Monthly Archives: January 2010

Jplt roundup, January 2010

This is part of a monthly series I’ll post summarizing my efforts thus far to prepare for this year’s JLPT certification test. Hopefully this will guide other, future test-takers. So, for January, I have been working on the following: Evaluating … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, JLPT | 4 Comments

Introducing Jōkei: the forgotten Hosso Scholar

Lately, I’ve been avidly reading a book about the life and thought of a certain Buddhist monk named Jōkei (貞慶), though his posthumous name is gedatsu shōnin (解脱上人). Jokei is one of the most respected monks and scholars of the … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Hosso | 3 Comments

Japanese Ascetic Training: shugyō

I’ve been inspired lately by reading a certain manga my in-laws gave me a while ago, depicting Japanese Buddhist founders and their lives. The manga, mentioned briefly before (see footnote), is in Japanese, and pretty difficult reading too, so it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Shingon, Shinto, Tendai, Zelazny | 6 Comments

Winning isn’t everything

I found this article recently on the Asahi Shimbun and thought it was a really nice story. This is about a veteran sumo wrestler named Kaiō Hiroyuki (魁皇 博之, JP Wikipedia link here), who has never won the title of … Continue reading

Posted in Japan | 4 Comments

Being a gentleman, according to Confucius

Something I found in the Analects of Confucius while researching another post. The ideal person in Confucian thought is the gentleman, a kind of gentleman-scholar, faithful to others, sincere in deeds, and never giving up in his efforts of self-cultivation. … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Confucius, Philosophy, Religion | 8 Comments

A Look at Shinto Attire

This post was inspired by Google searches that reach my blog occasionally. It seems people would like to know more about the dress used by Shinto priests, so I did a little research on the subject and post this online … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Shinto | 4 Comments

Particles, particles, particles!

As my study of Japanese language continues, one of the most frustrating and bewildering aspects of Japanese are particles. Particles are tiny words that are used in Japanese to mark something else. They don’t have any direct translation, which is … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, JLPT | 2 Comments

Shinran’s 750th Memorial

This Sunday at our Buddhist temple in Seattle, we undertook one of the most important holidays in Japanese Jodo Shinshu Buddhism: Hōonkō (報恩講), the memorial of our sect’s founder Shinran: Shinran passed away approximately 750 years ago, though I think … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Jodo Shinshu, Jodo Shu, Zen | 8 Comments

Hearn and Militant Religion

This is a quotation from Lafcadio Hearn’s essay “A Conservative” published in 1895 in Kokoro. I just had to post it because it sounds all too familiar: Even today in the West unthinking millions imagine some divine connection between military … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Religion | 5 Comments

Coming of Age Day

For young adults in Japan today is an important day. January 15th is Coming Of Age Day or seijin no hi (成人の日). This day, celebrated all the way back since 714 AD, celebrates a young adult who has turned 20 … Continue reading

Posted in Japan | 1 Comment