Monthly Archives: March 2010

Japan’s most dangerous monastery

Since I am doing a double-post today, I wanted to post an article that talks about Japan’s most dangerous monastery. This seems related to the Shugendo mountain ascetics found in Japanese religion, who combine an eclectic mix of Taoism, tantric … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Shinto, Taoism | Leave a comment

JLPT Roundup, March 2010

Doing a double-post today (second one coming later), as I have no real updates from the previous month’s JLPT check-in. Still reading a lot of manga and listening to Japanese lessons. My Anki vocabulary list is also swelling into the … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, JLPT | Leave a comment

Buddhist Yojijukugo: beyond words?

I wanted to post a little something I found interesting, today. As readers know, the subject of Buddhist vocab in everyday Japanese use interests me quite a bit. I never really appreciated Buddhism until I went to Japan in 2005 … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japanese, Jodo Shu | 1 Comment

What is “Cool Japan”?

This phrase is something I’ve seen more and more in recent years, and I have to admit I’ve given it a lot of thought, because of my own interests in this culture. Since my childhood in the 3rd grade, when … Continue reading

Posted in Japan | 6 Comments

Reading Japanese Manga in 5 Easy Steps

Coincidentally, as I tried to improve my Japanese through reading manga, I found this helpful link in Twitter by a fellow writer named “Rainbowhill” on how to read manga for fun and for education. For anyone who’s tried to read … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese | 4 Comments

Buddhist vocab in Japanese everyday use, part 2

As long-time readers may have noticed, I like tracking examples of Buddhist terms in common Japanese-vernacular, and recently I stumbled upon another while reading the little manga book on keigo. In one example scene, Chibi Marukochan’s mom is talking to … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese | 7 Comments

Worst. Shogun. Ever.

No, not this guy: I am talking about the famous (or infamous) Shogun named Ashikaga Yoshimasa: You see, recently, using a little store credit I got at,1 I picked up a book by Professor Donald Keene about the life … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Jodo Shinshu, Jodo Shu, Zen | Leave a comment

Hidden Buddhas in Japan

This post is made possible by a nice article sent to me by “Robert” over at, from the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper. The topic is on “hidden Buddhas”, and the frequent practice in Japan of keeping the central Buddhist figure … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Travel | 2 Comments

Here comes the Bonsai Rider!

I found yet another intriguing little article on the Asahi Shimbun newspaper recently about an enterprising fellow who has become a local celebrity in Tokyo: the Bonsai Rider. The Bonsai Rider is a local gardener who wasn’t selling many bonsai … Continue reading

Posted in Ireland, Japan | 4 Comments

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day 2010

This year, I can’t be in Ireland for Saint Patrick’s Day as I was last year, but I thought I would share a couple pictures from my time there: This was taken during the big parade in downtown Dublin, which … Continue reading

Posted in Ireland, Travel | 7 Comments