Japanese New Year: a shopping list

If you, or a loved one, are celebrating Japanese New Year, Oshōgatsu (お正月), you may need to do some shopping. During the December in 2021, we got snowed in really bad, and my wife couldn’t go to the local Japanese supermarket to buy goods and ingredients herself. So, I went on her behalf using publicContinue reading “Japanese New Year: a shopping list”

Designing Big Boss Encounters in D&D

Recently, my kids and I finished our long-term campaign in Eberron. The big climax to the campaign was a battle with the mad scientist who had transferred his consciousness to a great glass orb, and whose stat block was similar to a Beholder. But then, I started having misgivings, and was worried about the kidsContinue reading “Designing Big Boss Encounters in D&D”

Funerary and Memorial Practices in Japan

Since my mother in law passed away recently, and my wife is back in the US, I’ve had a crash-course on memorial practices in Japanese culture, and wanted to share in case others run into this too. Much of these practices are rooted in a fascinating combination of native Japanese religion, blended with Indian-Buddhist practicesContinue reading “Funerary and Memorial Practices in Japan”

Being A Burden To Others

In the 14th century text, the Essays in Idleness, Kenko writes: 140) The intelligent man, when he dies, leaves no possessions. If he has collected worthless objects, it is embarrassing to have them discovered. If the objects are of good quality, they will depress his heirs at the thought of how attached he must haveContinue reading “Being A Burden To Others”