Zenkoji Temple

Zenkoji is the most famous temple in Nagano City. It has beautiful grounds and a lot going for it, but for this post, I want to try something different. I want to focus on the O-Asaji morning ceremony and my experience with it. This will be a long read (clocking in at just over 1500 […]

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In Kamakura, there is a very large Shinto shrine, Hachi-Mangu, where you can really engage with some very cool cultural activities. When I visited Kamakura with my colleague, we were able to visit the shrine and spend some time wandering its grounds.

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Arizona Veterans Memorials

For Veterans Day this year, I decided to go out and visit some of the unique Veterans Memorials around Arizona. It’s a time to honor those who served in the US Armed Forces, and having so many family members myself in the military, I decided to join in the celebrations here in Arizona.

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Bell Day

The school year has come to a close at my school, and with it, the graduation ceremony, or Bell Day, as it is known. The graduating classes gather in the auditorium to listen to speeches, receives awards, listen to musical performances, and receive their graduation papers. The graduation papers, the equivalent of our diploma, looks […]

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First Hair Cutting Ceremony

I was sitting in my apartment when my co-worker called me. “I need a stove shelf,” she informed me. I was confused, so I told her to come over. It turns out she wanted one of my baking racks. She told me that today would be her daughter’s hair cutting ceremony. I had heard stories […]

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Have You Visited God?

It was a question my supervisor asked me one day. We were in her car, with her husband and young daughter. My eyes widened as I sat in contemplative silence. Was this a thinly veiled threat against my life? Was she proselytizing? The answer was far simpler. “Buddha,” her husband echoed. They drove me to […]

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