My recent visit to Korea and Taiwan introduced me to cultures that stretch back over millennia. Their history is frequently measured by the succession of dynasties, some extending over hundreds of years. When, in Taipei, I visited a museum that houses many of the treasures that have come down to us from the Yuan, Ming and Qing eras, for example, I found myself asking, “Where are they now?” Once mighty dynasties are now … no more. Even though they were marked by great power and enormous wealth, nevertheless they lasted but for a time, only to be replaced by others, which, in their turn, faded away.

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