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"Connected Japan"

Historical note: The Aki Meguri site was originally posted on a homepage called "Connected Japan," which used to be www-dot-connectedjapan-dot-com. I had great plans for the site, as you can see from the sort of "prospectus" that I posted, reproduced below.

However, as the Buddhists say, nothing is permanent. Through an oversight, my URL fee went unpaid, and the next thing I knew, Connected Japan, repository of the wisdom of Old Japan, had become a porn site! I still laugh when I think of some old priest wanting to read what the gaijin (foreigner) wrote about his temple, and finding instead...

Anyhow, many of the ideas and intentions behind Connected Japan are slowly finding their way into the light on The Temple Guy. True, nothing is permanent; but as Einstein said, matter/energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only transformed!

About Connected Japan

Connected Japan ( is destined to become the premier portal for information on the traditional culture of Japan, both as it was in the past and as it exists today. Special attention will be paid to:

  • Religion: Shinto, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism: these four strands have intertwined into a uniquely Japanese world view, which embraces everything from the most primitive myths and superstitions to the pure, high, clean philosophy of Zen. We will be examining the people, the practices, the ideas, and the modern impact of these ancient belief systems.
  • Art: From the originally practical arts of calligraphy and fighting, to the more "aesthetic" arts of bonsai, tea ceremony, and print-making, there is a common thread of restraint and refinement running through the arts of Japan. We will consider these various arts, both in their aesthetic intent and in their impact on the life of the people.
  • History: Beginning with the legendary emperor Jimmu, directly descended from the Sun Goddess, Japan has had roughly two millennia of rule by men and woman, emperors and generals--and career politicians. Simultaneously, there have always been grassroots heroes, common people who rose from relative obscurity to near-god status. Saints and traitors, fishermen and philosophers, soldiers and scholars--all contributed to the Japanese experience.
  • Literature: Virtually every American school child learns the Haiku form of 5-, 7-, and 5-syllable lines; children's folk-tales and major novels have been widely popular outside of Japan, some even being made into Hollywood films. We'll provide reading guides and background materials for a well-rounded selection of poems, stories, plays, and novels.
Connected Japan will do this through
  • Original, encyclopedic content
  • In-depth articles, essays, and personal perspectives on Japanese culture
  • Extensive, annotated links to other materials available on the web
  • Ample opportunities for participation by experts, readers, and others, in addition to our staff
Some of the site's future contents will include such topics as:
  • a guide to Japan's national symbols
  • Japan's religions, mythology and folklore, philosophy, and psychology
  • biographies of cultural "heroes" history, art, literature, etc., and an examination of their work
  • the influence of tradition on modern Japanese film, television shows, literature, art, music, and pop culture
  • sacred and historical places, and the deep-cultural aspects of sites on UNESCO's "World Heritage" list
  • field trips to museums, gardens, historic sites, and other places
  • an almanac of holidays
  • recommended reading lists on these and many other topics

As a final bit of hubris, here's a "letter" I posted:

It says:

In 4-1/2 years in Japan, I have
  • been to hundreds of sites
  • taken thousands of pictures
  • met hundreds of people
  • read dozens of books and websites
  • completed several pilgrimages
all in an effort to understand the Ancient Heart of this Modern Land. 
This website will be a means of expressing some of what I've learned. 
But it will be more. 
It will be a prime portal for those wishing to learn more about traditional Japanese culture, especially religion, art, literature, and history. 
All of that, however, lies in the future. Until early 2002, this site will have but one primary purpose. It will be the internet home of my walking pilgrimage through part of Japan, my Aki Meguri. Please join me in this exciting adventure. 

Posted September 16, 2019

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