Category Archives: Japan

Mindfulness revisited (or the benefits of adopting a broader approach to mindfulness)


For some time I have been practicing a simple form of mindfulness to deal with stressful thinking. It’s a good skill to practice, and while I am not an expert, it has helped me deal with anxiety.

However as this article reminded me, mindfulness as it is practiced in Japan is much more than that. Mindfulness is a way of being present. Of being aware. Of appreciating the transient nature of our lives and thereby enriching them. Japanese people have mindful practices woven through their lives. I think we could all gain from adopting these practices. Read the piece: I am sure you will agree.

P.S. I have adopted the practice of shisa kanko (literally ‘checking and calling’) and have found it helpful in making sure I do things properly. It’s a very different form of mindfulness than focusing on breathing, but it comes from the same source.

(Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash )

Japan: more different than you might think

When I think of Japan, I think of cherry blossoms, Mt. Fuji, busy Tokyo streets, temples, sushi, and a homogenous society with very few outsiders. It turns out the last one is not really true. To see what I mean, read this: How homogeneous is Japan? – Noahpinion.

The author, Noah Smith, has depth when it comes to things Japanese and it shows in that piece. I highly recommend him in general, not just for things about Japan. But if your ideas of Japan haven’t changed in some time, that piece will give your brain a much needed upgrade.