“Mitsui Shop at Surugacho in Edo,” by Katsushika Hokusai (1831). In the East, the kite was viewed as a means of direct communication with the gods. Buyenlarge / Getty Images IL

The Strange and Violent History of Kites

Much more than a plaything, the kite has a history replete with calamity and misfortune

General Han Xin stood at the edge of his military camp and cast his gaze toward the palace to which his forces were laying siege. A commoner who had risen to distinction through the support of Liu Bang, the...

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