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Monday, June 4, 2007

Sweet Sweet Karma
Head over to Adam's page.

Ahh I love karma when it's not coming back to bite me.


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Monday, May 7, 2007

On Sakura viewing
So I thought I'd do a bit of exposition on the history behind my comments on this week's show.

We'll start off with Buddhism. Originally started in India, moved over to China and from there to Japan. The biggest sects are Pure Land (shin-gon-shu) and True Pure Land. Both are heavily practiced in Japan. Original to Japan is Zen. It keeps the basic tenets of Buddhism with one major exception.

Buddhism has it's own version of the 10 commandments, basically be cool to people. But it's based on the idea that life is a wheel. You constantly revolve around through life and death. Be cool to people each life and your next life will be better, until eventually you will be cool enough to become enlightened. This just means that you've finally realized the "Truth" of the life, the universe and everything. Next life you'll end up in Nirvana.

Zen differs from every other sect of Buddhism in that you only have this life. Life is finite, and every person has the element of Nirvana in them that gives them the capability to achieve enlightenment in this lifetime. Of course, meditation is a large portion of this. Zen also uses Koans in their practice (what is the sound of one hand clapping, etc.) to help them reach enlightenment. But it also really emphasizes living without regrets in a straight-forward path.

Samurai. Zen was the primary religion of the Samurai, with the standard Shinto mixed in. Why? Because the most fundamental aspect of Bushido as put forth by Musashi in his Book of Five Rings is this: Prepare for death. Death is always waiting, and could come for you at any point. It is not something to be feared, but instead accepted as a natural part of life. So Zen lends itself well to Bushido.

Of course, Musashi was in the Edo period, which was late in the existence of the Samurai as a class, but all he did was codify common knowledge into a text.

Ok, background done. Why is Sakura viewing such a big deal? Because it epitomizes all beliefs that are core to Japanese mindsets. Human life is very brief, but we burn brightly while we live. The Sakura tree blooms for about a week in Japan, and during that week (it varies based on the region, as the blooms move across the country) most other social and work activities are put aside as permissible. People congregate in parks filled with Sakura trees, eat, drink and celebrate the beauty and brevity of life. It is a way of reconnecting with nature and their basic philosophy of life. Bad poetry aside, it is about celebrating life and death.

So hopefully that helps to explain a bit more what I was talking about on the show.


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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I find it funny that....
I find it funny that having my affection is apparently achievement worthy for both Katana and Sangome.

I find it funny that some fans of (insert thing here) think that they are more important than the creators.

I find it funny that according to Mur Lafferty anyone can get laid at DragonCon.

Comments (10) | Permalink

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