Monthly Archives: August 2010

Confessions of a Spider Killer

As someone who strives to follow the Buddhist path as best I can, I still find I struggle with upholding the basic code of conduct, the Five Moral Precepts, which have are at their root a way of being beneficial … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Ireland, Religion, Seattle | 9 Comments

Confucius and the Arts

[8:8] Confucius said: “Be aroused by poetry; structure yourself with propriety, refine yourself with music.” (trans. A.C. Muller) This quotation above, from the Analects of Confucius in many ways epitomizes the ideal Confucian lifestyle: the life of a gentleman.1 For … Continue reading

Posted in Confucius, Philosophy | Leave a comment

Sei Shonagon’s “The Pillow Book”

Moving on to other topics, before leaving for Japan a few months ago, I finally finished the famous Heian-era diary, The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon.1 Until now, I haven’t even had a chance to write about the book due … Continue reading

Posted in Japan | 2 Comments

Oh, the joys of being stereotyped

My wife and I like to watch Japanese TV at home with our little one over dinner, since we can get NHK through cable (a la TV Japan). NHK being the state-run channel, tends to be have good family programming … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Zen | 4 Comments

This is why Prostitution is evil, hands-down

Warning: for mature audiences only. While reading this article earlier today from the English-version of the Asahi Shinbun, I damn near threw up at the end. I am a father of a three-year old girl, and I could never imagine … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Religion | 7 Comments

Confucius and the Two Recluses

Recently, among other things, I’ve been enjoying a read of Tsai Chih-Chung’s comic rendition of the Analects of Confucius. For those not familiar, he is a very famous Taiwanese comic artist who is best known for making Chinese classics in … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Confucius, Philosophy, Religion, Taoism | Leave a comment

Tragic stories of post-war Japan

As Japan marks the 65th anniversary of its surrender in World War II recently, newspapers in Japan have been featuring articles and stories about life shortly after the war and the tragedies of the time. Some have a happy ending, … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Family, Japan | 1 Comment

Ennin Goes to China

I found this small article in the Asahi Shinbun newspaper recently, and thought it was pretty cool. This talks about a rock inscription in China’s Henan Province bearing the name of a famous Japanese Buddhist monk of the Tendai sect, … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, China, Tendai, Travel | Leave a comment

Hyakunin Isshu: the card game!

This is not exactly the kind of card games you see in Japan or the West among kids these days, but it’s a popular activity among Japanese families around New Year’s. I talked about the famous Japanese poem anthology, the … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Japanese, Language, Literature, Poetry | 1 Comment

Myoe and Esoteric Buddhism

Recently, I had been avidly reading a book about Myōe, a famous Buddhist scholar-monk from the 13th century, and a contemporary of Jokei and Honen. The author of the book, Prof. Mark Unno, demonstrates how Myō was an eclectic Buddhist … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Hosso, Jodo Shinshu, Shingon | Leave a comment