WE DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT Takei Nekketsu. The proprietor of a dry-goods store, he was one of the many small business owners who made up the thriving Japanese community of early 20th-century Honolulu. But Nekketsu had a number of special talents. He wrote some of the earliest Japanese-language histories of Hawai’i, and he made maps.
One map in particular, from 1906, shows his skill. Census records don’t tell us if Nekketsu had formal cartography training, but the map’s precisely labelled lines, crisp angles, and delicate calligraphy reveal a practiced hand. And the contents of the map reveal a practiced palate.
Read more at Atlas Obscura. Featured Image: The Huntington Library, Public Domain.
AT FIRST, IT DIDN’T LOOK like much: a clearing about an hour’s walk into the dense forest of British Columbia’s Seymour Valley, with some rusted cans scattered among the dank leaves and moldy tree trunks. It was 2004, and Bob Muckle, an archaeologist and anthropology instructor at Capilano University, was looking for a site to teach his students excavation. When a forester told him about the household artifacts locals had found in the clearing, Muckle assumed the area had been an early-1900s logging camp, one of the many small settlements that housed men who worked in the area’s timber industry.
Read more at Atlas Obscura. Featured image: Interned Japanese men in Canada.
WHEN FOOD BECAME SCARCE UNDER Taliban rule, Hoor got creative. Since the Mujahideen conflict, trade between neighbors had been periodically forbidden, rations were portioned out to the privileged, and even growing garden plots could be risky. But years of war had taught her how to find food for her family in a pinch. Hoor snuck groceries under her chadari, or veil, stretched poor-quality rice imported from Bangladesh into filling meals, and turned to the black market for meat.
Read more at Atlas Obscura. Photo: borosjuli, CC BY 2.0.