Author Archives: Michael Gakuran

Japanese Speech Contest 2008

On 2nd February at Imperial College London, the Third Japanese Speech Contest for University Students took place. Applications had been as far back as November last year, but with the encouraging enthusiasm of my teachers, I took the plunge and submitted my short essay.
Posted in Japan, Journal | 44 Comments

Crying – that lump in your throat

What causes that lump in your throat when you cry? Being ‘all choked up’? That tightening sensation that grips you when you are moved to feel strong emotions? This was the question that popped into my head this evening. It’s something I’ve come to expect as normal on those occasions when I feel lachrymose that […]
Posted in Other | 33 Comments

Reading philosophy

Who are the philosophers you would no doubt read if only you had the time? How about the philosophers you suspect that everyone has pretended to read, but whom very few have? If you’ve ever thought there’s just too much reading in philosophy, you’ll be pleased to know there’s only one essential philosopher to read. […]
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Manga portrait

A portrait of yours truly, Michael, drawn by my good friend David Smith (below), owner of Watermelon Studios. He’s an aspiring Manga artist currently in his final year of University studying animation and also an ardent musician.
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Japan Year Abroad Report 2007

Akita International University (AIU) is small, rural place, hidden away in the Tohoku region in Northern Japan. With a mere 600 or so students and only a few bus journeys a day to the main city, it has a certain feeling of isolation, but nurtures an atmosphere similar to one you might find at home.
Posted in Japan, Journal | 7 Comments

First Kiss Jdrama

Watching Jdramas is a great way to brush up on Japanese listening skills, and even cultural knowledge. Recommended is the Japanese drama (Jdrama) ‘First Kiss’ that aired last year over the summer. Hilarious and romantic, if slightly corny at times.
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Wittgenstein’s Fly bottle

“What is your aim in Philosophy?” “To show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle” (Philosophical Investigations) – Wittgenstein Wittgenstein thought that the pursuit of philosophy in its traditional sense is pointless. Philosophers who scoured far and wide for a structured logical form applicable to everything were deluded and wasting their time, much like […]
Posted in Philosophy | 8 Comments

Responses to Skepticism

Here I consider a couple of other responses to skepticism interesting in their own right. Both Externalist and Internalist responses also try to refute skepticism too.
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