Asia’s Ancient Civilisations: Kingdoms of the East on SBS – How do legacies of the past shape some of Asia’s most modern nations today? Singaporean scholar and curator Peter Lee travels to Japan and South Korea to seek out epic legends and vibrant traditions of four distinct peoples in East Asia.

Episode Three: Japan’s Vibrant Ryukyu Kingdom

Located to Japan’s extreme south, the Ryukyu Archipelago was the setting for the small but vibrant Ryukyu Kingdom that emerged 600 years ago. Peter travels to its idyllic island settings to see how the Ryukyu identity is finding new meaning today as he visits a tattoo studio reviving an almost-lost traditional style, and goes on a beachside horseback ride with the islands’ native horses.

Episode Four: The Ainu

Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido is a must-see tourist destination for millions across the region, but not many know about its ancient inhabitants — the indigenous Ainu people. Peter travels to the land of the Ainu, with its scenic landscapes and abundant natural resources, to learn more about how the Ainu thrive off the land. Along the way, he meets Ainu artisans, visits a traditional village, and goes on a hike in the majestic Shiretoko Peninsula, on the search for wild bears.

Asia’s Ancient Civilisations: Kingdoms of the East on SBS and SBS on Demand – Final Episodes - Sunday, 14 January at 7.30pm (4 parts)

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Asia’s Ancient Civilisations: Kingdoms of the East on SBS