Finishing Up Draft 2

Our group has been hard at work recording and re-recording audio. This has been a productive week for us. Everyone has been involved in the decision-making in everything from dialogue to segues. Because of this group effort, our podcast is coming together and sounding pretty good. With this being my last ‘real’ blog post of the class, I just want to take the time to thank my fellow Group 2 members for making this a genuinely fun and enjoyable process. That being said, we are not quite done yet. On our agenda for tonight is to finish up the last bit of editing and submit the second draft for the podcast. We have made some structural changes and adjustments. The flow of the audio should be improved this time around along with the quality of some recordings. We added new questions and dialogue and adjusted some positions for old audio.

In the near future, we will be discussing our content for our group presentations, constructing a landing page, adding/adjusting audio, adding music and segues if needed, and more. As stated before, this podcast is coming together nicely and we are all excited to get the final draft out there. We are working hard and looking to finish Centre Term strong.


Group 2: A Look at Ennin

I recently picked up a book in the library, titled Ennin’s Travels in T’ang China. This book combines a primary source, Ennin’s Diary, with the thoughts of the author, Edwin O. Reischauer who is a professor of far eastern languages at Harvard University. Not only does Reischauer add vital information, but the often summarized writings of Ennin contribute more detailed information than the typical monograph.

Ennin, known as Jikaku Daishi in Japan (sounds familiar as it might been from Japanese Tales), was a Buddhist monk. He traveled from Japan in 838 A.D. in order to later introduce to the world a place absolutely foreign to outsiders–after all, his diary is the first account of life in China by any foreign visitor.

Similar to Ennin, Reischauer, after translating Ennin’s massive work and attaching footnotes, is also one of the first to bring this work to a new (Western) audience.

He writes this in the Preface: In the present age in which we are experiencing the painful process of amalgamation into one world, a great historical document of this sort, although medieval in time and Far Eastern in place, is a part of our common human heritage, with significance beyond these limits of time and space. It is the report of an important traveler in world history and an extraordinary, firsthand account of one of the way stations on man’s long and tortuous journey from his lowly, savage beginnings of his present lofty but precarious position. (vii-viii)

As long-winded as that might have been. I can understand firsthand even just a small part of that. In the fall of 2015, I studied and traveled for roughly four-and-a-half months in China. I climbed Huangshan (Yellow Mtn.), explored Guilin, celebrated an international ice and snow festival in Harbin, lived in Shanghai, and toured Beijing and Hangzhou. Although my travel didn’t have an importance to the degree of Ennin’s (obviously), it was vital to my understanding of both the world as a whole, and the world as it is lived in modern China.

Even though deadlines are fast approaching, I will spend as much time as possible combing through Ennin’s collection–ranging from Chinese officials, popular festivals, and the persecution of Buddhism. This should be a significant source for my portion of the podcast, at least.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned.

Adam Riekert

Group 2: Monday Update

It was another great day of group work. We picked a topic and even started finding some stories that go along with it. Our topic at this point is:
“Buddhism as influential in both Chinese and Japanese tales and how each culture intertwined Buddhism with existing ideology.”

The time periods we will be focusing on are the Tang Dynasty (China): 618-907 c.e. and Japan: 700-1300 c.e. Some ideas for subtopics also include the Asuka period and Soga clan sponsoring Buddhism. Emperor Tenmu and banning of eating certain meats. The Nara period and the actual intro of Buddhism. Some possible tales that we can use are:
-“The invisible man” Japanese tales 99
-“Dyeing castle” Japanese tales 102
– “Journey to the West” Chinese Tale
-“Dragon Kings Daughter” Chinese Tale
We are beginning to plan and outline our script for the podcast. This is still a work in progress but we are confident that we will be able to get some audio recorded this week. A lot of progress was made today and the project is coming along nicely.