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Asian history

Zheng He and the Treasure Ships

Zheng He led expeditionary voyages from China in the 15th century. While there are many tall tales about his accomplishments, his actual life was pretty spectacular without them. See more »

China and Japan After the Doolittle Raid

After the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, the punishment that Japanese forces doled out in China for their part in helping the U.S. was brutal and devastating. From terror occupations to biological warfare, many of China's towns were systematically destroyed. See more »

Asia and the 'New World': An Interview with Dennis Carr

It's easy to think of globalization as a new invention, but it really has its roots in the 16th century. Museum of Fine Arts Boston curator Dennis Carr talks to us about Asian influences on art in the colonial Americas thanks to this global trade. See more »

Hokusai

Hokusai lived during a time when there wasn't a lot of contact between Japan and the West. But even so, he drew influence form Western art, and Western art was greatly influenced by his own work. See more »

Everest: Getting to the Top of the World, Pt. 2

After WWII ended, efforts were resumed to conquer Everest, but it took many, many teams and missions to reach the summit. Eventually, a bee keeper and a Sherpa achieved that loftiest of goals. But what's happened on Everest since then? You can read the show notes for this episode here. See more »

Everest: Getting to the Top of the World, Pt. 1

Once a British survey effort identified Peak XV of the Himalayan range as the highest point on Earth, a committee was formed with one goal: Get to the top. Early expeditions gathered data and made runs up the mountain, until WWII put a halt to things. Here are the show notes for the episode. See more »

Crown Prince Sado of Korea

Crown Prince Sado of Korea -- sometimes called Korea's "Coffin King" -- has been described as insane, depraved and sadistic, but when you examine his short life, it's more complicated than a list of acts of savagery (though there are plenty of those). See more »

Avicenna

You may never have heard of him, but Avicenna was one of the first, and probably the most influential, Islamic philosopher-scientists. He's listed among the great philosophers in Dante's Inferno and is mentioned in the prologue to the Canterbury Tales. See more »

Sei Shonagon and the Heian Court

Thanks to the pillow book of lady-in-waiting Sei Shonagon, we have a first-person account of court life in Heian Japan. It's part diary, part commonplace book, part essay collection, and thoroughly fascinating. See more »

Boxer Rebellion

"It was a culture clash of epic proportions. The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising, was a gruesome, violent slaughter of Chinese Christians and foreigners - followed by a gruesome, violent slaughter of the Boxers. " See more »