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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

After 1 year of silence, I am finally able to break it. Although there are still some formal details to be processed, major changes are incoming in my life, so, the reasons that required me to keep silent about my current life and working status are vanishing.

I took the occasion in a gap between my professional occupations to finish my long novel: Rai'an (future peace).

Click here for being linked there.

The novel is in Italian, so, if you don't understand this language (I might be biased, but is common saying that it's one of the most beautiful languages in the world), it will be useless to you, I am afraid.

It's about a time travel back to Japan of the Hei'an period, around the year 1000. However, the time travel is just an excuse to be able to place a modern scientist in an ancient environment.

Although there is adventure, romance action, there's much space also for a historic reconstruction of the everyday living and generic cultural environment of the pre-medieval Japan. This period is one of the most mysterious in the history of Japan, as not much documentation has come to us, except for the very probably much embellished stories that the Imperial Court wrote about itself. In fact, modern researches are revealing many aspects of the culture, everyday living and religion of the place and time that was nearly unsuspected just 10-20 years ago. In this novel, I am trying to explore the ancient Japan as it's being revealed by the most advanced researches in the field.

So, if you can read Italian, and are into time travel and/or ancient Japan stuff, jump in and have a look at my Lulu showcase.

Update: E-book now added. Here you can read an extended preview, before buying from the above link.

Friday, July 13, 2012

At times, I feel proud to share my ancestry with Dante. Here is Ulysses, which tells Dante how he instilled in his crew the will to sail forth unknown seas past the Gibiltair strict, which, at that time, was considered "the end of the world":

"O frati," dissi, "che per cento milia
perigli siete giunti a l'occidente,
a questa tanto picciola vigilia

d'i nostri sensi ch'è del rimanente
non vogliate negar l'esperïenza,
di retro al sol, del mondo sanza gente.

Considerate la vostra semenza:
fatti non foste a viver come bruti,
ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza".

"Oh brothers", I said, "you, that moving forth across
hundred thousands perils came to the West,
to this border so tiny,

of what's still left to see
don't take away anything from our senses
of what lies behind the sun, of the uninhibited world

And remember your seed:
you weren't made to live as beasts
but to follow virtue and knowledge".




When I re-read this words, I still can feel the pride to be a Tuscan, an Italian, a Human.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I proposed myself for a voluntary cooperation with CICAP, the "the Italian Committee for the Investigation of Claims on the Paranormal". They were searching for translators willing to lend a hand in translating material from "less common languages", like French, German and the like. So I wondered if they would have been interested in translations from Japanese.

The talk went on a bit, and a general interest on the relationships between Japan and paranormal things emerged. So, I started a bit of an investigation on the field.

It is well known that Japanese people have a traditional attraction towards supernatural and paranormal talks. While the first "gothic literature" in Europe is generally placed at the beginning of the '800, and individuated in works as "The Castle of Otranto" and "Wuthering Heights", Japanese literature is two-way bound with supernatural themes since the first records, and theatre pieces like "Yotsuya Ghost Story" produced in the early '800s was counting on an already solid tradition.

This may depend on the shamanic roots of the early Japanese culture, which changed into a more organized cult during the passage out of the pre-historic period into the early Japan as a central state emerged around 600 AD, but whose founding principles was never totally forgotten.

In the beginning, the search for people and associations seriously approaching paranormal phenomenon and claims of supernatural activities had been harder than I thought. I will digress on this aspect as my research progress.

However, I've been able to get in touch with an amazing set of fellow researchers, forming the ASIOS. The relatively young association (born in 2007) had already performed a quantity of investigations, promoted a series of books on scientific investigation (and dismantling) of "paranormal facts" and published a collective book called "The solving of mysteries". The president of the association, Mr. Honjou Tatsuya, replied to my first contact letter with an unexpectedly warm welcome.

I am so starting my journey in to the Japanese mysteries and the Japanese way to solve them. Isn't this exciting? :-)

If you have any news about weird things, mysteries, supernatural phenomenon and the like, and researchers on this field in Japan, I'd love you to send me comments on this article or mail me via my contact form.


Monday, October 19, 2009

I met up with Tatsuno Kazuo works more or less by chance.

An interview about the involvement of Mr. Tatsuno in the activism against the highway tunnel under the Takao Mountain.

While searching for materials to deepen my study of Japanese, I hit this book of his called Bunsho no kakikata, or "How to write". His work left a deep impression on me, so much that I tried to gather all his writings, the "book shaped" ones, on which I could lay my hands on.

One of his suggestion goes like...

If you want to dig a hole, start tracking it's borders. The wider the borders, the wider the hole will be. The deeper you'll be able to go without loosing sight of what you're doing.

Preparatory works. I do believe in those; as a programmer, I clear the ground from potential problems in advance, and ... I draw a big circle around the area I want to solve.

Tatsuno talks of writing, but he means "your job", and then "your work", and then "your life". Another suggestion is to write something. Each day. I'll try to follow it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I am reading some essays on the "Man'yo shuu", a compilation of 10,000 poetry slices from ancient Japan. Today, I have stumbled on a poetry that deeply impressed and moved me, so I want to share it. This is from a priest of the Gengouji temple in ancient Nara, filed as n. 1018. The most common poetry form in the Man'yo Shuu is the tanka (5-7-5-7-7), but this is a 5-7-7-5-7-7 form called Sendaika (revolving theme poetry).

Shiratama wa
White pearls...
Le perle più preziose...

hito ni shiraezu
are unknowable by the many.
sono inconoscibili alle genti.

shirazu to mo yoshi
If they don't know, then fine!
Ma anche se non le conoscono, sta bene.

Shirazu to mo
Even if they don't know
Anche se non mi conoscono

wareshi shireraba
just, if I am able to know my true self
se almeno io so conoscere il vero me

shirazu to mo yoshi
if they don't know, then fine!
Anche se non mi conoscono, sta bene.

This poetry is really outstanding in the Man'yo Shuu. It breaks almost any rule, respecting just the sendaika metric, which is uncommon by itself. There are poetry with repetitions, but repeating a whole verse is quite "daring" alone; the doubling of the repetition with the second 5 syllable verse makes this even more daring. Then, this poetry talks directly of a personal feeling, it's very intimate and warm; no metaphors and just no parallels with the surrounding natural environment. It's just as it is.

And mostly astonishing, while this poetry is 1300 years old, except for shireraba, now spelled as shirareba, and the term wareshi that sounds quite old, it uses words and grammatical forms that are absolutely still used today. It's a message that traveled through more than a thousand years, with its emotional charge still powerful as the day it has been written.

I wish I was able to reach this same detachment and self-completeness.

Friday, March 20, 2009

On the tiles in the walls of Milan Bovisa railway station:

Tiles in bovisa station.

One guy scratched: "You mother stones herself!"
And besides, someone else: "Well, my father too..."

Sunday, January 25, 2009

While waking up, I thought

Principles are great, unless they become means, or worse, ends.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Genpou Yamamoto was a Zen priest that so admonished the Japanese prime minister, Kantarou Suzuki, trying to have him stepping back from the positions that would have lead to the disastrous outcomes of the entry in WWII.

What is built on strength, with strength is demolished. What is built on money, with money is demolished. What is built on wisdom is eternal.

The rest is legend. It is said that Mr. Suzuki himself, mortally offended, went at Yamamoto's shrine to collect his personal vengeance. Entering the sacred rooms with his shoes still on, he faced the high priest; looking around, he glimpsed an hanging scroll on the wall, displaying a poetry bearing the signature of Genpou Yamamoto himself. With a brim grim on his face, he took his pocket lighter out, harshly ripped the poetry away from the wall and set it on fire.

"Behold! It just took the strength of my nail and the money of my gas to demolish your wisdom."

It's been in that exact moment that, suddenly, Genpou was enlightened. His face bright, his eyes deep, his brows serene, he deeply lowered his head and said to the Prime Minister: "From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. You have bestowed the most precious of the gifts on me."

Suzuki was deeply disturbed by the monk's reply, partially because he wanted to irritate him and he knew that nothing he could do now would achieve that result, but mainly because, despite the fact that it was evident that the monk was true, Suzuki knew in that moment that he would never be able to understand what that gift was.

He walked away feeling profoundly defeated, as that he was defeated he did know.

One disciple approached Genpou and asked him: "Master, what is this precious gift you received now?"
"He taught me the most important lesson in my life.
"See, what is built on strength, with strength is demolished. What is built on money, with money is demolished. But only one thing can make even wisdom to crumble, and for this we must be aware and defend wisdom against that: stupidity."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On a TV show I recently happened to see, a very wise American Constitutional attorney was so commenting the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution:

There's a number of moral assaulter who wants to take their concerns as a parent, and impose those concerns on all of society, and including, on to me, and I don't want those people to be my parents, and there's nothing on the constitution saying they can be your parent either.

It was very enlightening to see that grown up man in a 3,000$ suite sitting calmly in a rich office to put down things simply as they are, and referring at those assaulter as "wanna be parents".

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A new era for the Mankind has just begun.

As many times in the past, when something exceptional happens, at firsts, it gets hardly noticed. Often, when who holds the power finds out, it is hidden, bended... but it cannot be canceled. It may take time, but in the end, the events bound to change the destiny of the mankind always carry out their task.

Lakota "Tribe" (according to someone, "Nation" according to the facts) has rejected the treaties signed more than 150 years ago with the government of U.S.A. as "Empty words", repeatedly infringed by those who have forced the Lakota into signing them.

Read the news here: The press release.

I am writing below the letter I sent them to hail their Nation, and the reasons why I think this is the first day of a new era.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

My last post was a bit strong, and I feel like explaining it a bit. However, rather than argument more (my arguments were quite exhaustive, IMHO), I would like to express my emotions and my feelings for the Chinese people. And I will do it through a reverse translation of an Italian song that I feel like if I was the one to write it.

This song, "Città proibita", "the forbidden city", is about the Tien An Men incident back in 1989. That incident was a shock for all the world, and my generation was deeply impressed and moved by that fact. I can't help crying even today in listening this song, and obviously, it's not for the song itself.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The news about 300 Chinese inhabitants in Paolo Sarpi Street, Milan, Italy, raising a Riot because of a fine that the City Police was giving to one of them, has probably been already widespread all around the world.

As I live in Milan, and as I know more than something about the situation at stake, I want to present my point on the argument, in the hope that it will be read by someone in the interested parties.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Recently, I discovered that there are Italian poets writing poetry in the classical Japanese haiku style, that is 3 verse of 5, 7 and 5 syllables. There are other rules, as "there should be some word having a seasonal meaning", but they are less relevant.

Here's a try of mine:

La mia sera
vento che sa di città
mi accarezza

My evening
wind which carries the scent of the city
is stroking me.


Oh... I made 5/7/5 also in Japanese :-)
... but it doesn't sound great in the Japanese version.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

This genuine Italian expression means more or less "What a bad display of yourself!". I think the reason why a so compact and useful expression has entered the Italian vocabulary is that it can be applied more or less constantly to our public institutions.

Our Italian government has just been put in minority by an adverse vote of two senators and of the "officially unaligned" 6 senators for life in the upper chamber. The vote was about international policy, and in particular about Italian participation in Iraq/Afghan affair.

Monday, February 05, 2007

You would expect such a sentence to be pronounced by an IT Geek, a Guru or an IT teacher, but it isn't quite the case.

This was said, in an extremely natural tone, by one important Italian politician: Gianfranco Fini, leader of the second biggest opposition party "Alleanza Nazionale". He said this during a press conference, replying to a question about the coherence of its position about the latest government deeds.
"I never changed opinion, if you don't believe me you can search Google for my former statements."

Well, it is interesting that a politician is so well informed about how much powerful internet can be, so that it can be used as a reliable recorder of recent history. What is concerning me is the fact that he explicitly cited Google, rather than just the Internet, as a reliable source.