Hiroshima 70 Years Today

Today August 6th, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Last night on the eve of the Atomic Remembrance Day, I came by the Atomic Bomb to remember, to learn, to think and to pay my respects. The local suffering of one people can have global consequences. Every time I stand beneath the Atomic Memorial Dome, I feel weighed down by a heaviness, a sense of despair. The Atomic …

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Cherry Blossoms After the Rain

 Cherry blossoms after the rain. Les cerisiers en fleurs après la pluie. Hoa anh đào sau cơn mưa. 雨上がりの桜. Rain has inspired endless verses perhaps because of its beauty, its freshness, its romance and its melancholy?  While cherry blossoms and their ephemeral beauty have been woven into centuries of poetry. La pluie a inspiré d’innombrables versets peut-être en raison de sa beauté, sa fraîcheur, son romantisme et sa mélancolie?  Les …

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Nature is An Inspiration

Nature is an inspiration. La nature est une source d’inspiration. Thiên nhiên là nguồn cảm hứng. The passing of the seasons is the manifestation of change and the movement of time. Le passage des saisons est la manifestation du changement et le mouvement du temps. Sự biến chuyển của các mùa là biểu hiện của sự thay đổi và sự chuyển động của thời gian. Plum blossoms once bloomed and …

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Four Years Ago

Today, March 11th 2015, marks the fourth year anniversary of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. The Japan News reports that as of yesterday, Tuesday 10th March 2015, 2,584 people remaining missing as a direct result of the earthquake and the ensuing tsunami. The National Police Agency of Japan document that 15, 891 people throughout twelve prefectures in Japan perished due to this disaster. Although huge efforts have been undertaken throughout …

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Reflections

What is Reflection? REFLECTION |rɪˈflɛkʃ(ə)n| [noun] (a)  the returning projection of light, heat, or sound by a body or surface without absorbing it; (b) an image seen on a shiny surface or mirror; (c) serious thought, contemplation or consideration of a matter or of the self; As I walk through Korakuen Garden in Okayama Prefecture, Japan, the fish are swimming around me in the pond.  We are sharing with you reflections of the …

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Destiny in the Mist

 What is destiny? It has been said that destiny is a matter of choice and not an occurrence of chance. Do you agree? If choice determines our destiny, then whose choice is it to shape our fate? Who determines the destiny of one individual, the fate of a people, the fortune of a place, the luck of a nation? Destiny is sometimes found in the mist, as it was in …

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Musashi’s Final Battle

The last battle that Miyamoto Musashi ever fought was on April 13th, 1612, when he was twenty-nine years of age. This final duel was between Musashi and an equally renowned swordsman of the Edo era, Sasaki Kojiro 佐々木 小次郎, on Funashima Island, Funa-jima 船島. Known as Ganryu in battle, Sasaki Kojiro is recognised as the founder of the Ganryu 巌流 kenjutsu 剣術 school of traditional samurai Japanese swordsmanship. April 13th, 1612, was also …

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烏城 The “Crow Castle” & the Age of Turbulence

Okayama Castle 岡山城 (Okayama-jo) stands majestically by the Asahi River across the magnificent Koraku-en 後楽園 garden in central Okayama City, Japan. Bridge over the Asahi River that links Okayama-jo and Korakuen Garden. Views of Okayama-jo from Korakuen Garden. The castle is also known as 烏城 (U-jo), the Crow Castle.  The dark exterior of the castle conjures up images of the black crow. Many crows also nest in the trees here and soar above …

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Birthplace of a Saint

Deep in the countryside high in the northeastern regions of Okayama Prefecture, Japan, lies the home of Miyamoto Musashi’s ancestors and the reputed birthplace of the world’s renowned Sword-Saint. Miyamoto Musashi no Sato 宮本武蔵の里 is encircled by majestic mountains and lush crop fields that on this autumn day are scattered with ripened persimmon trees burdened with fruit. Miyamoto Musashi train station みやもとむさし駅 from which you can reach Musashi’s childhood playgrounds on …

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Where do Hopes & Prayers Go?

Where do prayers go?  Những lời nguyện cầu đi về đâu? Where do our hopes journey to?  Những ước mong của chúng ta hành trình về chốn nào? What of the dreams we carry inside our hearts for this life on earth? Visitors to Shinto shrines in Japan often write their wishes, dreams, aspirations and prayers onto wooden plaques, known as ema 絵馬, and hang them at the shrine, in the hope that these …

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