The old soldiers moved in while their enemy was at breakfast. About 40 men, all South Korean veterans of the Vietnam War, massed at the KAL Hotel on the island of Cheju in February to ambush a crusading graduate student who calls them "madmen and barbarians." In a series of controversial articles, Koo Soo Jung had alleged that her countrymen massacred thousands of civilians in Vietnam--a claim that challenges the veterans' status as heroes in South Korea.
America's biggest industrial giant is trying an old tactic in South Korea--the kowtow. After negotiating unsuccessfully since 1998 to penetrate East Asia's most protected automobile market, General Motors is hanging its hopes on a foreign pitchman dressed in traditional Korean clothes.
If it were not for two GIs and a Leica camera, Taejon's horrors might have escaped history's judgment. In mid-1950, according to declassified American documents published in a Seoul newspaper on Jan. 7, South Korean military police executed hundreds of left-wing political prisoners there before retreating ahead of communist invaders during the opening weeks of the Korean War.
Satoshi Miyazawa found his dream home while surveying old buildings for Japan's cultural-affairs agency in 1963. Built in Niigata prefecture in 1803, the classic minka, or "people's house," had vaulted ceilings, posts and beams honed from ancient trees and a thatched roof pitched steeply to shed winter snows.
Japan's boldest Internet warrior jumped at the chance to play his hero. Last February Softbank founder Masayoshi Son donned a traditional kimono and joined a group of young entrepreneurs, intellectuals and politicians to stage an amateur production of "Step Forward Ryoma, Stand Up Venture Patriots!" The drama chronicles the life of Ryoma Sakamoto, a swordsman who fought to modernize Japan after Commodore Matthew Perry's "black ships" forced open trade in 1853.
Carlos Ghosn didn't earn his nickname by biding time. So when "Le Cost Killer" strode to the podium in a packed Tokyo ballroom last week, he got right to the point. "Nissan is in bad shape," declared the Brazilian-born Renault executive dispatched from France after his company took control of Japan's second largest carmaker in May.
Seoul's doomsday scenario begins at Shingye, a secret North Korean military base located 100 kilometers above the 38th parallel. Elite troops, acting on orders from strongman Kim Jong Il, arm hundreds of Scud missiles with chemical and biological weapons, then launch a massive first strike against South Korea--home to 37,000 American troops.
Takeo Nakajima's entrepreneurial dreams materialized in his childhood bedroom. Last year the 25-year-old Keio University graduate turned the tiny space into a warren of cheap computers, tangled cables and scurrying part-time employees who work odd hours and nap on futons tucked under desks.
Partly buried in the gentle surf, a rusting cannon points northward over Iron Bottom Sound, graveyard to an armada. On Aug. 7, 1942, U.S. Marines stormed ashore here on Red Beach to seize the island of Guadalcanal, turning back Imperial Japan's blitzkrieg across the South Pacific.
The West Side Outlaws rule the western suburbs of Honiara, and always leave a calling card. War zone, they scrawl on thatch huts newly "cleansed" of migrants from Malaita. 2 PAC OUTLAWZ, KILL 'EM ALL, they scribble on a nearby roadblock built of oil drums and old timber.
Salevaa Atisanoe never had much time for tradition. As a hulking adolescent in Hawaii, he was always playing the clown. "Sale" was the kid who got his friends in trouble by making them crack up in class, the teammate who sprayed shaving cream on his buddies at football camp, the extrovert who hammed up the school's Polynesian dance revues by improvising his own groovy moves.