Tomorrow morning I am leaving the snow packed ice box of Kurobe for “the garden island” of Kauai for two weeks to meet up with my dearly loved and sorely missed girlfriend, Jolene! (See hot chic in picture above) It’s time for a bit of a break from budo and blogging, though I’m pretty sure… Continue reading Holiday Hiatus
First of all, I’d like to apologize about the troubles I had in making the last post which was a book review of “Japanese Buddhism.” Premature postings I made by mistake made for a hardly intelligible read, but it’s all fixed and final now. If you read through it all in the past day, then… Continue reading Merry Christmas da yo!
In my quest through Japanese religion, I have just finished reading “Japanese Buddhism: A Cultural History”, written by Yoshiro Tamura. The book discusses Buddhism in other countries, Buddhism in Japan, Japan before Buddhism, other religions in Japan, Japanese history, Japanese anthropology, and modern perspectives, all in a book that’s only 232 pages. For such a… Continue reading Book Review: "Japanese Buddhism: A Cultural History"
Here is Part III of my book review of “The Catalpa Bow: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan”, written by Carmen Blacker. This is a continuation of the discussion on the three important practices, or gyou, that are carried out by Japanese shaman ascetics: fasting, cold water austerities, and mantra chanting. In the last… Continue reading Book Review – "The Catalpa Bow" – Part III: Suigyou
Here I will begin addressing topics specifically discussed in Carmen Blacker’s book, “The Catalpa Bow: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan.” This book covers a very broad subject in shamanism with a wide variety of investigations, but what I have been most interestested in is the ascetic practices in Japanese religion, and in this… Continue reading Book Review – "The Catalpa Bow" – Part II: Fasting
In attempt to find the root and reasoning for Japanese culture as a whole, I have been directed to this book written by Carmen Blacker, “The Catalpa Bow: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan.” In this quest to better understand Japan, I have found myself repeadetly focusing on religion as the conductor of belief… Continue reading Book Review – "The Catalpa Bow: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan" – Part I: Introduction
About one month ago, I was required to go to a two-day Mid-Year Seminar for my job as an English teacher where I along with the other ALTs (assistant language teacher, aka, English speaking dancing monkey) presented and watched various speeches and classes on teaching English in Japan. There were many informative and interesting bits,… Continue reading The Freedom of Capoeira
This has been my number one demon-question that has haunted me throughout my martial arts experience: How far forward should we be in a front stance? So the knee is still behind your toes? Your knee is just over your toes? Or past your toes? In the early stages of Hawaiian kenpo, I was told… Continue reading How Far With the Knee?
I have stumbled upon this thought when trying to explain aikido people. More specifically, why every movement between the tori (thrower) and uke (throwee) seems to be so controlled and why aikido may look to be so staged. In the martial arts I have practiced for significant periods of time (tai chi chuan, Hawaiian kenpo,… Continue reading Aikido’s Strange Beauty
The other night I took my third Aikido test: gokyuu. Compared to the other tests, I think I’ve had more time to practice the tested techniques and had more help with them, but I felt more nervous, and was less happy with my performance in the end. This is certainly a sign of the increasing… Continue reading 3rd Aikido Test