Category Archives: Politics

Another Excuse to Argue

I found this comic by XKCD recently and thought it was hilarious: When I first came to Buddhism in 2005-2006, there were many things I didn’t understand. So, I did what any nerd would do: I looked things up on … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japanese, Language, Politics, Religion | Leave a comment

Property, It’s All About Property

Recently I was watching my favorite war movie, The Thin Red Line, which you can see the trailer here (if you’ve never seen the movie before): Although it’s a war movie, the movie is more about humanity and why we … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Politics, Theravada | 7 Comments

Japanese Buddhism in the Community

I was inspired by a couple stories from the Japan Times about Buddhist priests in Japan from a few weeks ago. But first a brief explanation of Buddhist clergy in Japan. Usually, the term “monk” in Buddhism or bhikkhu implies … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Jodo Shu, Politics, Religion | 2 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

Old Enemies Become Friends

This was a gift I received from a friend in Ireland. We used to work together when I lived in Ireland, and he is ethnically Russian,1 grew up in Azerbaijan in the Soviet Union, but eventually became a Polish citizen … Continue reading

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A Brief History of Confucianism in Edo-Period Japan

I spent part of last year reading a fascinating collection of essays under the title of Confucianism and Tokugawa Culture by Peter Nosco and other contributors. The book and the essays examine the Edo Period, the Tokugawa Shogunate, and how … Continue reading

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Rethinking the Imperial House of Japan

The Japan Times recently had an interesting article about the Imperial Family of Japan, and how the current law has made the family so small, that there are very few heirs left. The Imperial Household Law of 1947 (Kōshitsu Tenpan … Continue reading

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Heike And Genji: Making the Big Screen

Recently, while visiting NHK’s studio park recently, I was excited to see that they were making a new drama about the Genpei War, the famous war between the Genji and Heike clans. In Western textbooks, they’re usually called the Taira … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Literature, Politics, Travel | 2 Comments

Nakae Chomin: The “Modern” Confucian

Switching gears, I was recently reading a great collection of essays in the book Confucianism and Tokugawa Culture, and the final essay in the book covered the life and thought of a Meiji-era Confucian scholar and journalist named Nakae Chomin … Continue reading

Posted in Confucius, Japan, Politics | 2 Comments

Meet the Rebels of Libya

Since the outbreak of the civil war in Libya, I’ve been avidly watching the news almost daily. I’ve written about it in the past,1 hoping that the conflict will end soon, and even now as we watch the fall of … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Politics | Tagged , , | 7 Comments