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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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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清正公まつりSeishoko Festival 2014

Today, on Sunday 27th July, 2014, the Seishoko Festival 清正公まつり (Seishoko Matsuri) is taking place in Kumamoto City in the prefecture of Kumamoto on the island of Kyushu, Japan. Organised by Kato Shrine 加藤神社 in Kumamoto, the Seishoko Matsuri is held to honour and remember the founder of Kumamoto, Lord Kato Kiyomasa 加藤 清正. Seishoko 清正公 is an honorific designation as well as a term of endearment for Kato Kiyomasa 加藤 清正. The …

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なが塀 The Long Wall. Bức Tường Dài

熊本城 Kumamoto castle was built at the very beginning of the seventeenth century during the 江戸時代 Edo period when castle construction technology was developing at a rapid rate in Japan. Thành trì Kumamoto được xây dựng vào đầu thế kỷ XVII trong thời kỳ Edo khi công nghệ xây cất lâu đài đã được phát triển nhanh chóng tại Nhật Bản. Kumamoto citadelle a été construite au début du XVIIe …

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The History of Kumamoto Castle

The present Kumamoto Castle 熊本城 was built by Lord Kato Kiyomasa 加藤 清正 , the 大名 daimyo of Northern Higo domain. Work on the current Kumamoto castle began in the year 1601, thirteen years after Kato Kiyomasa 加藤 清正 moved his residence to Kumamoto 熊本  in 1588. The arrival of Lord Kato Kiyomasa 加藤 清正 was such an important event for the region that 熊本城稲荷神社 Kumamoto-jo Inari Shrine was built to commemorate this …

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Honoring the Mother and Child

Remembering and celebrating all mothers around the world on this Mother’s Day today. Tưởng nhớ và chúc mừng các Bà Mẹ trên khắp thế giới trong Ngày Lễ Mẹ hôm nay. Aujourd’hui, le deuxième dimanche de mai, c’est la Fête des Mères.  Nous célébrons et honorons toutes les mères du monde entier. To all our mothers, “Happy Mother’s Day”. “ハッピー母の日” Mother and Child. Mère et enfant. Mẹ và Con. 母と子 …

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五百羅漢 500 Enlightened Beings

The five hundred disciples of Gautama the Buddha who attained enlightenment through liberating themselves from human desires and delusions are often depicted in paintings and statues in Japanese art and in Buddhist temples. These arhats are revered for they are recognised as having freed themselves from the karmic wheel of human suffering and earthly lives. At Reiganzenji Temple 零巌禅時 on Mount Iwatono, just outside of Kumamoto city on Kyushu island, Japan, there …

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Sunlight, Solace and Sorrow

Today is March 11th, 2014.  It is exactly thirty-six months since the Great East Japan Earthquake took place. It is estimated that 20,000 human beings perished as a result of the earthquake and the ensuing tsunami.  Each of these 20,000 people was someone’s mother, friend, daughter, son, father, colleague, teacher, doctor, lover, grandfather, aunt, uncle, neighbor, brother, sister, grandmother, niece, nephew… Today, entire communities continue to live in mourning.  Although …

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Cara, Day 1094  キャラ1094の日

Cara runs a creative English language school out of her home in Tokyo that she shares with Kosuke.  Although often inundated with students and classes, Cara still finds time to write and has co-authored two English language learning books while continuing to paint, play the violin and the piano.  If Cara ever invites you over for Thanksgiving or for any kind of celebration, say yes and rush over!  This girl …

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