(former) Soviet Union

Takahiro UedaDiary of a Monk

Welcome to our website. For those of you who are visiting our blog for the first time. First of all, please click here.

Nice to meet you. My name is Takahiro Ueda, the administrator of this blog. This blog started as my attempt to look at various things in my daily life and write words with the motto of asking myself questions, as you can see in the title of the blog.

This article will give you a general guide within our blog. If you are new to our blog or wondering what to read, please read this article first.

Yukio MishimaYukio Mishima and Japanese Literature

Yukio Mishima, Masahiko Akuta, and others, "Yukio Mishima vs. the University of Tokyo Zenkyoto 1969-2000" - What was that legendary debate? A recommended work to learn about the students' thoughts and relationships with each other!





end of timeBuddhism in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Southeast Asia

M. Wickramasinghe's "The End of Time" Synopsis and Comments - A masterful film about Sri Lanka, a country shaken by Marxism and class struggle!




Faith in Modern ChinaChinese Buddhism, Thought and History

Ian Johnson, Faith in Modern China - A look at the reality of religious life under the Communist regime! A non-fiction book that questions what faith is all about!





World History from a Nomadic PerspectiveChinese Buddhism, Thought and History

Masaaki Sugiyama, "World History from a Nomadic Perspective" - An exciting book that shatters our preconceptions! To gain a multifaceted view of history





Stalin's LibraryHistory of the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin

Jeffrey Roberts, "Stalin's Library" - A novel biography of Stalin from the perspective of reading. How did he view Dostoevsky?

Hating him doesn't explain why and how he went to such lengths."

This is a very important point made by the author. If we put Stalin away as just a big bad man, that is where our thinking ends.

This is a very stimulating book that looks at Stalin from the perspective of "reading" to find out why he was able to become a dictator and what was behind his success. The author's courage to attack from a minor angle, "reading," which in a sense is not easily associated with dictatorships, is nothing short of amazing. It is very innovative.


T.G. Masaryk, "Russia and Europe I," a valuable discussion of Russia by the philosophical president of the Czech Republic!

Russian Dostoevsky by Masaryk, who was born to a serf father and a cook mother, from whom he struggled to become a philosophy professor and even the first president of the Czech Republic.

To begin with, he is a top-notch philosopher. Masaryk was also a politician with experience in world affairs, politics, and economics. He was also a great personality who was respected not only by the Czech people but also by people all over the world.

The Russian history and Dostoevsky theory told by such a grown-up was extremely stimulating.

Portrait of TolstoyTolstoy, the Russian Giant

Episode of the production of Kramskoy's "Portrait of Tolstoy" - This is how Tolstoy's piercing gaze was depicted!

The sharpness of Tolstoy's gaze in this portrait is astonishing.

Tolstoy is often associated with the white beard of his later years, but 1873, the year this portrait was painted, was Tolstoy's 45th year. 4 years earlier, he had completed the serialization of "War and Peace" and it was a huge hit. And in the same year, he wrote "Anna Karenina. In other words, it was a period when he was in full force as a writer. The sharp look in his eyes at that time is depicted in this portrait.

And interestingly, Tolstoy's encounter with Kramskoy also influenced the writing of Anna Karenina.

Learning from the Bosnian Conflict and the Tragedy of the Rwandan Genocide: International Conflicts after the Cold War

7 recommended reference works to learn about the Rwandan genocide - there was a hell there that made me want to turn away...

The Rwandan genocide is so shocking. It could be a traumatic read. It is such a hell. One can only be horrified that human beings can be so cruel.

I learned about the Rwandan genocide this way because of the Bosnian conflict, but reading these books reminded me that Bosnia, Rwanda, and Somalia are not each unique and abnormal, but that we all have something in our nature that allows such things to happen and that we all could have done it. I was reminded once again that human nature is such that such things can happen, and that we all have the potential to do them.

It is a history that we would like to turn away from, but if we do not pass through it, history will repeat itself in a different form. To prevent this from happening, we must learn about the tragic human history.