Asian History

Pearls have been a symbol of extreme wealth for thousands of years.

Here's Why Pearls No Longer Cost a Fortune

Coming up with ways to lower the price of pearls—either through culturing or by out-right fakery—took centuries

The infrastructure and technological systems were upgraded, the carpeting removed, and the original terrazzo floors restored

A Fresh Look for Smithsonian's Oldest Art Museum

The Freer's renovation comes with a new thematic presentation of Asian Art—and the Peacock Room is reopened, as well

The responsive-design website fits your phone, tablet and computer and can be used to make an itinerary for easy printout and planning.

Take a Tour of the Smithsonian's Asian Pacific Collections this Autumn

Diverse artifacts all across the Smithsonian Institution captivate and confound in equal measure

In the late Bronze Age, ca. 500-450 BCE, bells were made in sets that rang different notes according to size.

A Rare Collection of Bronze Age Chinese Bells Tells a Story of Ancient Innovation

These rarely played ancient bells are newly analyzed with their acoustics remastered and digitized for a new exhibition at the Sackler Gallery

A succulent spread from Petworth-based Japanese restaurant Himitsu, one of the many D.C. vendors that will be represented at IlluminAsia.

You've Never Tasted "Street Food" Like This Before

For its grand reopening, a hub of Asian-American culture serves up a culinary wonderland

When Did East Asian Countries Adopt the Western Calendar and More Questions From Our Readers

You asked, we answered

This resplendent Tibetan shrine room will greet visitors to the Sackler Gallery's upcoming "Encountering the Buddha" exhibition.

From Egyptian Cats to Crime Scenes, Here's a Preview of the Smithsonian's Upcoming Shows

Gallery-goers in D.C. and NYC are in for a mental workout with shows that deliver on everything from the experimental to the traditional

Construction of the royal pyre in Sanam Luang for King Bhumibol Adulyadej's cremation continues in preparation for the funeral in late 2017.

An Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Funeral Fit for a King

For the first time in more than 70 years, Thailand is saying farewell to its monarch

Statue at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, a museum of the Korean War located in Pyongyang. Exhibits include a 360-degree diorama of the Battle of Daejon. In addition to the many statues, murals and artifacts contained in the museum is the USS Pueblo, a U.S. Navy ship that was captured by North Korean forces when it allegedly entered North Korean territorial waters in 1968.

The View From Pyongyang: An Exclusive Look at the World's Most Secretive Nation

One photographer journeyed into North Korea to catch a unique glimpse of a country under a dictatorship

To the naked eye, the Albireo star system looks like a single, brilliant star. In reality, this binary system consists of two stars, similar to the ones witnessed by Korean astronomers nearly 600 years ago.

The Secret Lives of Cannibal Stars Revealed, Thanks to 15th Century Korean Astronomers

For the first time ever, astrophysicists observe the entire life cycle of a binary star system

Chinese laborers comprised the largest non-European workforce during World War I, and were tasked with everything from digging trenches to manning factories.

The Surprisingly Important Role China Played in WWI

In turn, the peace talks that ended the war had an enormous impact on China's future

Mahatma Gandhi, center, confers with leaders of the All-India Congress Party, Aug. 1942

The Speech That Brought India to the Brink of Independence

Although the 1942 'Quit India' movement was hardly peaceful, Gandhi's 'Do or Die' address inspired a nation to unify against its British colonizers

Zhang Zeduan, "Along the River During the Qingming Festival"

This Taiwanese Museum Just Digitized Its Massive Collection of Chinese Art

70,000 images are available for download via the National Palace Museum's website

North Korean soldiers carry flags and a photo of late leader Kim Il-sung during a military parade on Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Why North Korea Needs an Enemy Like America to Survive

The nation’s complicated history hinges on three words that explain the totalitarian regime's behavior

A painting depicting a tribute giraffe and a handler sent to China in the 15th century.

The Peculiar Story of Giraffes in 1400s China

During China's short-lived golden age of exploration, two giraffes came to the imperial court

Josh Brolin stars in Spike Lee's 2013 remake of the Korean cult classic Oldboy.

The Smithsonian's Curator of Asian Film on Where Spike Lee's Oldboy Fails

The Sackler Gallery's curator Tom Vick wonders why Hollywood directors and producers even bother remaking films when the originals were so excellent

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