Asian History

North, South Korea Form Tag Team to Get Traditional Wrestling Unesco Heritage Status

The two nations filed a historic joint application to place traditional Korean wrestling on the world cultural heritage listing

A man cleans a skull near a mass grave at the Chaung Ek torture camp run by the Khmer Rouge in this undated photo.

Landmark Verdict Finds Two of Khmer Rouge's Surviving Leaders Guilty of Genocide

It is the first time that such a verdict has been meted out against high-ranking members of the brutal Cambodian regime

Residents of a village on the main island Hokkaido (pictured) didn't realize one of the small, uninhabited islands, Esanbe Hanakita Kojima, off the coast near them had vanished completely.

How a Japanese Island Quietly Disappeared

Esanbe Hanakita Kojima, as the island is called, may have been eroded by wind and ice floes

The sample included women from 31 out of 34 Chinese provinces and 36 out of 55 ethnic minority groups

Largest Ever Study of Chinese People’s Genetics Reveals Insights on Migration Patterns, Diet, Disease

Scientists analyzed DNA samples from 141,431 pregnant Chinese women, or roughly 1/10,000 of the country’s population

Former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, Tainan city councilor Hsieh Lung-chieh and Huang Shu-jen, head of a local group established to commemorate "comfort women"

Taiwan Unveils Its First Statue Honoring ‘Comfort Women’

The monument has sparked diplomatic tensions with Japan

Lion Forest Garden.

This City in China Has the Most Unesco-Recognized Gardens in the World

Suzhou has more than 60 gardens dating back to 600 AD, and nine have collective World Heritage status

An 8,000-year-old skull found in Gua Cha, Malaysia, provided DNA used in the study

Ancient DNA Offers Insight on Origins of Southeast Asia's Present-Day Population

Researchers sequenced 26 genomes using DNA samples dating as far back as 8,000 years

Ceramic box base with a Chinese inscription that mentions  a  place, Jianning Fu, which dates from AD 1162 to 1278.  From the Java Sea Shipwreck.

An 800-Year-Old Shipwreck Helps Archaeologists Piece Together Asia’s Maritime Trade

A new date for the Java Sea shipwreck could shed light on the politics of Chinese trade routes

The butchered rhino

700,000-Year-Old Butchered Rhino Pushes Back Ancient Human Arrival in the Philippines

The find changes the story of human migration, but scientists still don't know what human species did the cutting

This silk velvet ikat robe was made specifically for a woman, as evidenced by the pinched waist. Velvet ikats were considered top-of-the-line, the Freer|Sackler's Massumeh Farhad explains, because two rows of weft were needed instead of the usual one.

How the Technicolor Ikat Designs of Central Asia Thread Into Textile History

A new Smithsonian exhibition sheds light on the rich backstory of an oft-imitated tradition

rice wine

Bottle of 2,000-Year-Old Rice Wine Found in Chinese Tomb

The bronze jug was dated around the late Warring States time period and the Qin Dynasty

Ahmad Shah (r. 1909–25) and his cabinet   by Assadullah al-Husayni naqqash-bashi, 1910

In Persia’s Dynastic Portraiture, Bejeweled Thrones and Lavish Decor Message Authority

Paintings and 19th century photographs offer a rare window into the lives of the royal family

Made of fermented vegetables, kimchi was popularized globally during the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

How the 1988 Olympics Helped Spark a Global Kimchi Craze

The Summer Games in Seoul introduced a new international audience to the delicious and stinky staple

Johnson pressed his ear to this humble cup to hear the tap code messages of his friend Bob Shumaker in the next cell over.

The Indomitable Spirit of American POWs Lives On in These Vietnam Prison Keepsakes

For seven years an internee at the infamous "Hanoi Hilton," Congressman Sam Johnson entrusts his story to the Smithsonian

A flag with Korean peninsula unification symbol at the opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Is Reunification Possible for North and South Korea?

North Korea has taken up the South's invitation to the Olympics, but a quick look at the history suggests that unity is not as close as it may seem

The USS Pueblo, a Navy intelligence-gathering ship, was patrolling international waters in January 1968 when it was captured by North Korean vessels.

Fifty Years Ago, North Korea Captured an American Ship and Nearly Started a Nuclear War

The provocative incident involving the USS Pueblo was peacefully resolved, in part because of the ongoing Vietnam War

Close-up image of mural depicting the battle in Phra Ubosot, Wat Suwan Dararam, Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Thailand Drops Charges Against Historian Who Questioned the Facts Around Historic 16th-Century Duel

Sulak Sivaraksa cast doubt on whether the legendary King Naresuan had really defeated an adversary while riding an elephant

The Buddhist Sculpture Gallery at the National Museum of Korea.

Seven Must-See Museums in South Korea

Get cultured while you’re in the country for the Winter Olympics

The Freer Buddha undergoes a CT scan at the National Museum of Natural History. "He wouldn't relax his legs," Donna Strahan recalls with a laugh.

How Science is Peeling Back the Layers of Ancient Lacquer Sculptures

These rare Buddhist artworks were found to contain traces of bone and blood

A new dragon statue guards the Citadel in Hue, seized by northern forces during the 1968 Tet Offensive but then recaptured in some of the fiercest combat of the Vietnam War.

Revisiting Vietnam 50 Years After the Tet Offensive

The battles of 1968 are long over. But the struggle to confront the truth goes on

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