Monthly Archives: May 2010

Issa Poetry Online

Buddhism and Poetry are nothing new to Japan, if not Buddhist cultures in general, but in the case of Japan, the main poet of note is of course Basho, whose haikus have inspired many generations. However, in Japan, three other … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Jodo Shinshu, Literature, Poetry | 3 Comments

Room for Improvement: wise words from Confucius

Recently, while having lunch with a friend, I was reminded of this quotation from the Analects of Confucius: [7:22] Confucius said: “When three men are walking together, there is one who can be my teacher. I pick out people’s good … Continue reading

Posted in Confucius, Philosophy, Religion | Leave a comment

Congrats to the Lee Family!

Fellow Buddhist blogger from Singapore, Yueheng, and his longtime girlfriend got married today. Just wanted to say congratulations (being a married man myself for 6 years now), and best wishes to the new Lee family!

Posted in Family, General | 2 Comments

A Refutation of Exclusive-Nembutsu Pure Land Buddhism

Note: long-winded post. Sorry for anyone not interested in the topic. Felt like getting this off my chest. :p Lately, as I have been able to enjoy a small break in life, work and so on, I delved into some … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Hosso, Jodo Shinshu, Jodo Shu | 15 Comments

Ainu Gods and Religion

The Ainu ethnic group in Japan is something I know very little about, so I was intrigued by this small article on the Asahi Shinbum newspaper, about the coming of bear and killer whales to northern Hokkaido island. As the … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Religion, Shinto | Leave a comment

Japanese Particles, redux

Make no mistake, one of the most difficult aspects for English speakers learning Japanese language are the little particles. In the past, I wrote at length about my efforts to master Japanese particles, thanks to helpful book I read, but lately … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Language | 3 Comments

Super Mario Bodhisattva?

Taking a break from the subjects of religion and travel in Japan (mostly), I wanted to bring up something I finally noticed after all these years. I grew up as a real, genuine Nintendo fan as a young boy. I … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Photography, Technology | 4 Comments

Part Three of my Tokyo Tour: Takahata Fudō Myōō

After taking a long lunch-break followed by coffee near Ueno Station in Tokyo, we were ready to make an extended trip out to a famous Shingon Buddhist temple: Takahata Fudō, more formally called Kongōji (金剛寺). It was here that I … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Jodo Shinshu, Photography, Shingon, Shinto, Tendai, Travel | 3 Comments

Part Two of my Tokyo Tour: Another look at Ueno Park

This is part two of three for the day tour of Tokyo with reader “Johnl”. In our first part, we visited the famous Shinto Shrine of Yushima Tenmangu, and from there, it was a nice short walk to Ueno park. … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Hosso, Japan, Photography, Shinto, Travel | 4 Comments

Understanding Rank in the Heian Court

Lately, I’ve been reading a book about the life of the famous scholar-poet, Sugawara no Michizane, whom I’ve written about in the past here and here, but the book talks in great deal about the ranking system that the nobility … Continue reading

Posted in Japan | 7 Comments