When It Turns Out Your Heritage Isn’t Really Your Heritage

This is pretty small beans compared to other things going on in the world, but recently my sister let me know an interesting historical detail about my paternal grandfather and what it means for our Scottish heritage, and sense of identity in general. My dad’s wife has been an avid genealogist ever since she decidedContinue reading “When It Turns Out Your Heritage Isn’t Really Your Heritage”

Ohanami, Ohisashiburi

For the first time in 3 years, since before the pandemic started, we visited my alma mater and saw the cherry blossom trees there! The Japanese phrase ohisashiburi (お久しぶり) is a stock phrase you often hear in Japanese meaning “long time no see!”, and that was the feeling we had when we visited the trees.Continue reading “Ohanami, Ohisashiburi”

Keeping An Even Head When The World Is On Fire

It’s hard to avoid lingering sense of dread, sadness, or fear of the future these days. Of all the problems in the world, climate change is the one that truly worries me the most. I really can’t help but wonder what kind of world I’ll be leaving my kids and (possible) grandkids someday. 😔 WeContinue reading “Keeping An Even Head When The World Is On Fire”

Finding Refuge Amidst Anxiety, Lots of Anxiety

This tweet from the awesome Sententiae Antiquae blog had me thinking lately: When life feels overwhelming, I tend to think about a Buddhist text called the Immeasurable Life Sutra1 which is a highly influential in Mahayana Buddhism. It is one of my personal favorites. The first half of the sutra is the most extensive introductionContinue reading “Finding Refuge Amidst Anxiety, Lots of Anxiety”

Winter Is Here

Winter is here in the Pacific Northwest! In the old Japanese calendar, this period is known as rittō (立冬, “first winter”). My gardening book mentioned that historically frost comes around here typically on November 17th, and I was quite surprised to see that it really happened: The trees around my son’s elementary school were beautifulContinue reading “Winter Is Here”

Happy Moon Festival 2021!

The Moon Festival (中秋節), celebrated across east Asia starts tonight depending on your time zone. I got to celebrate on Animal Crossing: New Horizons by decorating my “home” with regional treats: moon cakes from China at front, colorful song-pyon from Korea on the back-right and white dango from Japan on the left. In Japan, theContinue reading “Happy Moon Festival 2021!”