Bhutan History Moment: Padmasambhava

Among the remarkable pieces of Bhutanese History is the story of Padmasambhava and the arrival of Buddhism to the region.  Padmasambhava, popularly known as Guru Rinpoche or Guru Drubchu in Bhutan, traveled to the Himalayan region in the 8th century.  An excellent short essay on his travels can be found on about.com HERE.

Padmasambhava carved into the hillside on the road to Tango Buddhist University.
Padmasambhava carved into the hillside on the road to Tango Buddhist University.

You will find, as we travel around Bhutan, paintings, sculptures, carvings, and stories about this legendary figure.  As we make our way across the country, keep your eyes open for these signs of his travels and historical sites that honor his gift to Bhutan.

Enjoy!

Japanese History Moment: 47 Ronin

On our arrival in Tokyo, we will stay near the Sengakuji Temple.  The temple is dedicated to a  fascinating story about a group of samurai known as the “47 Ronin”.  Detailed information is available all over the web and I like the information located at 47ronin.com…..for THAT information check out this web site 47 Ronin.

Japanese history since the unification of the country under samurai rule is remarkable in the society’s attainment of art, literature, architecture, and political structure. The Edo period, as it is called, begins with a civil war and consolidation of power and ends with the dramatic modernization of Japan under Emperor Meiji.  Check out some of that information at the Japan Guide web site HERE.

If you are interested in a more in depth look at Japanese society during the Edo Period, a couple of my favorite books include:

Donald Keene’s World Within Walls

Matsuo Basho’s The Narrow Road to Oku

Enjoy!

Sengakuji Temple
Sengakuji Temple

Interested in Learning a little Dzongkha? Check it out!

You will not find a lot of information about learning Dzongkha online….however, you can find a couple of sites that offer some information.  Dzongkha is related to Tibetan and the script is very similar.  Take a look at these sites, if you are interested, and try out some Dzongkha.

Learning Dzongkha

General Information about the Language

Bhutanese Government Site on Dzongkha

Tashi Delek!

TGF