Category Archives: Asia

THICH NHAT HANH
(1926- )

from Vietnam: Lotus in a Sea of Fire: In Search of the Enemy of Man

  Thich Nhat Hanh, a scholar in the field of philosophy of religion and an internationally revered figure of Zen Buddhism, was born Nguyễn Xuân Bảo in Vietnam in 1926. (The word “Thich” [pronounced tick] is not a title, but … Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Buddhism, Hanh, Thich Nhat, Selections, The Modern Era

JAPANESE NAVAL SPECIAL ATTACK FORCE (KAMIKAZE CORPS)
(b. 1920s, d. 1944-1945)

Kamikaze Diaries
Last Letters Home

  In October 1944, toward the end of World War II, as it was becoming clear to the Japanese command that American aircraft carriers massing at the mouth of Leyte Gulf represented a serious threat, the new commander of Japanese … Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Japanese Naval Special Attack Force, Martyrdom, Military Defeat, Success, Strategy, Selections, Shinto, The Modern Era

MAO ZEDONG
(1893-1976)

The Suicide of Miss Zhao

  Mao Zedong (or Mao Tse-tung), the revolutionary who was to become the leading force in the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, was born to the family of a small landowner. As was the custom among the peasantry, … Continue reading

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MOHANDAS K. GANDHI
(1869-1948)

from Indian Home Rule
from An Autobiography: The Story of    My Experiments With Truth
from Non-Violence in Peace and War

  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (often called “Mahatma,” or “great soul”), the Indian nationalist and advocate of non-violence, was born in Porbandar to the local chief minister and a mother who was an active disciple of Vaishnavism, the worship of the … Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Gandhi, Mohandas K., Hinduism, Selections, The Modern Era

HINDU WIDOW
(c. 1889)

The Plight of Hindu Widows as Described by a Widow Herself

  This anonymous selection was originally published in the Methodist Church Missionary Society’s magazine The Gospel in All Lands in April of 1889. Little is known about its author or its exact date of composition, except that the author, “a … Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Hindu Widow, anonymous, Hinduism, Honor and Disgrace, Love, Selections, Slavery, The Modern Era

A.B. MITFORD, LORD REDESDALE
(1837-1916)

from An Account of the Hara-Kiri

  Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron of Redesdale, was the second secretary to the British Legation in Japan when he published Tales of Old Japan (1871), a collection of stories, fairy tales, accounts of superstitions, sermons, and other short pieces … Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Europe, Mitford, A. B., Lord Redesdale, Selections, The Modern Era

CHIKAMATSU MONZAEMON
(1653-1725)

from The Love Suicides at Sonezaki

  Chikamatsu Monzaemon, born Sugimori Nobumori, the second son of a minor samurai family, is recognized as the first modern Japanese dramatist. Often called “the Japanese Shakespeare,” he is widely considered the most important playwright of the Tokugawa age. As … Continue reading

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(1653-1725)

from The Love Suicides at Sonezaki

Filed under Asia, Buddhism, Chikamatsu Monzaemon, Love, Selections, The Early Modern Period

DAIDOJI YUZAN
(1639-1730)

from Beginner’s Book of Bushido

  Daidoji Yuzan Shigesuke was born to a distinguished Japanese samurai family, said to be descended from the powerful 12th-century Taira clan, though the family name—Daidoji—had been taken several centuries later. Daidoji arrived in Edo (now Tokyo) as a young … Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Confucianism, Daidoji Yuzan, Selections, The Early Modern Period

HUANG LIUHONG
(1633-c. 1710)

from A Complete Book Concerning Happiness and Benevolence

  Huang Liuhong (Huang Liu-hung) was a district magistrate during the early Qing (Ch’ing) or Manchu dynasty (1644–1912), when Manchu values and behavior were being imposed on Han China. He was born in Xinchang (Hsin-ch’ang) at a time of civil … Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Huang Liuhong, Poverty, Selections, The Early Modern Period

ABU’L FAZL IBN MUBARAK
(1551–1602)

from Biography of the Emperor Akbar: On Jauhar and Saka

  Abu’l Fazl was born in Agra, the second son to the Indian scholar and teacher Shaikh Mubarak, who educated Abu’l Fazl from an early age in the Islamic sciences, Greek philosophy, and mysticism. At age 23, Abu’l Fazl was … Continue reading

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Filed under Abu'l Fazl ibn Mubarak, Asia, Hinduism, Islam, Mass Suicide, Military Defeat, Success, Strategy, Selections, The Early Modern Period