Author Archives: Doug

About Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

Lafcadio Hearn’s “Of A Mirror And A Bell”

This is the last story in our Halloween week here at the ol’ blog from Lafcadio Hearn’s famous book Kwaidan, which contains weird, old tales from 19th century Japanese culture. Some of these stories are well-known today, and I see … Continue reading

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Lafcadio Hearn’s “A Dead Secret”

Hello, As mentioned in my last post, this week’s posts are themed for Halloween with a Japanese twist. I am posting old stories from Kwaidan, a famous book of Japanese weird tales by Greco-Irish author, Lafcadio Hearn. In Japan he … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Literature | Tagged | 1 Comment

Lafcadio Hearn’s “Rokuro-Kubi”

Hi everyone, Halloween is coming soon, so for the blog, I thought it would be fun to post stories by Lafcadio Hearn (Koizumi Yakumo 小泉八雲) from his famous book Kwaidan, which in modern Japanese is “Kaidan” (怪談). In the past, … Continue reading

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Burning the Candle At Both Ends

Hi Everyone, In the past month or so, I’ve been participating in two Buddhist groups: one Jodo Shinshu (the temple in Seattle) and an online Zen sangha that’s pretty well-known. I talked about going to the local Jodo Shinshu temple … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Jodo Shinshu, Zen | 4 Comments

The Science of Kanji Part 7: Reading Compound Words

Most people who learn Japanese kanji, or Chinese characters, tend to learn them in isolation: one character at a time. But in reality. They are often used as compound words. So learning individual characters isn’t enough: you have to learn … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese, Japanese, Language | 4 Comments

Ohatsumairi: Visiting the Buddha for the First Time

This Sunday, my baby-boy “Little Guy” took part in a Japanese-Buddhist ceremony called ohatsumairi (お初参り) or more formally, shosanshiki (初参式). The word ohatsumairi literally means “first visit” where “mairi” is from the humble verb mairu (参る). This is somewhat similar … Continue reading

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Foreigners on Japanese TV

As many folks know, Japan and other Asian countries are pretty ethnically homogenous. In Japan, 99% of the people there are ethnically Japanese, they speak Japanese language, they eat Japanese food, do things the Japanese way, etc. So, there aren’t … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Japan, Japanese | 3 Comments