Happy Belated New Year!

Hello Readers! Although the first couple weeks of 2021 have been kind of lousy for us all, I wanted to take a moment to say “happy new year!” to you all. In Japanese, people greet one another the first time they meet after the new year with a special greeting. First, people say to oneContinue reading “Happy Belated New Year!”

That Which Arises…

From the first sermon of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (SN 56.11) : That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus of the group of five were glad, and they approved his words. Now during this utterance, there arose in the venerable Kondañña the spotless, immaculate vision of the True Idea:Continue reading “That Which Arises…”

Cicero and Catiline: A Big Political Mess

In light of the terrible events this past week, I felt like looking to the past for similar events in history, and the Catiline Conspiracy came to mind. This was an attempt by Lucius Sergius Catilina, who lost the consular election that year, to (quite literally) overthrow the Republican government. One fo the two consulsContinue reading “Cicero and Catiline: A Big Political Mess”

Nanakusa: Holiday of Seven Herbs

As readers may have noticed from past posts, I have posted about certain traditional Japanese holidays, called sekku (節句). Examples included Girls Day (March 3rd), Children’s Day (May 5th), Tanabata (July 7th) and Day of the Chrysanthemum (September 9th). The last holiday on my list is actually the first on the calendar: Nanakusa (七草) whichContinue reading “Nanakusa: Holiday of Seven Herbs”

Bōnenkai: Forgetting the Old Year

As my last post for 2020, I wanted to share a small feature of Japanese culture called the bōnenkai (忘年会) which are parties meant to say goodbye (lit. “to forget”) to the old year. The last week or two may be filled with bōnenkai: work parties, parties with circles of friends, associates, etc. Such partiesContinue reading “Bōnenkai: Forgetting the Old Year”

Japanese Christmas Wrap-Up

Hi folks, The week between Christmas and New Years is always a whirlwind of events as we prepare for Japanese New Year (oshōgatsu お正月), kids birthdays and other things. I didn’t get to this as soon as I would like, but I finally had time to post photos from Christmas. We did not participate inContinue reading “Japanese Christmas Wrap-Up”

Io Saturnalia, Baby!

December 17th was formerly the start of an ancient Roman holiday called Saturnalia. To celebrate, let me post this awesome video by Historia Civilia about it: Contrary to popular belief, Christmas is not directly derived from Saturnalia, but did adopt some aspects such as gift giving and festivities. Christmas derives its date more from aContinue reading “Io Saturnalia, Baby!”