Archive for January, 2007

Problems with Modern Japanese History and Politics

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

I signed up for this class because it sounded interesting. That and I need some social science credits. It was late in the day, but at the time I didn’t really pay attention to that. Honestly, those sort of things are not important to me.

So, I went to the first class and imagine to my surprise that the class is not what the syllabus says, not exactly. The class is a fieldwork exercise kind of like a graduate level class, where the students pick some topic dealling with the people of Japan, get their feet wet, talk to people, have experiences, and then write it up. It sounds like this class could be the most interesting, hardest class I have taken at the uni thus far.

At this point I don’t really know what I want to do for it. We can form into groups, so I think that I will come up with some ideas by friday, and if none of them are workable maybe I will just join up with someone else’s project.

I am really looking forward to starting on something–I dunno what yet though.

Da Buddha

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

I don’t know much about the Buddha. On the other hand, I have watched “little buddha” when I was little (don’t remember much, keanu should not be a buddhaと思う), I have read books and taken classes that deal with Buddhism and from time to time the Buddha.

Today’s class focused on, you guessed it, the Buddha. I say ‘the Buddha’ because, as anyone who has studied modern Buddhism can tell you, there is more than one. (more…)

All About Zen

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

What is Zen?

Honestly, I don’t know. That is why I decided to take a class on it. Zen Buddhism taught by Kenney at Kansai Gaidai. I suppose there are many reasons why I am interested in Zen. It is associated with Samurai and Bushido, at least in america and I have always wondered how killing people can be reconciled with the whole suffering is bad, everything is suffering and everyones suffering should be eliminated bit of buddhism. (more…)

Sick in Tokyo

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

You know what sucks, being in Tokyo and being too tired to see anything. On the other hand, Japanese television provides endless diversion. Ever see the O.C.? How about in Japanese?

Back In Japan

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

I like the Japanese customs system better than the US. Much more friendly. When I went home for christmas, the US customs and immigration officials were kind of pushy and it seemed like they were trying to make me nervous or mess up. Which, I guess they are. Probably they are trained to act that way in hopes that while questioning someone dangerous, they will cause the questionee to slip up. But, I think that any sincerely commited terrorist would have planned for such a contingency and so they mainly serve to scare tourists.

Still, I guess there is some comfort in thinking that such people are guarding the borders–for some people anyway. I would prefer more friendly customs officials.

I have been staying with a friend in Tokyo for the past week or so. It has been nice to get a taste of Japanese home life before I move into my homestay. I am looking forward to the homestay because I think it will improve my speaking skills, which definitely need work.

It comes from my fear of risk, a fear that grows with age unless combated. I was always afraid of making social mistakes because I always felt and still feel out of my element in social situations.

Anyway, I plan to write up some of my travels in Japan later. We will see how this works out. I often make these sort of plans only to not follow through. I hope that spending money on getting this server space will provide the incentive to work on it that is not there when I tried blogging on free sites.

Fr1st p0st

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

Seriously though, this is my first webspace that I payed for directly. At the moment, I don’t know how I want it to look, but I figure I will figure that out as I go.