Don't tell the Japanese instant noodles is really Chinese!


In 2000, the Japanese public voted instant noodles as the most important food invented in the 20th century. Little do they know that it was invented by a Chinese.

It is on record that Momofuku Ando (above) of Osaka, the founder of the giant food concern Nissin Food Products, invented instant noodles in 1958. What is almost never mentioned is that Ando, now 98, was born a Chinese named Wu Bai-fu.

Older than Bond, James Bond


The art of stealth has deep roots in the Indian, Chinese and Japanese cultures.

Espionage is said to be the second-oldest profession in the world, (presumably driven by a demand from wives whose husbands were busy being supplied by the first) and some ancient Asian civilisations were particularly good at it. In fact, many spying techniques that were used in ancient China, India and Japan may have predated modern intelligence methods by several centuries.

Outward bound


Newly discovered sources point to a golden age of Japanese seafaring during which the Marco Polo of Japan lived.

Before the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry’s "black" ships on the shores of Edo in 1853, Japan was a country known for its notorious isolation from the outer world. All overseas trade was restricted, and most Japanese ports were closed to foreign ships. Such isolation, however, was not always the case, as newly discovered sources point to a golden age of Japanese seafaring during the early 17th century.

Blind man's bluff


A 79-year-old woman triumphs over a revisionist historian's assault.

"We remember the suffering of the individual women who were subjected to sexual violence by the Japanese military, lament the victims of wartime sexual violence throughout the world, pray for a peaceful world without war." These words are inscribed in 12 languages on a cenotaph unveiled on Japan's Okinawa island.

Apology for a rape


The Nanjing Massacre is a sore point in Sino-Japanese relations and something has to be done about it soon.

nanjing massacre

A Sino-Japanese time bomb is ticking. If nothing is done to defuse it, it will explode in December 2007, when China commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Rape of Nanjing.

No comfort for the women (Part 1 of 2)


For 50 years, Jan Huff O'Herne clung on to a secret she could not tell her family because she was too ashamed.

Whether it was her birthday or Mother's Day, O’Herne’s two daughters knew never to bring her flowers; they just didn't know why. Then one day in 1992, by the time they were all grown up, they finally uncovered the reason through a 30-page letter from their mother.

No comfort for the women (Part 2 of 2)


For 50 years, Jan Huff O'Herne clung on to a secret she could not tell her family because she was too ashamed

<BACK to No comfort for the women (Part 1 of 2)

Because of the trauma her body had gone through, O’Herne suffered four miscarriages and had to have a major operation before she could bring a baby to term.

India's poor little rich prince


The waxing and waning of the Nizam of Hyderabad reflects the waves of change that have swept the sub-continent since India's independence.

chowmahalla palace

It starts off with the whiff of an Indian fable, turns into a cautionary tale on the crosswinds of post-colonialism, then veers into a modern soap opera involving politics, eccentric royals, squabbling relatives, international lawyers and the world of high finance.

2008: The Chinese odyssey


Forget all you learnt about Columbus. It was the Chinese who discovered America.

And no, it is not China making the claim.

The Menzies were in Beijing to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary but Gavin went home with more than souvenirs and photographs. The retired British Royal navy submarine captain returned to London with the foundation for a book that would rewrite world history.

As they toured, his guide was getting exasperated, unable to answer his questions.

"Why were the Forbidden Palace, the Temple of Heaven and the Great Wall near Beijing all completed in 1421?" he asked.

For Mickey's a jolly good fellow


On November 18, 2008, he turned 80. Arguably the most famous cartoon character on earth, everyone knows him as Mickey Mouse but few realise he started his life as a rabbit.

The saga of Mickey began when Walt Disney, son of an Irish immigrant, left Kansas City in 1920 to seek his fortune in Hollywood, armed with only US$40 in his pocket and a half-finished cartoon in his suitcase.

Disney was a great showman, and a genius animator and story-teller. But Hollywood closed its doors on him. It was Margaret Winkler, a New York distributor, who recognised his talent and commissioned a series of short animation stories.

Recommended Reading


voicesAnother Point

of View


Cricket: The Great Indian Obsession
Little Sisters
Eco-label questioned
Our Chico in heaven

100 DAYS

100 days blogAn imaginary factual blog of General David Petraeus, Commander, United States Central Command