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!”

Superstition in Medieval Times

Lately, I’ve been reading a fascinating book called The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century and the book touches on the subject of science and magic in 14th century England: The lack of distinction between fact and fiction with regard to distant countries is understandable, but itContinue reading “Superstition in Medieval Times”

Medieval Japan versus Medieval England in the Fourteenth Century

I’ve been reading a fascinating book called The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century, and it’s triggered some memories of my studies in college about medieval Japan, plus things I learned over the years from writing blogs. So, this post is a fun comparison between fourteenth centuryContinue reading “Medieval Japan versus Medieval England in the Fourteenth Century”

Understanding the Past

Hi Everyone, In addition to some writings projects, I’ve been also taking time to read a fascinating book called The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century. The introduction includes a very nice passage that I wanted to share with fellow historians: But most of all, it needsContinue reading “Understanding the Past”

Election De Ja Vu

So, how about that election huh? 😅 Anyhow, on the lighter side of things, I found this post on Twitter: This is a spoof account of the famous 16th century Japanese warlord, Ishida Mitsunari, who commanded the “western army” (seigun 西軍) lost a decisive battle at Sekigahara to the “eastern army” (tōgun 東軍) of TokugawaContinue reading “Election De Ja Vu”

Religion and Politics Don’t Mix: A Cautionary Tale

While reading my new book on the Ojoyoshu and its author Genshin, a highly influential Japanese Buddhist monk in the 12th century, I came across the story of two men who were very powerful at the time, and colluded to build the temple of Enryakuji, home of the Tendai sect, to become the most powerfulContinue reading “Religion and Politics Don’t Mix: A Cautionary Tale”

Building an Elven Samurai in Dungeons and Dragons

Yup, an Elf Samurai. One of my favorite things about playing Dungeons and Dragons is the freedom to experiment with all kinds of character concepts, and lately I’ve been pondering over a character based on Elnor from the latest Star Trek series, Picard: Elnor, played by Evan Evagora, is a Romulan warrior who becomes Picard’sContinue reading “Building an Elven Samurai in Dungeons and Dragons”