Category: Japan

Japan’s Kumano Kodo pilgrimage [book review]

When preparing our hiking trip to the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, I was extremely pleased to find a dedicated guidebook that covered precisely the region we wanted to explore and provided enough background material to make the walk sound feasible. However, once I found the Kumano Travel reservation website, run most efficiently by the Tanabe […]

FALL [book review]

The “last” book I took with me to Japan is Neal Stephenson’s FALL. With subtitle “Dodge in Hell”. It shares some characters with REAMDE but nothing prevents reading it independently as a single volume. Or not reading it at all! I am rather disappointed by the book and hence  sorry I had to carry it […]

the (forty-)seven samurai (赤穂浪士)

During my vacations in Japan, I read the massive (1096p) book by Osaragi Jiro on the  Akō incident, with occidental title the 47 rōnins. Which I had bought in Paris before leaving. This is a romancized version of an historical event that took part in 1701 in the Genroku era. Where 47 rōnin (leaderless samurai) […]

hiking the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi imperial route

The Kumano Kodo is a network of paths of pilgrimage towards places seen as sacred by either buddhists or shintoists (or syncretists!) from the 700’s. Meaning for non-believers a well-established system of ancient hiking paths in the mountainous forests of the Kii peninsula, south of Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. Apart from the potential dangers of […]

off to Osaka

Today, I am off to Japan to visit Kengo Kamatani at Osaka University (where I will give a seminar on Tuesday) for a week and then for two weeks of vacation hiking the Kumano Kodō, a network of ancient pilgrimage routes in the Kii peninsula, south of Osaka. (Presumably with little access to the Internet […]

and it only gets worse [verbatim]

“Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy” M. Menezes, US Secretary of Energy “NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon – We did that 50 years ago. They should be […]

holistic framework for ABC

An AISTATS 2019 paper was recently arXived by Kelvin Hsu and Fabio Ramos. Proposing an ABC method “…consisting of (1) a consistent surrogate likelihood model that modularizes queries from simulation calls, (2) a Bayesian learning objective for hyperparameters that improves inference accuracy, and (3) a posterior surrogate density and a super-sampling inference algorithm using its […]