Why Was Japan Blind To Its Own Weaknesses During World War II?

Japan initiated its World War II campaign on the basis of a series of assumptions and unknowns. by Warfare History Network Planning a war requires assumptions. However, there should be as few assumptions as possible, otherwise one can assume away all one’s problems. Japanese shortfalls in resources influenced their assumptions in planning for World War II. Because Japan could not successfully fight a long war, planners assumed it would be short—in accordance with the decisive battle doctrine. One big naval battle with the U.S. Pacific Fleet, early in the war, and Japan would emerge victorious. The U.S., on the contrary, always … Continue reading Why Was Japan Blind To Its Own Weaknesses During World War II?

This Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto is teaching Zazen meditation online

Feeling stressed or anxious? Calm your mind with this introduction to Zazen meditation By Kaila Imada  Quarantine and self-isolation are taking their toll and the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic is causing anxiety even among the best of us. If you’re looking to calm your mind and relieve stress, the Taizo-in Zen Buddhist Temple in Kyoto is sharing some Zazen meditation techniques you can practice at home. This informative and engaging video is narrated by the deputy head priest, Daiko Matsuyama, and comes with English subtitles. Zazen meditation comes from Zen Buddhism; it’s said to reveal insights into the nature of existence through focusing on the present moment. The … Continue reading This Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto is teaching Zazen meditation online

On Reading Basho with My Ten-Year-Old

By Marie Mutsuki Mockett  In the column “Inside Story,” parents share the books they are reading with their children to get through these times. By late February of this year, the virus had made me sufficiently nervous that I began packing to leave San Francisco. I wanted to go to my family home on the coast of California where I had grown up. It was isolated and my parents had always kept a pantry stuffed with dry goods, plenty of toilet paper, and two freezers filled with food in the garage. This semi-survivalist attitude had seemed an extreme and eccentric way … Continue reading On Reading Basho with My Ten-Year-Old

What If Buddha and Jesus Were Roommates?

Saint Young Men, a manga about the Buddha and Jesus living in modern Tokyo, is being serialized in English. And religious studies professors are excited. By Jolyon Baraka Thomas Ayoung man lies on his side, bathing in a sunbeam in a bare Japanese-style room. The window is open, perhaps to let in the fresh breeze on a pleasant day. One bird perches on the sill, then another. In moments, a menagerie of neighborhood fauna surrounds the dozing figure. Startled, he suddenly awakes. “N-No, no!” he says.  “I’m not passing into nirvana!” Shooing away the gathered animals, he shouts: “Butt out, buddy!” … Continue reading What If Buddha and Jesus Were Roommates?

We have no place to be 1980-1982

written by Marigold Warner A newly edited and expanded edition of Jōji Hashiguchi’s seminal photobook is published this month. Here, the photographer reflects on his past, and the time he spent documenting the plight of youth in the 1980s In the early 1980s, then-30-year-old JōjiHashiguchi began documenting the youth of his city, Tokyo, Japan. Repressed by the pressures of an oppressive education system and home life, the photographer felt an affinity with these youths, who sought freedom and self-expression on the street.  “It was somewhere one could always be, whether rich or poor,” says Hashiguchi. “For me, the street was one of … Continue reading We have no place to be 1980-1982

Can Mindfulness Save Buddhism in Japan?

In a country where Buddhism has become a “funeral religion,” one Zen monk hopes to use the popular Westernized practice to revive his tradition. By Karen Jensen In the western imagination, Buddhist meditation in Japan evokes the stoic monk sitting full lotus on a tatami mat or the lone hermit climbing to his mountain hut. But in today’s Japan, the models for these images are slowly receding as many people embrace a growing phenomenon— mindfulness, or maindofurunesu (the English word, now a Japanese loanword). In 2017 at least three major Japanese magazines ran cover stories touting the benefits of mindfulness, citing scientific studies, … Continue reading Can Mindfulness Save Buddhism in Japan?

Tokyo’s amazing 2D Cafe looks like an illustration, but it’s an actual restaurant you can eat in!

By Casey Baseel Clever visual tricks and delicious desserts draw us to a new cafe in downtown. Tokyo has no shortage of eateries that take inspiration from the 2-D media world. There’s a permanent Sailor Moon musical restaurant and cafes for both the Pokémon franchise and Square Enix Cafe video game realms, plus limited-time pop-up venues like the Ranma 1/2 Cafe. But the brand-new 2D Cafe in Tokyo’s Shin Okubo neighborhood isn’t called what it is because it’s a salute to settings and characters fans have seen on the screen of their TV. Instead, it makes the real, three-dimensional world look like a flat illustration. The interior uses some clever tricks to … Continue reading Tokyo’s amazing 2D Cafe looks like an illustration, but it’s an actual restaurant you can eat in!