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7th century Tang dynasty painting of envoys from the Three Kingdoms of Korea: Baekje, Goguryeo, and Silla (Public Domain)

The Age-Old Bone-Rank Caste System of the Korean Kingdom of Silla

In several cultures one’s social standing was determined by one’s birth, which included or precluded certain privileges and even determined the cutlery one was allowed to use. Such was the caste...
This 14th-century Persian painting portrays a scene from the Kushnameh in what scholars believe could be the betrothal of prince Abtin (kneeling) and Silla princess Frarang (sitting). (Hanyang University Museum)

The 1,500-Year-Old Love Story Between a Persian Prince and a Korean Princess that Could Rewrite History

More than a thousand years before the first European explorer reached Korea’s shores, the Persian Empire was writing love stories about Korean princesses. It’s a little-known story that could change...
The letter (Image courtesy Andong National University)

Last Words of Love Were Sealed for 500 Years in a Korean Tomb

I just want to go to you. Please take me to where you are. My feelings towards you I cannot forget in this world and my sorrow knows no limit. Where would I put my heart now and how can I live with...
Remains of what appears to be a flush toilet made during the Unified Silla Dynasty in the 8th century have been discovered in a secondary palace in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea.

A Stone ‘Throne’: 8th Century Toilet Unearthed at Korean Palace Complex

Archaeologists in South Korea have unearthed the remains of a royal bathroom. The discovery provides insight on what high-end hygienic services would have looked like for royals over 1000 years ago...
Magu, Goddess of Longevity and immortal hemp maiden.

Magu: The Hemp Goddess Who Healed Ancient Asia

"Cannabis" and "criminal" are synonymous in many countries. While cannabis has been steadily weaving onto the "right" side of the law in recent years, the "high" people get from the plant is still...
Museum diorama depicting scholars from the Joseon Dynasty (Public Domain), and script from the Hunmin Jeongeum Eonhae

What Happens if Scholars Rule a Kingdom? How Korea’s Kingdom of Joseon Lived Up to its Legendary Namesake

By the 14th century, the foundations of Korea’s Goryeo Dynasty (918 -1392 CE) started to collapse from years of war and de facto occupation from the Mongol Empire. The royal court in Goryeo was at...
Magu, Goddess of Longevity and immortal hemp maiden

Wearing it, Smoking it, or Selling it? The Hazy History of Cannabis in Ancient Korea

Cannabis. Even the word is enough to bring people closer or drive them further away. Although the topic of legalization is controversial in the USA, not all regions have felt this way. In fact, the...
Bizarre Alien-Like Skull Unearthed in Korea was Naturally Formed

Bizarre Alien-Like Skull Unearthed in Korea was Naturally Formed

Archaeologists have unearthed an elongated skull in a grave belonging to the ancient Silla culture of Korea, which experts say was NOT deliberately flattened through the practice of cranial...
A dolmen on Ganghwado, South Korea.

Looking for the Origins of the Mysterious Dolmens of Korea

The megalithic constructions in Korea are mind blowing. Researchers still have more questions than answers, but the hundreds of dolmens are among the most fascinating archaeological sites in the...
A reconstruction of a hwacha.

The Powerful Hwacha: An Early Korean Rocket Launcher

The hwacha (which roughly translates as fire chariot ) is a type of weapon developed in Korea, and used by its army on the field of battle. This weapon is best known for its deployment during the...
Celadon: Appreciating Pottery for its Aesthetic Value and Magical Qualities

Celadon: Appreciating Pottery for its Aesthetic Value and Magical Qualities

Celadon pottery (also known simply as ‘celadon’) is a type of ceramic that originated in ancient China. Celadon is well-known for its jade-like color, which it obtains due to the glaze that is...
Unfolding the Golden Nuggets of Early Chinese Paper Folding and the Art of Origami

Unfolding the Golden Nuggets of Early Chinese Paper Folding and the Art of Origami

Paper folding is a form of art that most people today associate with Japan. Indeed, Japanese origami is arguably the most well-known type of paper folding today. What is perhaps less well-known is...
A modern religious painting shows the Founding-King in similar motifs.

The Legendary Founder of Korea, Dangun Wanggeom

According to Korean tradition, Dangun Wanggeom (known also as Dangun or Tangun) was the legendary founder of Gojoseon (or ‘Old Joseon’), the first recorded state in Korean history. This state...
Remnants of an "o-kabe" structure in Takatori, Nara Prefecture, Japan. The white holes surrounding the square are where poles had been placed. (Kazuto Tsukamoto)

1500 Year Old Korean Meeting Place Uncovered in Japan

Remains of an o-kabe style building have been excavated in Takatori, Nara prefecture, Japan. Evidence suggests that the building was used for meetings by foreigners. It has been dated to the 5th...
The front of the shipwreck believed to be from a failed 1281 Mongolian invasion on the sea floor off a Japanese island

Second shipwreck from Mongolian invasion of Japan found on seabed

A second ship and many artifacts from the Mongolian fleet that tried to conquer Japan in 1281 have been found on the sea floor, researchers said. Mongolian invasions in 1274 and 1281 AD ended in...
Remnants of the castle found in Kyoto

Remains of castle built by powerful Japanese feudal leader unearthed in Kyoto

Archaeologists believe they have found the remnants of a powerful Japanese feudal leader's heavily fortified “phantom castle,” so-called because historians thought it had been destroyed in an...

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