At several points around the world, three time zones meet.
Why do monolingual Japanese speakers have difficulty distinguishing “l” and “r” sounds? And why do monolingual English speakers have difficulty distinguishing “t” and “th” sounds? [2 of 2]
In 1989 the residents of Sōbetsu, Japan, formalised rules for competitive snowball fighting. Thirty-one world championships have since been played in the town.
In 1943 a new volcano arose in Hokkaido. The Japanese government managed to keep it a secret for several years.
In 1968 a North Korean black ops assassination team got within 100 metres of the South Korean president’s house. South Korea formed a team of petty criminals and teenagers to return the favour, but after three years of training they mutinied.
On June 25, 1900, tens of thousands of important historical manuscripts were found in a secret room within the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas in Dunhuang, China, where they had been hidden for nearly a millennium.
Underneath Beijing is a vast network of tunnels built during the Cold War to shelter three million people during a nuclear attack.
We know how Chinese was pronounced 1400 years ago thanks to the world’s oldest surviving rhyming dictionary.
At the emotional climax of a Kabuki play, performers will strike a stylised pose to drive home the drama of the moment.
Buddhism was made the state religion of Silla (a kingdom in early Korea) because a court official planned his own martyrdom.
The Emei music frog of China advertises the size and suitability of their underground burrow through the acoustic properties of their croaks.
In 1958 Mao Zedong declared war on sparrows. Although he won that battle, China lost the war.
When a samurai received a new katana, the sharpness of the sword could be tested by attacking a random civilian or (after that was banned) by slicing a criminal or corpse.
Chinese wuxia (and derivative Western) fiction describes the touch of death, a single blow that can kill an opponent. Surprisingly, this is actually possible.
The closest approximation of Pi for nearly a thousand years was calculated by Chinese mathematician Zu Chongzhi around 480 CE, using an algorithm developed by Liu Hui.
Around 255 CE, a Chinese inventor named Ma Jun created a chariot that could always point south – without using magnets.