Monthly Archives: January 2015

Japanese Docetism Central

Due to the sudden executions and expulsions of Japan’s Catholic clergy, many persecuted Japanese Christians ended up not fully catechized. As you would expect, some of the Hidden Christians were just doing their best in the absence of training, while others went for syncretism or their own special brands of wackadoo. There’s also a tendency for modern cult leaders and occultists to try to fold Christianity into their own weird brands of belief.

So you have a town called Shingou in Aomori which, like ancient Docetists and today’s Muslims, refuses to believe that Jesus would allow Himself to be executed or would be able to resurrect. No, this town believes (since AD 1933, anyway) that Jesus’ younger brother died on the Cross, and that Jesus snuck out and went to Japan, where He died of old age and was buried, full stop. They have also designated a random grave mound as “the grave of Christ,” which is illogically topped with a cross. Info about all this was received in a Mormon-style document allegedly discovered by a village cult leader, and then handily disappeared before anybody else could look at it.

However, transcripts of the document in the local museum also detail the fate of Atlantis and humanity’s alien origins, Edgar Cayce-style.

Syncretism. Not a pretty sight.

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Someone Is Killing the Shinto Trees of Japan

Fourteen extremely old Shinto “sacred trees” or “hinoki” have been killed recently by a person or persons unknown. The weapon was a herbicide, administered by stealth through holes drilled all around the trunks.

Obviously, I’m not in favor of worshipping trees.

But on the other hand, it’s obviously not a St. Boniface running around boldly opposing tree worship. St. Boniface didn’t sneak. This seems more like the work of some kind of vandal who just wants to do damage and then preen himself.

However, the best guess of law enforcement is that the vandals were picking trees in isolated areas, planning to kill the trees and then come back, cut them down, and steal the rare wood; or otherwise, to “encourage” the locals to sell them the rare wood at some cut-rate price.

All old trees are worthy of a certain amount of respect and care. This is disgusting.


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Japan’s Meiji Period Persecution of Buddhists

I’ve talked quite a bit here about Japan’s persecutions of Christians, Christian martyrs, and how Christianity managed to survive underground and emerge again.

But Buddhism also had its periods of popularity and government persecution, just as it did in China.

Here’s a little tourist article about Buddhist temples, showing the effects of Meiji persecution on two heavily Buddhist provinces.

The name of the persecution movement was “haibutsu kishaku,” which means something like “Expel Buddhism.”

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Linguists: The Looky-Lous at Linguistic Car Wrecks

Yes, my children, another emerging idiom.

Journalists have decided that “rose-colored glasses” consists of too many syllables, and hence have mashed it into “starry-eyed.”

Yes, an overly dreamy or overly optimistic person is now “rosy-eyed.”

Google gives over 10,000 results for the phrase. Most aren’t using the phrase in that sense, however. They’re talking about albino horses with pink eyes, or “Rosy eyed that guy.”

But periodic uses of the phrase date back as early as a 1985 Washington Post article, and there have been quite a few recent uses.

Um. Well. I hope those are pink contacts. Because otherwise it’s pinkeye or bloodshot eyes, neither of which are conducive to a sunny mood or looking at anything.

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The Return of William Gillette’s Sherlock Holmes!

Once upon a time, there was a silent 1916 Sherlock Holmes movie, starring William Gillette, the founder of all modern schools of acting and the originator of the role of Sherlock Holmes. He played Holmes in the theater over 1300 times, and Doyle loved it. (Loved the royalties, too.) The movie of the play was wildly popular, but every single copy was lost.

Until now.

Early in 2014, the Cinematheque Francaise found a duplicate copy with French title cards and color annotation, to be used in making French distribution copies. The find was announced back in October, although I didn’t hear about it. (Sob!)

In a partnership with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the movie has now been restored and certain scenes have been colored as directed. The movie has its restoration premiere in Paris, and will receive its US restoration premiere on Memorial Day Weekend, 2015, in San Francisco at the film festival.

And the BBC story includes a clip! SEE Holmes, Watson, Billy… and a certain dangerous caller!

Holy cow, this is so exciting! What a great thing to happen!


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Yeah, Surrrrrre Marijuana Candy Is Harmless.

Woman eats a little bit of the wrong candy bar. She is not happy.

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Sometimes ISIS Really Does Manage to Go Against the Laws of Islam

Several boys and young men were arrested and threatened with death for the “un-Islamic activity” of pigeon-keeping. Of course this was all a sham pretext for kidnapping the kids and holding them for ransom. Luckily, their families managed to raise the money.

There are no ahadith or Quran verses that forbid pigeon breeding. Pigeons are officially halal. Pigeons are good eating, and even Muhammad wasn’t going to forbid the raising of food and livestock. Actually, there’s a common story that pigeons from Medina do a haj to Mecca every year.

So yeah, the ISIS thugs are bloodthirsty murderous psychos already, but they do occasionally manage to go beyond even the limits of even the weirdest interpretations of Islam.

Pigeons are a popular animal in Middle Eastern countries, and it’s a common hobby to pursue because it doesn’t require much space or money. In Konya, Turkey (ancient Iconium), there’s a hotel that actually provides a sort of boarding kennel for pigeons. The idea is that if you have to travel and don’t have anybody to take care of your pigeons, you bring them over to the “pigeon hotel,” along with an adequate supply of pigeon food. The guy at the hotel takes care of your pigeons. If you’re a member of the local bird organization, it’s free.

In happier news, Christopher Lee Cornell was indicted by the grand jury down in Cincinnati and will go to trial for trying to blow up the US Capitol building. Since he didn’t legally change his name (which would have been easy and cheap for him to do), I see no reason not to refer to him by his legal name.


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