Monthly Archives: December 2010

Ringing in the New Year in Japan 2010

Things are of course winding down here in at my wife’s house in Japan for the new year. Among many traditions here, you can see people flocking to their local shops and drug stores to redeem coupons for a chance … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Religion, Shinto, Travel | 1 Comment

Reliving Final Fantasy Fun

When I was a young lad, about 10, I was a proud owner of the original NES 8-bit system, complete with games like Legend of Zelda, Super Mario and such. But probably my most favorite game was Final Fantasy I, … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Technology | 2 Comments

Respect the Geisha!

Geisha are a subject I usually don’t take much interest in, but I recently read this article by the University of Kyoto which reminds people to respect Geisha and the apprentices (Maiko). It’s a known problem in Japan that foreigners … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Travel | 4 Comments

A Moonlit Night

On a recent evening, while taking out the trash, I took this photo of the moon. Being a cold Autumn evening in early December, I found the moon captivating: Which seemed to fit a certain poem from the Hyakunin Isshu … Continue reading

Posted in Photography, Poetry | 3 Comments

Thanks Everyone and Happy Holidays!

Today is Christmas Morning over here, but with my wife and daughter over in Japan, and me working a lot of on-call shifts at work, I am not really doing much. I spent the morning, before my shift, cruising around … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

A look at Lady Murasaki’s Diary, part 4: Malaise

Can I remain indifferent to those birds on the water? I too am floating in a sad, uncertain world. –Lady Murasaki’s Diary, page 22 Lately, I’ve been reading the Diary of Lady Murasaki, which I discussed previously. Though very short, … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Literature | Leave a comment

JLPT N2: time to get it done!

Recently, while surfing the Intertubes1 I found this helpful site which posits the age-old question:2 “Is the JLPT worth it?”. Speaking as someone who recently took the new JLPT N3 test, and am still waiting on the results (and not … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, JLPT, Language | 8 Comments

A Modern Look at the Four Gratitudes

My little girl goes to “Dharma School” almost every Sunday, which is the Buddhist version of “Sunday School”, here at the Buddhist temple in Seattle. She’s almost four years old, and this past weekend for Bodhi Day, they made these … Continue reading

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After a recent snowfall here in Seattle, I thought this poem from the Hyakunin Isshu seemed fitting. 朝ぼらけ asaborake 有明の月と ariake no tsuki to みるまでに miru made ni 吉野の里に yoshino no sato ni ふれる白雪 fureru shirayuki Surely the morning moon, … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Photography, Poetry | 4 Comments

An Example of Rinzai Buddhist Liturgy

In April readers will no doubt recall my trip to Japan and in particular Kyoto/Nara which I hadn’t seen in five years. Among the many sites there we saw the Silver Pavilion, which is technically a temple of the Rinzai … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Japanese, Latin, Tendai, Zen | Leave a comment