1820, Japan’s history was to be changed humongously by the industrial revolution, which finally led Japan to declare independence under the threat from the increasing presence of westerners in Asia. Japan’s borders were opened to the world along with the returning power to the Emperor, Tokugawa Shogunate. This led Japan to huge amounts of developments through trade with foreign countries. 1858, under the Meiji Emperor, Japan underwent a massive industrial revolution that was big enough to make it into the economic powerhouse of Asia. To make this happen, it took tens and hundreds of years of effort. Several laws were added to achieve the dream of ‘the greatest country in the world’. Employment became a non-optional condition to both men and women in Japan. Men were occupied as fishermen, farmers, artists, and more. When the women on the other side worked at the silk factories or the brothel. The payments were all very low, but as part of the people in Japan were in extreme poverty, the people had no choice. The girls at the factory were known to be abused, treated badly, and stayed with poor factory conditions. However, whenever a woman was sent to the factories or the brothel by her family, the family received a large amount of contract money in return. The money was plentiful enough to save the family from poverty and poorness. The costs outweighed the benefits for the workers in the silk factory because the families got paid a lot of contract money, and it supported the country. Although a strong case could be made that the payments were too low compared to how the girls were treated, this reason is less important because without the contract money, the families would have died in illness or starvation.

To begin with, the costs outweighed the benefits because the workers’ families still got their large cash amount called earnest money. As more women and family members were sent to the factory, more money was sent to the families at home, which would support their poor life. In Document E ‘The Employment Contract’, it is shown that, “-in return for contracting the above person employed as a female operative at your filature [silk factory] in the -year of the Meiji, we have received the said earnest money in full.”. This evidence proves that the worker’s families got a large amount of cash after sending their daughters to the factory. The great deal of money could change the families lives as in 1906, 100 yen could build a two story house. To illustrate, one important reason that working at the silk factory brought more benefits was because the workers received the payments from the factories.

Another reason that working at the silk factories brought benefits was because it built experience and supported the country. In the time of the industrial revolution, Japan was strict about the need of employment of women without any age restriction. ‘Factory Girls’ Reader, 1911’ mentions,  "-if you all work to the utmost of your abilities from morning to night, there can be no loyalty to the country better than this...work with all you might for the country's sake, enabling Japan to become the greatest in the world." This example illustrates that Japan believed that more employment could develop and enable Japan to become the greatest country. As much as employment was important to Japan, by working at the factories, it would show loyalty to the country. Further evidence ‘Booklet to Educate Japanese Silk Workers’ suggests that “-the text emphasizes the contribution and importance of silk exports for the economic and military development of Japan.”. Given the evidence, it is logical that the silk factories were an important factor to support both the monetary and millenary advancements of the country. Additionally, the silk factories were an important existent in Japan, which made working at the factory a crucial role in the meanings of development and experience.

It has been argued that the costs did not outweigh the benefits because it wasn’t fair when comparing the work time and conditions to the payment. For example, according to ‘Living Conditions’, Takai Toshio states “-they put 20 people in a 12-mat room...all we got everyday was miso soup and pickles but even the pickled radishes were old and smelled bad, and there was nothing of real substance in the soup though occasionally a fly or a cockroach might float to the surface.” Given the evidence, some conclude that the factories were in poor conditions, which made it not worth it for the factory workers compared to their pays. Although this argument shows a point, it is not as convincing, as without working at the silk factory, the families would have died of illnesses or starvation from poverty. After looking closely at both sides of the issue, one can see that at the end, the costs were fair enough when compared to how the workers were treated.

To summarize, even with the awful conditions at the factories, working at the factory and the payments were a fair trade as a large amount money was given to the family, and it showed loyalty to the country. After examining the reasons, it is clear that by receiving the earnest money and supporting the economics of Japan, the workers ended up with more advantages compared to the costs. In conclusion, due to the strong effort of the countless amount people eventually made Japan into one of the greatest and wealthiest countries in the world.

April.17, 2017

In the first class of the project, we started with brainstorming our theme of the sculpture and briefly sketching out the design of the chair. I was a little behind at the beginning because I made a mistake and focused on the small details rather than the sculpturing. However, I think I tried my best and caught up in sculpturing. I'm currently in step where I add details and paint the chair. In the up coming classes, I have to finish painting the tentacles on the chair and clean up the surroundings of the chair frame. I might have to also add more color or details to the castle. Until now, I'm proudest of the castle and how it kept the whole theme together. I was worried the lighter colors may ruin the theme, but I think it was a good idea to paint the whole chair with a pastel theme. I think it might take some time to paint both the tentacles and add the details. I'm planning to come in at lunch time and work on the painting to save time for the details. 

After looking at what I achieved for over the last 10 weeks, I felt that time management was the hardest, yet the most important skill. During the first few classes, I didn't realize that I had to work on the bigger things, which left me behind. But, I feel that I caught up and is making my way through it. Some of the changes/differences when comparing the first class and now, I think I made the design more simple and tried not to add too much things. I was going to make a figure of the carriage and the horses, but I don't think I had that much of a skill to do so. Until now, I stuck on two tentacles, a castle, two towers, and a lizard. If I were to choose the most important one, I would choose the castle because without the castle, the chair wouldn't have an exact theme. I think the castle actually forms the fairytale-like feeling to the viewers.




During the last few classes in art, we started a chair sculpture project. It basically includes planning, designing and actually creating the plan into a real chair. I think designing and sketching out the chair would be easiest, and making the real chair would be the biggest challenge. I'm struggling a little with planning out what materials I would use for the obstacles on the chair. I planned out several different models with the theme of 'Movies', but haven't chosen the final model yet. My top3 ideas are 'City of Stars', 'Corpse Bride', and 'Theaters'. They all have a theme taken from a specific movie, which actually would make it harder to create the characters. I'm looking forward to making the small details of the chair and making different improvements from my sketch.  I wanted to do the theme of 'Movies' because I thought it would definitely be eye-catching and more relatable.




Character Making

MAIN: Observations from 2nd attempt

  • 1 grasshopper survived with very bad health, the other died.
  • Sick grasshopper was lying on the soil, slowly moving it's legs.
  • All the food was gone, and caused no mold.
  • The plants were fresh and grew taller.


Inside the 3rd eco dome model







This time, we did not have as much water droplets as before. It is estimated that this was because we took out the cup of water. Our plants were fresh and grew taller. The soil this time wasn't damp and wet.

By guessing, we came up with the result that 1 of our grasshoppers died from the competition for food with the other grasshopper. On the otherside, the 1 grasshopper that survived, looked very weak, as it couldn't even stand up by it self.Actually, before we opened the ecodome, 1 grasshopper was completely alive, but it had no food sources. We're guessing it's because of lack of food (estimated).

Reflection and Research:

According to sources, not only grasshoppers eat vegetables, but they also eat wheat. On the next attempt, I think we should try putting in some new food sources such as bread and oatmeal.

Grasshoppers live in dry environments with plenty of grass. As we didn't add as much grass and small plants to all the attempts we tried before, we should put more small plants such as grass in the eco dome next time.



-Changes while building (3rd model)

Inside the 4th eco dome model.
  • Put in more soil than before (filled 1/3 of the container)
  • Added oatmeal and pieces of bread for a more variety of food sources
  • We were extra careful in the amount of food, as the grasshopper in the 3rd attempt had bad health conditions due to lack of food. We put in large amounts of; cabbage (9 pieces), lettuce (5 pieces), oatmeal (3 scoops), and small pieces of bread (3 pieces).
  • Added grass from the back field for the grasshopper to adapt the environment better
  • We decreased the amount of plants (2 to 1) because we could not find long plants.
  • We only added 1 grasshopper to prevent death from the competition for food.

MAIN: Observing the inside of the eco dome (model 2)

Outside of 2nd model.
  • Mold and sprouts were growing out of the corn and cabbage
  • The sunflower seeds stayed the same (uneaten)
  • 1 Grasshopper alive, the other missing
  • Still had water vapors on the sides of the container
  • One of the plants started to rotten, however the other tender plant was fresh
  • 1 out of 3 earthworms survived.
  • Most of the water were left inside bottle

- Conclusion

After changing our container to a larger one, we could easily put materials in, and it was easier for us to see the inside. I think this also gave the grasshopper more activity space.

Even after we decreased the amount of water, it still caused condensation and made a lot of water droplets on the sides of the container. I think this happened because we didn’t measure the exact amount of the water, which would lead to not much of a difference with the first model.

Only 1 of our grasshoppers survived, and the other was missing. However, the surviving grasshopper was near death. Firstly, we didn't know the exact cause of the bad health of the surviving grasshopper. We guessed that it was because of a lack of food, because the cabbage was a little rotten. Nextly, we have no idea why 1 grasshopper was missing. We looked in in the soil, but we could not find it anywhere. I think we may have mistaken it as a dead leaf and thrown it away.

-Changes made while building (2nd model)

Inside of the 3rd eco dome model
  • Took out the pebbles, as it didn't play a useful role.
  • To prevent condensation, instead of leaving a cup of water inside, we put little drops (approximately 8 drops) of water on the soil. This also helped the plants grow better.
  • We decreased the amount of plants (decreased to two) to increase the area to put food.
  • Didn't put corn inside to prevent the mold and little sprouts that made the corn inedible.


1. When this task was introduced to you what were your first thoughts, reactions? Why?

  • I was excited to collaborate with students in NY, as it was our first time working with students outside of Vietnam.

2. What are you excited the most about the collaboration unit? 

  • I was most excited to combine our art skills and work into one final piece. I loved that we could see different styles of art in both SSIS and NY student's work.

3. a) Explain how you have been connecting with your buddy?

  • We used edmodo to post what we have been doing, and to communicate. But, it was a little hard since the NY students didn't get to use electronic devices, which made communicating a little hard.

    b) What is your buddy’s name and what did you learn about them?

  • My buddy's name was Haley and I learned that she likes sports and hanging out with her friends. I also recognized that she likes to draw cartoons rather than realistic sketching.

    c) What similarities or differences did you notice between you and your buddy?

  • One similarity was that we both like sports and hanging out. Also, my buddy and I both like art because we think art is a way to express your thinkings and emotions without speaking.
  • One difference was the style in drawing. I personally like drawing more in a realistic form and she likes to draw cartoons. In our final piece, I think the realistic sketch and cartoon style combined ended up better than I thought it would.

4. How has (will) your drawing/learning been (be) effected because of the collaboration so far? (for example are you working differently because you are working with someone else?)

  • I was in charge of the background and animal, but I tried to make my drawings a little more closer to 'cartoon' so it would match my partner's art work. I think this could be counted as teamwork, as my partner tried to do the same.

5.  a)What did you think about Graeme Base writing to us? 

  • It was awesome how we got to communicate with the author of the book we were referring to. It helped me a lot in getting the idea of how the page would actually be made.

b) Describe what you think of his book.

-I like that our and NY's class put all our effort into this book, and I'm very proud of the final copy.

6. What challenges have you faced so far?

  • I faced some challenges in communicating with my partner, since we didn't get to talk from person to person, but overcame the challenges and finished the project.

Claim: The invention of the internet was more revolutionary than the invention of the airplane.

Planning Doc


  1. From the research, preparation and the debates themselves, what did you learn about the art of persuasion? Please explain.
  • From the debate, I learned that preparing supporting evidence played a very important part. By giving supporting evidence that proves my statement, the claim would become much more stronger. With a lot of supporting evidence, the tone of my voice changed into a more confident and persuasive tone.
  1. How do you establish credibility as a debater? Explain fully.
  • I think by using reliable sources to support, I can establish credibility. For example, in my debate, I tried to use many different reliable sources such as University research, britannica, brainpop, and more. Through feedback from the peer evaluators, I could clearly see that the establishment of credibility affected the audience largely.
  1. What surprised you the most about your debate and/or the debate experience?
  • I clearly felt that only writing the speech on the computer and saying it out loud had a big difference. As my partner and I felt that we didn’t have enough practice, we were a little worried about the debate. Hopefully, I tried my best to keep a confident and persuasive tone, which led to a good result. Once the debate started, it was a little surprising when both of the debating teams debated with great energy, but without putting in any individual emotions.
  1. What were you most proud of in your own debate?
  • I was most proud of my claims and the supporting evidence, which made the statements stronger.
  1. What would be your next steps? Or in other words, what would you have done differently?
  • If I had another chance, I would work on briefing and strengthening my claim more. Through briefing the statements, it would be more persuasive and short, which would persuade the audience more.

The Debate Footage





During the last few weeks in ELA, we started an informative paper. The paper had to include an introduction, conclusion, and 3 body paragraphs. We firstly had to choose a topic we're interested in, research about it, and make it into a complete informative paper. I chose the topic ISIS and their affects on global security. I was curious about why ISIS kills hostages and how the terrorist group is expanding. After researching, we made note cards that helped me organize my sources and topics. The note cards helped me a lot in writing my paper, as it was color coded and organized in the order of the topics.

  • What was your biggest success?

My biggest success was finding reliable sources and making organized notecards.I tried to focus on finding and paraphrasing reliable sources and facts, as I thought writing facts with trustworthy evidence was the most important trait of this paper.

  • What was your biggest difficulty?

My biggest difficulty was linking and relating the three topics in each paragraph. As we had to include several topics in each paragraph, I had to keep making a connection between each topic, which sometimes made the paragraph sound weird.

  •  What would you have done different?

As I made a mistake of printing at the last moment, I realized I had an error of double spacing and font as soon as I handed it in.  If I had another chance, I would finish everything before class, so I could hand it in without any mistakes.


I think this project was a great experience for me to learn how to write an informative paper. It helped me most in paraphrasing and learning how to connect each topic. I felt that it was a little hard to not include any personal opinion, but I think I improved a lot during this project.

HERE is my paper

MAIN: We planned and started making our eco dome

Our eco dome planning sheet.
Our eco dome planning sheet

Materials (On the planning sheet)

  • Soil - covering 1/4 of the container (environment)
  • 50mL of water (for drinking)
  • Small cup - 1/2 of a 100mL bottle (to put water in)
  • 4 pieces of cabbage (food)
  • 7 slices of cucumber - 1/2 of a cucumber (Food)
  • Plants (Oxygen)
  • Grass/Long plants (for the grasshopper's activity space/obstacle)
  • 3 Worms (cleaning)
  • 2 grasshoppers
  • Several Pebbles (Decoration)
  • 1 Water Plant (activity)

Changes made in the real eco dome (while building)

While we were building, the first thing we noticed was the size of our container. Because of this, we had difficulties actually putting the materials in as we wanted to. Also, this affected the amount of each material that was going to go in the dome. We had to delete a material; the water plant due to lack of space.

We also made some changes in the materials. Firstly, we decided to change the type of plant, due to school plant access restriction. Since we couldn't get the grass on the fields, we instead decided to use the small plants behind the school garden. Secondly, we decided to take out the pebbles, as we didn't think it played a useful role in our eco dome. Lastly, instead of using a divider between the soil and water, to make it easier, we just decided to cut a plastic bottle and use 1/3 as a cup for the water.