Monthly Archives: July 2011

JLPT N2 and Reading Comprehension

With about 4.5 months left before the JLPT N2, I have been focusing on two main areas: reading and listening. Listening I can do at home watching TV with my family, or talking with my wife and daughter. Practice tests … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, JLPT, Language | 4 Comments

Monsters of Japan

In Western culture, we have some classic monsters that every one knows like Dracula, the Werewolf, Frankenstein, zombies and so on. But Japanese culture has its own monsters too that are deeply woven into the culture. These are collectively known … Continue reading

Posted in Japan | 6 Comments

Staying Cool in Japan

My old Japanese calendar shows that we’re nearing the time of year known as daisho (大暑) or “great heat”, around July 23rd. With temperatures in Japan reaching past 32C (90F), and the humidity worsening, it’s a difficult time to be … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Travel | 5 Comments

Bonodori thorugh Japanese manga

One of the most popular traditions associated with the Obon Season is bonodori (盆踊り) which just means “Obon Dance”. Obon is a huge outdoor, community event where people gather, and dance in a large circle. The dancing is very simple … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Jodo Shinshu, Religion, Travel | 2 Comments

A Very Brief History of Buddhism

That Buddhism is bound to perish in its encounter with Western civilization and Christianity seems a forgone conclusion. (pg. 130) –The gist of Japan: The Islands, Their People, And Missions (published 1897), Rev. B. Perry, Ph.D. In the year 2008, … Continue reading

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Fragment: a scary story by Lafcadio Hearn

As a tradition I do every year, I like to post scary stories around Obon Season in Japan (mid-July to mid-August). This is another great story by the famous Greco-Irish author, Lafcadio Hearn, who in Japan is well-known by the … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Literature, Religion | Leave a comment

The story behind Obon

Today is a Buddhist holiday in Japan known as Urabon-e (盂蘭盆会), which also starts the season of Obon in Japan. The holiday is a time to honor the dead, and try to relieve their suffering in hell or in other … Continue reading

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Grilling, Japanese Style

No summer is complete without barbeque, and in Japan this tradition is the same as anywhere. Here at the home of the JLR, we recently purchased a Big Green Egg, which is designed after traditional Japanese furnaces or kamado. The … Continue reading

Posted in Cooking, Japan | 4 Comments

A couple snafus

Hey all, The blog’s been suffering a bit lately. I posted the last two posts too early due to scheduling mistakes on my part. I am using two different ways of updating the blog, and they express time differently, hence … Continue reading

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Confucius: Never Stop Studying

Recently, I was reminded by my wife about the importance of knowledge and education. It’s something we often take for granted in today’s era of universal (and often sub-standard) education, but throughout human history, education was something crucial and opened … Continue reading

Posted in Confucius, Religion, Seattle | 2 Comments