Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Case Closed (名探偵 コナン Meitantei Conan?), known as Detective Conan in Japan and most other countries, is a detective manga and anime series written and illustrated by Gosho Aoyama and serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday since 1994.
Case Closed follows the adventures of Jimmy Kudo, a young detective inadvertently turned into a prepubescent boy by a secret criminal organization when they force him to take a drug that is supposed to kill him, but backfires.
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All about Detective Conan

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Yukio Mishima's Books

Selected works:

* KAMEN NO KOKUHAKU, 1949 - Confessions of a Mask (trans. by Meredith Weatherby) - Erään naamion tunnustuksia
* AI NO KAWAKI, 1950 - Thirst for Love (trans. by Donald Keene)
* AO NO JIDAI, 1950
* KINJIKI, 1951 - Forbidden Colours (trans. by Alfred H. Marks)
* MANATSU NO SHI, 1952 - Death in Midsummer (trans. by Ivan Morris)
* HIGYO, 1952-53
* YORU NO HIMAWARI, 1953 - Twilight Sunflower (trans. by Shigeho Shinozaki and Virgil A. Warren)
* FUGUSHU, 1954 - Revenge
* SHIOSAI, 1954 - The Sound of Waves (trans. by Meredith Weatherby) - Aaltojen pauhu (suom. Irmeli Nykänen) - film 1954, dir. by Senkichi Taniguchi, starring Akira Kubo, Kyoko Aoyama, Yoichi Tachikawa, Keiko Miya; remade by director Kenjiro Morinaka in 1964, by Shiro Moritani in 1971, by Katsumi Nishikawa in 1975, and by Tsugunobu Kotani in 1985
* KINDAI NOGAKU SHU, 1956 - Five Modern No Plays (trans. by Donald Keene)
* SHI WO KAKU SHONEN, 1956 - The Boy Who Wrote Poetry
* KINKAKUJI, 1956 - The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (translated by Ivan Morris) - Kultainen temppeli (suom. Sirpa Kauppinen)
* ROKUMEI KAN, 1956 (play)
* KYOKO NO IE, 1959
* YUKOKU, 1960 - Patriotism (trans. by Geoffrey W. Sargent)
* YOROBOSHI, 1960 - Yoroboshi: The Blind Young Man
* UTAGE NO ATO, 1960 - After the Banquet (trans. by Donald Keene) - Juhlan jälkeen (suom. Helvi Vasara)
* TOKA NO KIKU, 1961 - Tenth Day Chrysantheum (play)
* GOGO NO EIKO, 1963 - The Sailor who Fell from the Grace with the Sea (trans. by John Nathan) - Kunnia on katkera juoma (suom. Eeva-Liisa Manner)
* KEN, 1963
* KINU TO MEISATU, 1964 - Silk and Insight (trans. by Hiroaki Sato)
* SADO KOSHAKU FUJIN, 1965 - Madame de Sade (play, trans. by Donald Keene)
* EREI NO KOE, 1966
* SUSAKU-KE NO METSUBO, 1967 - The Fall of the House Susaku (play)
* HAGAKURE NYUMON, 1967 - The Way of Samurai (trans. by Kathryn N. Sparling)
* HARU NO YUKI, 1968 - Spring Snow (trans. by Michael Gallagher) / (HOJO NO UMI / The Sea of Fertility)
* WA GA TOMO HITTORA, 1968 - My Friend Hitler (play, trans. by Hiroaki Sato)
* TAIYO TO TETSU, 1968 - Sun and Steel (trans. by John Bester)
* WAGATOMO HITLER, 1969 - My Friend Hitler and Other Plays of Mishima Yukio (trans. by Hiroaki Sato)
* HOMBA, 1969 - Runaway Horses (trans. by Michael Gallagher) / (HOJO NO UMI / The Sea of Fertility)
* AKATSUKI NO TERA, 1970 - The Temple of Dawn (trans. by E. Dale Saunders and Cecilia Segawa Seigle) / (HOJO NO UMI / The Sea of Fertility)
* TENNIN GOSUI, 1971 - Five Signs of God's Decay / The Decay of the Angel (trans. by Edward G. Seidensticker) / (HOJO NO UMI / The Sea of Fertility)
* Acts of Worship: Seven Stories By Yukio Mishima, 1989 (translated by John Bester)
* Mishima on Stage: the Black Lizard and Other Plays (edited by Laurence Kominz)

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Sunday, July 13, 2008


Chapter One: Calculations

Sun-tzu said:
Warfare is a great matter to a nation;
it is the ground of death and of life;
it is the way of survival and of destruction, and must be examined. ?
Therefore, go through it by means of five factors;
compare them by means of calculation, and determine their statuses:
One, Way, two, Heaven, three, Ground, four, General, five, Law. ?
The Way is what causes the people to have the same thinking as their superiors;
they may be given death, or they may be given life, but there is no fear of danger and betrayal. ?
Heaven is dark and light, cold and hot, and the seaonal constraints.
Ground is high and low, far and near, obstructed and easy, wide and narrow, and dangerous and safe. ?
General is wisdom, credibility, benevolence, courage, and discipline. ?
Law is organization, the chain of command, logistics, and the control of expenses. ?
All these five no general has not heard;one who knows them is victorious, one who does not know them is not victorious.?
Therefore, compare them by means of calculation,
and determine their statuses.?
Which ruler has the Way,
which general has the ability,
which has gained Heaven and Ground,
which carried out Law and commands,
which army is strong,
which officers and soldiers are trained,
which reward and punish clearly,
by means of these, I know victory and defeat! ?
A general who listens to my calculations, and uses them, will surely be victorious, keep him;
a general who does not listen to my calculations, and does not use them, will surely be defeated, remove him. ?
Calculate advantages by means of what was heard, then create force in order to assist outside missions. ?
Force is the control of the balance of power, in accordance with advantages. ?
Warfare is the Way of deception. ?
Therefore, if able, appear unable,
if active, appear not active,
if near, appear far,
if far, appear near. ?
If they have advantage, entice them;
if they are confused, take them,
if they are substantial, prepare for them,
if they are strong, avoid them,
if they are angry, disturb them,
if they are humble, make them haughty,
if they are relaxed, toil them,
if they are united, separate them. ?
Attack where they are not prepared, go out to where they do not expect. ?
This specialized warfare leads to victory, and may not be transmitted beforehand. ?
Before doing battle, in the temple one calculates and will win, because many calculations were made;
before doing battle, in the temple one calculates and will not win, because few calculations were made; ?
many calculations, victory, few calculations, no victory, then how much less so when no calculations?
By means of these, I can observe them, beholding victory or defeat! ?

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hagakure : book of the samurai

Although it stands to reason that a samurai should be mindful of the Way of the Samurai, it would seem that we are all negligent. Consequently, if someone were to ask, "What is the true meaning of the Way of the Samurai?" the person who would be able to answer promptly is rare. This is because it has not been established in one's mind beforehand. From this, one's unmindfulness of the Way can be known.
Negligence is an extreme thing.The Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to either/or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance. To say that dying without reaching one's aim is to die a dog's death is the frivolous way of sophisticates. When pressed with the choice of life or death, it is not necessary to gain one's aim.

We all want to live. And in large part we make our logic according to what we like. But not having attained our aim and continuing to live is cowardice. This is a thin dangerous line. To die without gaming one's aim is a dog's death and fanaticism. But there is no shame in this. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai. If by setting one's heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he pains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling.

A man is a good retainer to the extent that he earnestly places importance in his master. This is the highest sort of retainer. If one is born into a prominent family that goes back for generations, it is sufficient to deeply consider the
matter of obligation to one's ancestors, to lay down one's body and mind, and to earnestly esteem one's master. It is further good fortune if, more than this, one has wisdom and talent and can use them appropriately. But even a person
who is good for nothing and exceedingly clumsy will be a reliable retainer if only he has the determination to think earnestly of his master. Having only wisdom and talent is the lowest tier of usefulness.

According to their nature, there are both people who have quick intelligence, and those who must withdraw and take time to think things over. Looking into this thoroughly, if one thinks selflessly and adheres to the four vows of the Nabeshima samurai, surprising wisdom will occur regardless of the high or low points of one's nature.'People think that they can clear up profound matters if they consider them deeply, but they exercise perverse thoughts and come to no good because they do their reflecting with only self-interest at the center.It is difficult for a fool's habits to change to selflessness. In confronting a matter, however, if at first you leave it alone, fix the four vows in your heart, exclude self-interest, and make an effort, you will not go far from your mark.

Because we do most things relying only on our own sagacity we become lf-interested, turn our backs on reason, and things do not turn out well. As seen by other people this is sordid, weak, narrow and inefficient. When one is not capable of true intelligence, it is good to consult with someone of good sense. An advisor will fulfill the Way when he makes a decision by selfless and frank intelligence because he is not personally involved. This way of doing things will certainly be seen by others as being strongly rooted. It is, for example, like a large tree with many roots. One man's intelligence is like a tree that has been simply stuck in the ground.

We learn about the sayings and deeds of the men of old in order to entrust ourselves to their wisdom and prevent selfishness. When we throw off our own bias, follow the sayings of the ancients, and confer with other people, matters should go well and without mishap. Lord Katsushige borrowed from the wisdom of Lord Naoshige. This is mentioned in the Ohanashikikigaki. We should be grateful for his concern.Moreover, there was a certain man who engaged a number of his younger brothers as retainers, and whenever he visited Edo or the Kamigata area, he would have them accompany him. As he consulted with them everyday on both private and public matters, it is said that he was without mishap.

Sagara Kyuma was completely at one with his master and served him as though his own body were already dead. He was one man in a thousand.Once there was an important meeting at Master Sakyo's Mizugae Villa, and it was commanded that Kyuma was to
commit seppuku. At that time in Osaki there was a teahouse on the third floor of the suburban residence of Master Taku Nut. Kyuma rented this, and gathering together all the good-for-nothings in Saga he put on a puppet show, operating one of the puppets himself, carousing and drinking all day and night. Thus, overlooking Master Sakyo's villa, he carried on and caused a great disturbance. In instigating this disaster he gallantly thought only of his master and was resolved to committing suicide.

to be continued

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