Saturday, January 17, 2009

Firefly Bottle

I saw this Firefly bottle on the shelves of a convenience store after seeing a movie. The bottle was attractive with the shape and the color, reminding me of grape juice. I grabbed the bottle and saw the price tag only to return it to the place where it had been. "Five hundred yen for a bottle of juice... No way...," I thought. The same amount can buy three bottled-juice of any kind. I went to other shelves but could not find any alternative.
- MT

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dried Persimmon

An old lady in Sado Island, Niigata prefecture, sent me a box of dried persimmon that she made herself. I was so grateful for her because they are my favorate (and healthy) sweet. I draw this efuto and my wife wrote a thank-you note to her.

Incidentally, someone else sent us another box of no-so-dried persimmon last November. We tried to complete the drying process at home, but unsuccessfully.

The gift from this old lady, therefore, was so dear.
- MT

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Atheist Bus Campaign

I recently came across the news on this interesting ad campaign inspired by a young British comedy writer and promoted by Richard Dawkins, the writer of the book "The God Delusion." The group called "Atheist Bus Campaign" had raised more than $200,000, posted the add saying, "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." on 800 buses across Britain on the last day of 2008. A similar attempt was made in November last year in Washington sponsored by American Humanist Association, but with a more muted message -- "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake."

On my January 9 Japanese blog, I refer to this campaign and requested readers to come up with messages from believers' point of view that would refute these rather uninformed atheist messages. At the end of the blog entry, I have presented the following:

"Life is wonderful--" "The evidence that God loves even atheists."

"Why doubt God," "When you don't doubt your conscience?"

Please feel free to add more...

- MT

For your info: a Guardian movie clip --

Here's what's going on in Spain --

Atheist Bus Campaign -- Official Website --

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Chinese Sake Bottle

Once a year in January, when I go to Ise to visit my wife's home, I offer lunch to her 4 sisters, 3 brothers-in-law, and their kids. This is also the only time in year when I have Chinese sake in this attractive bottle. The sake is called Shokoshu, in Japanese. Someone likes to have it with sugar, but I prefer without. This way it tastes a bit bitter but gives me the full fragrance, which well matches the rich taste of Chinese food.
- MT

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Message

Dear Readers:

I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to those of you who supported my efforts to stay online over the past year by reading and commenting on this blog. As readers, your encouragement has been, and always will be, the greatest force to help me continue to write in English and draw efutoes for this blog. I am also deeply indebted to you for the many kind and encouraging words given to me, on this blog or through Facebook, when my father, Rev. Seicho Taniguchi, passed away in October of last year. Through this experience, I have come to realize that there is a sizable group of people in the world who are devoted to achieving the objectives of the Seicho-No-Ie movement and willing to lend a helping hand through the Internet whenever the need arises.

I have a feeling that this year will witness a new development online that combines this group of people, who may be spread throughout the world, and creates a more organized entity by which a new channel of propagation might be opened. I don't know yet how this will be done. But I know that it should be done because online communication has the power to change the world, as it was clearly demonstrated in the recent American Presidential election.

Seicho-No-Ie now has a few unofficial online gatherings on Facebook. The members of these groups are from the United States, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Japan. On another social networking system, Orkut, there are numerous Seicho-No-Ie groups comprised mainly of Brazilians. I don't see many obstacles that prevent the people in any of the groups from communicating and helping each other online, except for one -- language. This obstacle may seem formidable but it is not insurmountable if we can employ our global resources more effectively. I hope this will be done in the near future.

In the meantime, please feel free to share your thoughts on this topic, as well as others, on this blog or via e-mail. May your year be filled with joy and happiness in God. Thank you very much.

- MT