Of Famine and Excess

Recently, I was re-reading an old book in my personal library about the life of the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (also mentioned here). The Ashikaga Shogunate, that is the military government in Japan from 14th to 16th centuries,1 started out fairly strong, but quickly ran into a series of succession crises and bad governance that culminatedContinue reading “Of Famine and Excess”

Don’t Play To Win

For those of you who are competing somewhere, consider the following the advice from Kenko in the 13th century Japanese text, the Essays in Idleness: I once asked someone skilled at the board game of sugoroku for hints on how to play. “Don’t play to win,” he said. “Play not to lose. Consider what movesContinue reading “Don’t Play To Win”

Medieval Japanese Social Justice

This week, I’ve been posting lots of interesting quotations from the 14th Century Japanese text, the Essays in Idleness, or tsurézurégusa (徒然草). Kenkō, the author, covered a lot of subjects from idle to spiritual to political. In this excerpt, he covers some important social issues that affected his time as much as it affects ours.Continue reading “Medieval Japanese Social Justice”

Keeping An Even Head When The World Is On Fire

It’s hard to avoid lingering sense of dread, sadness, or fear of the future these days. Of all the problems in the world, climate change is the one that truly worries me the most. I really can’t help but wonder what kind of world I’ll be leaving my kids and (possible) grandkids someday. 😔 WeContinue reading “Keeping An Even Head When The World Is On Fire”

The Death Spiral of Paranoia

Hey folks, I found this random article on ABC News recently on a mom’s obsession with QAnon and how it gradually consumed her life. This article was really interesting to me because it shows how the slow progression of an idea can become all-consuming to the point that it consumes a person, cutting them offContinue reading “The Death Spiral of Paranoia”

Cicero and Catiline: A Big Political Mess

In light of the terrible events this past week, I felt like looking to the past for similar events in history, and the Catiline Conspiracy came to mind. This was an attempt by Lucius Sergius Catilina, who lost the consular election that year, to (quite literally) overthrow the Republican government. One fo the two consulsContinue reading “Cicero and Catiline: A Big Political Mess”

Poverty and Crime

From the 14th century Japanese text, “Essays in Idleness” (tsurezuregusa 徒然草) composed by Buddhist monk Kenkō: I believe therefore that it would be better, instead of imprisoning thieves and concerning ourselves only with punishing crimes, to run the country in such a way that no man would ever be hungry or cold. When a manContinue reading “Poverty and Crime”

Election De Ja Vu

So, how about that election huh? 😅 Anyhow, on the lighter side of things, I found this post on Twitter: This is a spoof account of the famous 16th century Japanese warlord, Ishida Mitsunari, who commanded the “western army” (seigun 西軍) lost a decisive battle at Sekigahara to the “eastern army” (tōgun 東軍) of TokugawaContinue reading “Election De Ja Vu”