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”

Ablution in Japanese religion

I follow a certain Japanese taxi company (MK Taxi) based in Kyoto, Japan on Twitter, and they recently posted these photos of rubber ducks swimming in a pool of water. But this is no ordinary pond or pool, this as an ablution pool at Awata Shrine, a small Shinto shrine in Kyoto, Japan. Almost everyContinue reading “Ablution in Japanese religion”

The Beauty of Impermanence

This tweet, posted by the Yasaka Taxi Company in Kyoto, Japan was taken at a Shinto shrine named Tatsumi Shrine. The picture shows a Japanese cherry tree (sakura 桜) with fall leaves. For some reason this really struck me because when people usually think of Japanese cherry trees, they think of cherry blossoms blowing awayContinue reading “The Beauty of Impermanence”

A Buddhist Nativity?

Every year, my family and I are Buddhist, but we tend to celebrate the Epiphany every year because we like the King Cakes that our local bakery sells. Because the bakery includes tiny collectable figurines from the Nativity of Jesus in them, we have collected a number of figurines over time which I keep onContinue reading “A Buddhist Nativity?”

Being An Introvert Sucks Sometimes

Recently, my team at work had a large online party for our senior manager who’s going on paternity leave, with online games like Among Us and other activities. But I quickly felt uncomfortable and decided to drop out. This is not new for me though. In past jobs, when work parties take place, I likeContinue reading “Being An Introvert Sucks Sometimes”

Time and Romance

From the 14th century Japanese text, “Essays in Idleness” (tsurezuregusa 徒然草), composed by Buddhist monk Kenkō: 26) When I recall the months and years I spent as the intimate of someone whose affections have now faded like cherry blossoms scattering even before a wind blew, I still remember every word of hers that once soContinue reading “Time and Romance”