Chanting the Shiseige / Juseige

Just as the Heart Sutra is chanted by a very wide swath of the Buddhist community in the world, within the Pure Land Buddhist community1 there is another liturgy that’s similar in length and popular in Japanese Buddhism called the juseigé (重誓偈), shiseigé (四誓偈) or rarely the sanseigé (三誓偈). These names mean something along theContinue reading “Chanting the Shiseige / Juseige”

Meet The Original Triforce: The Hojo Clan!

I was cleaning out old photos from my phone’s camera roll, when I realized that I still had photos left over from this post, including a photo of my omamori charm that I got from Enoshima Shrine way back in 2019. Sadly that was my last trip to Japan, and I haven’t been able toContinue reading “Meet The Original Triforce: The Hojo Clan!”

Introducing the Karoshthi Script, a script of the Silk Road

The Silk Road, especially during the time when Buddhism first propagated out of India into the northwest and then east into China, is a fascinating point in history. Much of this is epitomized in a little-known writing system called Karoshthi. At that time, much of the world from Europe to Asia spoke a language calledContinue reading “Introducing the Karoshthi Script, a script of the Silk Road”

Reading Kids Manga In Japanese

My kids and I love playing the game Splatoon 2, a quirky game with a lot of satire on Japanese society, but also some very creative backstory too. We love playing Ranked Battles, but I am consistently trying to keep up with my kids who are both B ranked, while I am still mostly CContinue reading “Reading Kids Manga In Japanese”

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!”

Counting Down to Bodhi Day

Bodhi Day, sometimes called Rohatsu in some traditions, is celebrated in the Japanese-Buddhist calendar every year on December 8th in accordance with the tradition that Shakyamuni (a.k.a. Siddhartha Gautama) attained full enlightenment on the morning of the 8th day of the 12th month of the lunar calendar. In Japan, this is known formally as shakaContinue reading “Counting Down to Bodhi Day”

Summer Heat and the Day of the Ox

Summers in Japan are nothing to sneeze at. The sun is hot, but the humidity is stifling. Since the Edo Period (1600-1868), there is a custom in Japanese culture that during the hot summer season, one can get relief from the summer heat and increase stamina by eating a kind of freshwater eel called unagiContinue reading “Summer Heat and the Day of the Ox”