Showing posts from 2017

Reading List for Japanese Culture!

All of the books below I have read in part or whole (some I have written about) and highly recommend if you are studying Japanese literature or even the language, after all, language is culture.

Joe's Top Ten Must Reads:
Ki no Tsurayuki's Tosa Nikki (土佐日記) 935Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji Translated by Royall Tyler (源氏物語) 11th centuryMori Ogai's The Dancing Girl(舞姫) 1890Natsume Soseki's Kokoro (心) 1914Tanizaki Junichiro's Naomi (痴人の愛) 1924-1947Kawabata Yasunari's Snow County (雪国) 1935-1937Mishima Yukio's Confessions of a Mask (仮面の告白) 1948Dazai Osamu's No Longer Human(人間失格) 1948Oe Kenzaburo's The Catch (飼育) 1957Murakami Haruki's A Wild Sheep Chase (羊をめぐる冒険) 1982Supplementary Material
Donald Keene: Donald Keene the godfather of Japanese literary criticism. Arguably, there is no one who has contributed more to the interpretation of Japanese literature than this man.Modern Japanese Literature: From 1868 to the Present Day (1956)Anthology o…

Train Your English Podcast

A Japanese friend of mine and I have been working hard recording episodes for our new Podcast, Train Your English. The podcast features three levels of English instruction; beginner, intermediate and advanced. The advanced level may appeal to those of you who regularly read my blog as it's conducted entirely in English and we discuss very similar topics relate to Japanese culture that I post on my blog here. Definitely check it out!

Website: iTunes Podcast Android Podcast

Japanese Spirituality

Before diving into spiritualism, I need to discuss the foundation with which spiritualism is build upon in the West and in Japan. And before I get too far it would be appropriate to define what I mean by "the West". For the sake of convenience, when I talk about the "West" I am talking about cultures who embrace and have a rich tradition in or relation to Greek philosophy as a frame work for rationalizing nearly everything (Americas, Europe, parts of Eurasia and the middle east). Okay, so lets get into it.
In the West when we try to rationalize the world around us, we often do so through the lens of Dualism. Dualism is the idea that there are always two opposing or contrasting concepts for nearly everything. For example, good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, man vs. nature, etc. It also explains why westerners, and very much the English language, is geared for discussion and debate. Conversely, pluralism is very dominate in the Japanese world view. Pluralism is the idea t…