All posts tagged: history

Tang Shipwreck: Digging into Controversy

In the ninth century CE, an Arabian dhow sailed from the Middle East to China, possibly bringing precious cargo from Africa, Arabia, Persia, and other places along its journey to the Far East through the Indian Ocean, the Strait of Malacca, and all the way […]

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Chasing the Sun in Nara

Holidays are usually a time that people use to decouple themselves from the stress of work and reconnect with things they love; this often involves sleeping in and waking up whenever their bodies want. But when that thing you love is related to outdoor photography […]

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Surabaya: Brash and Brave

Once upon a time in the 12th century, a Javanese oracle foresaw an epic fight between a giant shark and a giant crocodile in the Brantas River in eastern Java. About a century later, an event interpreted as the manifestation of this prophecy occurred: the […]

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Destruction and Rebirth of Gyeongbokgung

Palaces… always built on a monumental scale, at auspicious sites, and embellished with rich ornamentation. Unlike great temples, churches or mosques which were commissioned to mark great rulers’ authority over their subjects (unsurprisingly, religion has been used to rule people for thousands of years), palaces […]

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The House of Korean Treasures

Many people travel across the world to see ancient ruins dating back to hundreds, even thousands of years ago to marvel at the ingenuity of masons, sculptors and artisans who lived long before our time. Museums, however, despite housing some of the best and most […]

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Javanese Royal Palaces: Yogyakarta

On August 15, 1945, people across Japan, at that time an empire encompassing large swathes of Asia, heard something they considered unthinkable. The once formidable power officially surrendered to the Allies in an announcement made by Emperor Hirohito himself. Very early the next day in […]

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Javanese Royal Palaces: Surakarta

Considering the total population of Java today, one might be startled to realize just how many people live on this Indonesian island. Java’s land area is slightly smaller than Florida, and just a little bit bigger than the whole of Greece. However, while the Sunshine […]

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Candi Badut: A Remnant of Kanjuruhan

In the eighth century, several centuries after Hinduism arrived in Java, the fertile island where towering volcanoes took lives but replenished the soil saw the beginning of temple construction in earnest. The central part of Java in particular witnessed the proliferation of Hindu and Buddhist […]

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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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The Custodian of Champa’s Treasures

For centuries, the mountainous region of modern-day central Vietnam was a natural border separating the land of the Cham people in the south from that of Dai Viet to the north. With towering peaks that soar from the country’s interior all the way to the […]

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Australia, Building A New Nation

On July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia, thirteen colonies in North America declared independence from the United Kingdom, 169 years after the first colony was established. During British rule, not only did these colonies receive an influx of merchants from across the Atlantic, but also convicts, […]

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