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As I studied Martial Arts for decades, I studied Japan and Japanese Culture. Beautiful and tragic at the same time.
As I studied Martial Arts for decades, I studied Japan and Japanese Culture. Beautiful and tragic at the same time. There are things I love about the culture, and I would NEVER want to be Japanese or live there. But there's a lot to learn from them. So how to, some how not to.
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~ Aristotle Sabouni
Created: 2018-04-04 

Japan • [19 items]

  • Global Massacres/Abe Assassination - In one of the most Gun Restrictive countries in the world (Japan), with one of the most protected leaders in the world, someone made a shotgun and assassinated the longest serving Prime Minister (Shinzo Abe). The assassin also had explosives in his home, so could have done much more damage if he wanted to. Tell me again why you think Gun Control would work in a Free Country?
  • My Bias (1974) - Everyone is biased, I'm open about mine, so that people can decide if I'm right in spite of them, or where I go wrong (if they disagree). It started in 5th grade when I learned early that the School textbooks and teachers were indoctrinating me with lies (spin). So cynical skepticism (what's the other side of the story) was ingrained early, and forms my world view.
  • Bidet - I did a training at Google, and they had the fancy Japanese style bidet toilets in their visitors center. Since I was using the facilities, I tried it out. Not bad. I decided to get one for the home -- hey, a few hundred bucks to a squeaky clean pooper sounded like a fair trade to me.
  • Buddhism - The philosophy originated in India, but traveled to China, Japan and influenced much of the Orient. Many cultures have a mythology that goes along with the tales of their ancients, and Buddha is no exception. There is a lot of mythology associated with his life. But in common is how a human learned peace, self-discovery and enlightenment through meditation.
  • Cargo Cult - There is a true story about some South Asian Islanders (Melanesians) that sort of sums up a lot of human behavior for me. Islanders built a whole religion around an abandoned airbase, mock planes of straw and bamboo, to lure back the planes and Cargo that had once enriched their world.
  • Collins: Dave Quigley - I've had a somewhat interesting life, as have many people I've known. Since we are the sum of our experience, the hope is learning from others (and sharing ours), can give us a taste of immortality -- and make us wiser, and less likely to have to learn everything the hard way. Dave Quigley had many stories and life lessons to learn from: some "how not to", some reminders that, "Life is fleeting, enjoy while you can".
  • Collins: Sushi - Two Girls, a Guy, and a Sushi Place. Actually, a few more than that. At Collins, Sushi became a weekly ritual. I've tried lots of foods; frogs legs, snails, game animals, snakes, and just about anything. After all, if God didn't want us to eat Animals, he wouldn't have made them taste so good. Back in the 1980's Sushi was exotic, and this was before "Sexual Harassment" stifled people's bawdy talk during the two martini (or beer) lunches.
  • Dropping the Bomb - The "defeated Japan” theory, and the idea that “the U.S. didn’t NEED to drop the bomb” is regularly regurgitated by leftists or anti-American alternative History believers. But the actual history of WWII says otherwise. This article sources a lot of the real history, instead of the fictitious one run by FakeNews outlets, and repeated by the left.
  • Harrison Bergeron and the Law of Jante - The idea that the individual should be valued based only on their contribution to the collective, is one of the most detestable philosophies ever invented. From Harrison Bergeron, Sirens of Titan, Law of Jante, tall poppy, Procrustean bed or Dog in the Manger, the allegories and lessons throughout time are not positive. But still the philosophy exists.
  • Keep the tiger behind the bamboo - This is a rambling life lesson, that I once learned, and often ignore. My Karate Instructor used to say, "keep the tiger behind the bamboo". The lesson being that if you're a mystery, what people imagine you are, is probably greater than the reality. So stay mysterious and keep/get more students.
  • Keynesian failures - It would be great if Keynesianism worked. But history shows it has failed every time it has been tried. Examples: the new deal, the new new deal, post WWII boom (cutting military should have caused depression), 1970's Stagflation broke the models, Japan's lost decades (Abenomics), every Communist economy that failed, every one that opened up and grew (N. Korea, Russia, China, Vietnam). All went the opposite of Keynes predictions.
  • Keynesianism - Keynes microeconomics was brilliant, his macroeconomics have never worked in the real world. It failed in Japan, Venezuela, China, Russia, North Korea, U.S. in every administration since WWII. Stopping it succeeded in China, Russia, and every country that gave up communism.
  • Midway (2019) - Midway is a 2019 American war film based on the 1942 Battle of Midway during World War II. This was a turning point in the war in the pacific that signaled the beginning of the end for the Japanese empire. Not perfect history (Hollywooded), my grandfather had fought in WWII, there was little new or unexpected. But it was still a good enough.
  • Progressives ruin everything - If your voices are extremist activists that exaggerate or mischaracterize (or don't understand) a problem, and see the only solution as fascism (State control of private business or the individual), and they see everything as black or white (extremes), it will always end poorly. Every reasonable idea will either be blocked, or taken too far.
  • Story of us/2006 Hawaii (Oahu) - We hadn't travelled during my MBA, so we took a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii as a graduation reward. We did the obligatory Luau. What's not to like about roast pig and getting lei'd. Pearl Harbor, laying at the beach, all fun. But the entire trip was worth it, once we tried Malasadas. A local sugar-laden donuts. Helicopter Tour of the Island was also great.
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck - After you read a few dozen self-help books, they all seem to look alike with just a different schtick. After the first chapter beat the title into the ground, it gets interesting with some brilliant anecdotes about perspective, and I walked away quite happy having read/listened to it.
  • The Tiger and the Strawberry - One day while walking through the wilderness a man stumbled upon a vicious tiger. He ran, but soon came to the edge of a high cliff. Desperate to save himself, he climbed down a vine and dangled over the fatal precipice... As he hung there, two mice appeared from a hole in the cliff and began gnawing on the vine...
  • This American Life: Nummi and Brand Value - A podcast about the Auto-Industry and NUMMI plant (now where they build the Teslas). The prelude is America (Demming) taught Japan about Kaizen, and this comes in later, with Toyota trying to teach the evolved lessons back to GM. It's not perfect: it gets some things wrong (based on the few dozen books and articles I've read), but it gets more right than wrong, and still is a good listen.
  • Zen - Zen Buddhism (Japanese) or Ch'an Buddhism (Chinese) has had the most influence on the martial arts - and seems to be what most people are familiar with when they think of Buddhism. Zen Buddhism includes the other beliefs of Buddhism, but varies in its path towards enlightenment.


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