Ping Mei 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-12-18)
    Broadcast Transcript: This is Randi Hacker with another Postcard from Asia from the KU Center for East Asian Studies. Jin Ping Mei is the title of a Chinese vernacular novel, meaning that it was written in common Chinese ...
  • Satsumaimo, the Japanese Sweet Potato 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-12-11)
    Broadcast Transcript: This is Randi Hacker with another Postcard from Asia from the KU Center for East Asian Studies. Asia is a rice culture. And, here in Japan, you might say there is a satsumaimo sub-culture--that is, ...
  • Big Fish on the Yangtze 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-12-04)
    Broadcast Transcript: This is Randi Hacker with another Postcard from Asia from the KU Center for East Asian Studies. Once upon a time, in China's New Austerity Age, that is, now, a 2,300 ton, 295-foot glow-in-the-dark ...
  • Korean Microcar 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-10-30)
    Broadcast Transcript: Tight urban parking spaces. Don't they just make you wish for a car that could fold itself in half and then park itself? And they must have made the tech-savvy South Koreans wish for that, too, because ...
  • Canned Air in China 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-10-23)
    Broadcast Transcript: Not that long ago, coal smoke made the air here in Beijing so caustic that your nasal passages were seared with each breath. Those were the good old days: Car ownership was limited to government ...
  • Party Like It's Juche 103 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-10-16)
    Broadcast Transcript: Though North Korea has allowed more tourists to visit over the years, traditionally it closed its borders to visitors from December through January. Not anymore. The secretest country in the world is ...
  • Saving Space in China 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-09-09)
    Broadcast Transcript: The Chinese are geniuses at utilizing every inch of space. In a country that is historically overcrowded, this skill is important for survival. Chinese vegetable gardens are miracles of permaculture ...
  • Super Hero, Japanese Style 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-10-02)
    Broadcast Transcript: Super Sentai is a long-running Japanese TV series about regular humans who destroy bad guys using nothing but their color-coded uniforms, excellent martial arts skills and, you know, totally advanced ...
  • Chinese Zoo Lion Fraud 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-09-26)
    Broadcast Transcript: Across dynasties here in China, imperial stone lions have guarded the entrances to imperial buildings. On the right, a male lion, his right paw resting possessively on a globe, symbolizing dominion ...
  • Government Moon Cake Fraud 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-09-19)
    Broadcast Transcript: China's Mid-Autumn Festival falls on September 19th this year. This holiday is celebrated by reciting poetry to the full moon and eating moon cakes. Moon cakes feature an elaborately stamped pastry ...
  • Saving Mt. Fuji 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-09-12)
    Broadcast Transcript: Mt. Fuji, or Fujisan is it is known here in Japan, has just been added to Unesco's World Heritage list as a cultural asset, honoring it for providing thousands of years of inspiration to artists, poets ...
  • Getting the Finger Yakuza Style 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-08-28)
    Broadcast Transcript: Criminals always worry about being fingered for a crime. Here in Japan, they also have to worry about being de-fingered. If they are members of the Yakuza crime family, that is. The Yakuza, aka the ...
  • Panda Poop Tea 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-08-21)
    Broadcast Transcript: Starbucks ushered in the era of the ridiculously expensive cup of coffee but even they would be surprised by a $200 cup of tea, don't you think? Still, an entrepreneur in the New Market Economy China ...
  • Korean Army Hat 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-08-14)
    Broadcast Transcript: Here in South Korea, it doesn't matter how famous you are, if you're in the army--and Korean men are required to do about 2 years of military service--you wear your hat. This point was driven home ...
  • It Ain't Shuffleboard 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-08-07)
    Broadcast Transcript: There's a new activity that's taking the rapidly growing senior community by storm here in Japan and it ain't shuffleboard. It's blow darting. You heard me. Blowing darts. This ancient rain forest ...
  • Shark Fin Soup 

    Hacker, Randi (Center for East Asian Studies, University of Kansas, 2013-07-31)
    Broadcast Transcript: Here in China, shark fin soup is a delicacy that was first served, it is said, by an emperor of the Song Dynasty over a thousand years ago. It was long seen as a sign of prosperity and respect and was ...

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KU Libraries
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785-864-8983

KU Libraries
1425 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045