(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!

結局、あの東大全共闘は何だったのか・・・安田講堂に立てこもり火炎瓶を投げつけた学生達や内ゲバを繰り返したセクトたちと何が違うのか・・・。

私にはこれがどうしてもわからなかったのです。三島由紀夫と討論した彼らは一体何者だったのか。彼らも内ゲバや暴力をしていたのだろうか・・・。

そんな疑問を抱えていた私にとって本書はあまりにありがたい作品となりました。

いや~ものすごい本です。計15時間にも及ぶ濃密な討論がこの本で文字化されています。東大全共闘とは何だったのか、三島由紀夫との対談は何だったのかということを知るのにこの本は最高の資料になります。この時代の雰囲気を感じるためにもぜひぜひこの本はおすすめしたいです。

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!

労働者を搾取して成り上がった大資本家サウィマンに強く反抗する息子マーリン。彼は「あの二人はもうすでに精神的に腐敗している。今さら両親の心を改悛させる人間は周りに誰もいないからね!」と親友の医者アラウィンダに打ち明けます。彼の反抗はもはや家庭内だけの問題ではなく、コロンボ市民を巻き込む政治運動へと展開していきます。

本作ではこうした資本家と労働者のせめぎ合いや暴動も描かれます。当時コロンボで何が起きていたのかをかつてジャーナリストであったウィクラマシンハが物語にして具現化したのがこの小説です。これまで彼の三部作を読んできて感じたように、この作品でも彼の繊細な心理描写は精彩を放っています。

ウィクラマシンハの小説はスリランカの姿を知るのに最高の手引きとなります。

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!

この本は宗教を禁じていた共産党中国において、今宗教はどのような状況になっているかを追っていく作品です。

現在の中国の宗教事情を知れたのは非常に興味深いものがありました。

ただ、本書でも述べられていたのですが、近年共産党当局が厳しい統制をかけているため今後どうなるかはわからないというのは非常に恐ろしく感じました。

この本は私達の知らない中国を目の当たりにすることになります。著者が実際に長期の密着取材をしたからこその情報が満載です。現代中国の宗教事情を知るのにこの本は非常におすすめです。ぜひ手に取ってみてはいかがでしょうか。

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

この本では私たちが漠然と想像する遊牧民のイメージを根底から覆す作品です。また、単に遊牧民という存在だけにとどまらず私たちの歴史認識そのものを問う恐るべき作品となっています。

そして本記事のタイトルに「先入観を粉砕」と書きましたがまさにその通り。少なくとも私は思いっきり粉砕されました。

これまで様々なジャンルを読んできて、なるべく色んな視点から物事を見ていこうと意識していたにも関わらずこの様です。この事実にものすごく恥じ入ってしまいました。

この本を読めばきっと私と同じ思いになる方も多いのではないでしょうか。いやあ痛快な一冊でした。

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.

Dostoevskyism

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.