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PHILOSOPHY

TRAVEL February 27, 2017

The Subtle, Confounding Zen Koan

The Zen koan is one of the least understood of Japanese creations, by either foreigners or even many Japanese – but that is by design. The essence of a koan is that it is not comprehensible by the rational mind, but instead works subtly, over time, on the subconscious. The koan – based on the […]

ARTS&CULTURE December 5, 2016

The Japanese Concept of Ikigai: A Reason For Living

In recent years, the modern world has been inundated by books, workshops and even public lectures about the importance of finding one’s purpose in life. Those spreading this notion assure their audiences that knowing one’s purpose will not only improve one’s life, but could raise one’s income and lengthen one’s life. In Japan, the idea […]

ARTS&CULTURE October 11, 2016

The Five Elements in Japanese Culture

Travel Stock / Shutterstock.com When traveling around Japan, there are a number of different statuary that will quickly become familiar: the komainu (lion dogs) that stand at either side of a Shinto shrine entrance; the numerous orange torii gates; and, of course, there is the Buddha in his many forms. The godai is the five […]