All posts filed under: East

Kyoto’s Pavilions of Beauty

At midday in Kyoto James and I were enjoying a quirky Japanese TV show – a miscellany of over-excited hosts, cartoonish animation, and video game-ish sound – sitting cross-legged on the comfortable tatami mat inside our hotel room. At the same time on our laptops […]

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Kyoto: A Prologue

In the final weeks toward the first ever use of an atomic bomb in warfare, a list of Japanese cities was compiled by the US military and scientists as potential targets to bring down the Asian superpower. Each city was carefully selected based on the […]

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Kurashiki: A Glimpse of Pre-War Japan

Anyone who has explored big cities in Japan might notice the endless rows of incongruous concrete buildings dominating their skylines. Despite the elegance and restrained beauty the Japanese are famous for, I wondered why they built those ugly boxes of uninspiring edifices. Japan’s ambition to […]

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The Invincible White Heron

In Ancient Egypt, the heron was believed to be the creator of light, while the double-headed heron symbolized prosperity. Halfway across the world in Ancient China, the bird was regarded as a symbol of strength, purity, patience and long life. However in Japan, an egret […]

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Okayama Delights

Moving on from something good can sometimes be very difficult. And that was exactly what happened to me after my first trip to Japan last year. It was not the country itself that had me utterly captivated, although many things I observed and experienced there […]

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A Tale of Three Cities: Hong Kong

This is a story of three Asian metropolises whose modern hustle and bustle dates back to many generations ago. Money and trade had helped propel these cities into prominence, and they will continue to do so in the years and decades to come. One is […]

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Osaka Calling

One morning, more than twenty years ago when I was still living in a small city in the westernmost end of Java, I was having instant noodles while watching a Japanese anime on TV. My father who had been noticing this new habit I was […]

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Impressions of Japan

Dreams do come true. It is something that we are constantly reminded about upon seeing other people’s dreams fulfilled as well as ours. However as we grow older sometimes we forget about the dreams we had when we were much younger, for there is no shortage […]

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The Spice Odyssey, A Prologue

Asia. Home to 4.4 billion people, more than half of all human beings on this planet. It is where some of the greatest civilizations the world has ever seen flourished. It is where gunpowder, papermaking, printing and the compass were invented; where Hinduism was created […]

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Maritime Asia, Past and Present

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana, American-Spanish philosopher and novelist Since the invention of raft which eventually led to the creation of ship, humans have wandered not only across rivers and lakes, but also seas and oceans to […]

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