The nearly 400 year legacy of a cutting edge ceramic coffee filter

This NY Times piece on a 1,020 year old shop in Kyoto has been making the rounds online. It got me thinking about other examples of products or skills that have traversed centuries, and a random discovery we made at a shopping stall: a paperless ceramic coffee filter. Last October we travelled to Imari andContinue reading “The nearly 400 year legacy of a cutting edge ceramic coffee filter”

Invoking the God of Letters to fight Coronavirus

In the fight against coronavirus, some in Japan are pulling out all the stops. Kyodo reports that a temple in Kyoto recently held the Kitano Goryoe, a Shinto-Buddhist rite which hasn’t been held since since 1467. The rite originates to the 10th century, and was meant to appease Tenmantenjin (Tenjin for short), a raijin orContinue reading “Invoking the God of Letters to fight Coronavirus”

75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki

The 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb was a couple of days ago. The second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki 75 years ago today, on 9 August 1945 at 11:02. I was in Nagasaki a couple of weeks ago and stopped at the hypocenter monument pictured above. The black monolith points up where at 500Continue reading “75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki”

Sharing some Asia podcast discoveries

I love podcasts, and have been a regular user for about 15 years. I also love audiobooks, which means when I discover a podcast and start going through the backlog, my GoodReads Reading Challenge suffers. This year I have discovered a number of deep podcast catalogs that I thought I would share (in no particularContinue reading “Sharing some Asia podcast discoveries”

Timeline of Japanese in the Okanagan

May is Asian Heritage month in Canada. Here in the Okanagan our local Asian Heritage Month committee has been working for months to ensure that there are a number of events and activities to raise awareness of Asian-Canadian contributions to our communities, and empower immigrants. It all kicks off next week. This year, the JapaneseContinue reading “Timeline of Japanese in the Okanagan”

A hypercompetitive race — review of The History of White People

The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter By default, any book claiming to be a history of “white” people must necessarily be a history of “race science.” Surely one must clearly define the boundaries of your subject? It is Nell Irvin Painter’s careful historiography of those shifting boundaries that make up most ofContinue reading “A hypercompetitive race — review of The History of White People”

Clausewitz Roundtable released as book

Many years ago I participated in an inter-blog (and very detailed!) discussion of the military classic On War by Carl von Clausewitz. The proceedings of that endeavour have been collated into 553 page book, released this week by Ever Victorious Press. I submitted three chapters under my alias at the time “Sir Francis Younghusband.” MyContinue reading “Clausewitz Roundtable released as book”

Shinran and the Buddhist Evangelical movement of Japan

A fifth of Japanese — about 25 million people — identify as practitioners of Jōdo Shinshū, the largest denomination of Buddhism in Japan. My family in Japan are all Jōdo Shinshū, also known as “Shin” Buddhism. I am currently here in Japan, and this weekend we will be performing the 13th memorial service for myContinue reading “Shinran and the Buddhist Evangelical movement of Japan”

An overly positive contribution — A review of How We Got to Now

How We Got to Now: The History and Power of Great Ideas by Steven Johnson I have mixed feelings about this book. I am a big fan of Steven Johnson, and my familiarity of his work might be why I didn’t love this book. In How We Got to Now Johnson explores the scaffolding ofContinue reading “An overly positive contribution — A review of How We Got to Now”