Category Archives: Literature

Teaching Japanese Poetry to Kids

My daughter is now five years old and she attends a couple different preschools. One is American while the other is Japanese. Also, she attends a little “after school” Japanese class where she learns things like reading, culture and so … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Literature | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Good Advice for Study

After finishing the book on Han Feizi, I started reading the book written by the famous Confucian scholar Xunzi (荀子, 312–230 BC), particularly the Burton Watson translation. Xunzi is pronounced like “shoon-tsih” by the way.1 Like all Confucian scholars, he … Continue reading

Posted in Confucius, Japanese, Korean, Language, Literature | 4 Comments

Han Feizi: Total Bastard

Lately, besides my usual projects (blog, plus Korean studies), I’ve been reading a famous Chinese book called the Han Feizi (Burton Watson’s excellent translation). Han Feizi (韓非子, 280–233 BC) was the foremost thinker in the Legalism school of Chinese thought … Continue reading

Posted in China, Confucius, Literature, Philosophy, Politics | Leave a comment

No Really, This Too Shall Pass

(Just dust in the wind, dude) A few months back, I had a powerful feeling of nostalgia. Before our daughter was born my wife and liked to play computer games: Halo, Diablo 2, Age of Empires (my wife always play … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Dune, Religion | Tagged | 9 Comments

Long Gone: The Ancient Egyptians

When I was in high-school, I remember spending a lot of time at home, reading about ancient civilizations. I would listen to my Seattle grunge music1 and read long books from the school library about the Sumerians, the Egyptians, Babylonians, … Continue reading

Posted in Dune, Literature, Philosophy, Religion, Seattle, Zelazny | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Akira: 30 years later

Recently I was reading this interesting article by the Japan Times about the famous Japanese manga, Akira, and it’s amazing how much time has passed since it was first published. The article makes a very good point: There’s no denying … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Literature | Tagged | 5 Comments

Ikkyu-san, the Clever Little Monk

One of the most famous and lovable Buddhist monks in Japan is Ikkyū, affectionately called ikkyū-san (一休さん) in popular culture. Ikkyu-san is a clever, and mischievous young Buddhist monk (kozō 小僧) who often outsmarts adults, and helps his friends. There … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Family, Japan, Literature, Zen | 4 Comments

“Space Brothers” coming to the big screen!

I was very excited to hear from my wife a while back that one of my favorite Japanese manga, 宇宙兄弟 (uchū kyōdai) or “Space Brothers” is coming to the big screen in Japan. When I was first looking for Japanese … Continue reading

Posted in Astronomy, Japan, Japanese, JLPT, Language, Literature, Science | 5 Comments

Is There More Than This?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about a quote from Roger Zelazny’s Isle of the Dead:1 Even if they had been real gods, what did it matter? What was it to me? Here I was still, right where I was born a … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Confucius, Literature, Religion, Shinto, Zelazny | 3 Comments

Hats for Jizo: A Japanese Buddhist Tale

Note: One day last month, my wife asked me to help translate a Japanese children’s book into English for a presentation at my daughter’s pre-school. It is a famous old tale (mukashi-banashi 昔話) in Japan. This is my completed translation, … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Family, Japan, Literature, Religion | Tagged | 7 Comments