Anpan and green tea. Foods and flavours, much like aromas, can elicit memories, nostalgia and thoughts of what might have been. Photo: Shutterstock
Wee Kek Koon
Opinion

Opinion

Reflections by Wee Kek Koon

Anpan – the Japanese red-bean bun that brought a Singaporean widow comfort in her later years

In ancient China, red beans were called ‘seeds of longing’, and, according to legend, one widow’s grief turned her into a red bean plant. The same cannot be said for this writer’s grandmother, who also lost her husband, but she did have a fondness for anpan

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Anpan and green tea. Foods and flavours, much like aromas, can elicit memories, nostalgia and thoughts of what might have been. Photo: Shutterstock
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The expected abdication of Japanese Emperor Akihito on April 30 will mark the end of the Heisei era. Photo: Alamy
Wee Kek Koon
Opinion

Opinion

Reflections by Wee Kek Koon

As Japan prepares to mark end of an era, a look back at how China started the system

Era names were first adopted by emperors in ancient China, later by the countries that came under the nation’s sphere of influence, including Korea, Vietnam and Japan

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The expected abdication of Japanese Emperor Akihito on April 30 will mark the end of the Heisei era. Photo: Alamy
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