Tag Archives: Japan

Benten Shrine Ceremony

This past weekend was our annual Benten Shrine ceremony. The whole celebration took about an hour. Lots of smiles, good will, warm feelings. Life in Japan is still full of wonder for me. What a fascinating country! Continue reading

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I Love Japan Redux

Japanese have kept alive some traditions which promote sense of community, and the shared responsibility of living in that community. They create opportunities to work together for the common good, get to know one another, and just enjoy other folks who happen to live in the same geographical setting. This is what America desperately needs to overcome the fear, divisiveness, isolation, fragmentation. Here’s a challenge to my fellow Americans: How do you think people would react if you went from house to house and said, “How about if we get together and clean up the neighborhood, plant some flowers, then have a nice barbecue?” Continue reading

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Clouds of Pollen in the Spring

Nothing like some scientific knowledge to fill in the blanks, those blanks being the desolate stretches in our brains which result in a lack of understanding and appreciation for the magnificent workings of nature. Continue reading

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Kingda Ka, oh baby!

Nothing like the thrill of a high-speed roller coaster and the boredom of sitting in a traffic jam. America is a land of contradictions. Or is that contrariness. Continue reading

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Update: Stairway To Heaven

Why do we seek high places? We generally look up when we pray. We don’t send our prayers into the dirt, we launch them out and upwards to float into the ether of spiritual space. We certainly don’t ever aspire to the lower moral ground. We don’t say, ‘I’m at the bottom of the world.’ We don’t declare, ‘I had a valley experience.’ When we smoke a joint, we don’t get low. I guess we just assume that somewhere “up there” is some comfort. Maybe some answers. And if we don’t get the answers we need, at least we have a nice view or easy exhilaration. Continue reading

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Still Crazy After All These Years

My wife, Masumi, has yoga and ballet. Even in the cold, twice a week I stumble up and down a big mound of dirt. Works for me. Is it so unreasonable to think that every single person in the world deserves this? Just a simple, basic shot at happiness, free from hunger, fear, war, oppression. Continue reading

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I love Japan!

Taking time to appreciate the beauty in the world makes a beautiful person. Continue reading

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Creativity: Creating Memorable Characters

People often ask me: “John, how do you come up with your characters?” Continue reading

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Absentee Democracy

Sometimes I am challenged by the dimmer bulbs among us: “What kind of American are you? YOU LIVE IN JAPAN!” The answer that comes immediately to mind is: “I’m the kind of American who lives in Japan.” Continue reading

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Honor System

Why has lying become so epidemic? Pandemic? Systemic? It’s reached pathological proportions. I wouldn’t lie to you about that. Continue reading

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