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.
The festival Naadam is like the Mongolian equivalent of the Olympics, with just three sports: wrestling, archery, and horse racing.
As part of a secret government project begun in 1967, the Chinese scientist Tu Youyou discovered an ancient herbal remedy that would end up saving millions of lives.
Fukuoka, Japan, is home to an iconic ziggurat-like building topped by a dozen roof garden steps.
Between 2004 and 2005 the North Korean television show Common Sense ran a propaganda series titled Let’s Trim our Hair in Accordance with the Socialist Lifestyle.
Christianity was banned in Japan in 1614. For the next 250 years, the Kakure Kirishitan (hidden Christians) worshipped in secret.
In 1971, Mongolia’s Minister of Culture decided that the country needed its own rock band, and so Soyol Erdene was born.
Most of the world drives on the right side of the road, but some countries drive on the left. What happens at the borders between right and left countries?
Mainoumi Shūhei is a legend in the world of sumo for defeating opponents more than twice his weight.
There’s an extinct species of gibbon, Junzi imperialis, we only know about because a Chinese noblewoman kept it as a pet more than two millennia ago.
Mike returns home from the Vietnam War with PTSD. He joins an underground fight club and wrestles with his own inner demons. Also: Mike is an adorable penguin, and this is one of the weirdest anime films to come out of 1980s Japan.
In Japanese folklore, turtle monkey demons can steal your soul… by pulling it out of your anus. Fortunately, they have easily detachable arms and like cucumbers.
When a location is abandoned by humans, nature returns. Sci-fi author Bruce Sterling calls these feral landscapes involuntary parks.