My name is Juan Rivera and this is my blog. Samurai mind online is about learning and self-help strategies with an Eastern edge. Disclaimer #1: I don’t know anything about samurai. I don’t want to be a samurai. I don’t buy into the samurai mythology. I don’t want to be Tom Cruise. (Though I do like the thought of jumping up and down on Oprah’s couches and babbling excitedly).

What fascinates me about the whole samurai thing is how the Japanese were able to choose to rise to the challenge of modernization. They were confronted by the West and were able to rise to the challenge and compete with the big boys. As the events leading up to World War II show, there was a dark side to this new knowledge. Learning needs to have an ethical side to it as well.

Let Samurai Mind Online Help You Find the Way

This blog came about from my desire to learn Japanese and from what I learned about learning as I learned more and more. (Did you learn something from my overuse of learning?) As I learned more kanji, I realized that I learned more from reading materials that were fun for me. I tried reading manga or Japanese comics, but that was somebody else’s fun.

I realized that I was a self-help junkie and started to realize that’s what I needed to read. I became particularly interested in Japanese “brain-boom” books, books that explore study methods and how to better optimize learning and growth.

Disclaimer #2: I am still learning Japanese and am committed to immersing myself in the language. My translations may be flawed, but its part of my immersion journey. I could also back up my ideas with research done in English, but that also interferes with my immersion goal. I will include reviews of “Western” books that I have found helpful. Take everything I say about Japanese sources with a huge splash of soy sauce. Take everything else with a grain of salt and experiment on yourself.

Samurai Mind explores some of these books and their underlying philosophies as well as my meandering along the way. My purpose is to share these books and other tools I’ve come across the way so that we can all lead happier, healthier, and wealthier lives. I firmly believe that if we fully can tap our minds, we can better serve our selves, others, and the earth in a spirit of intelligent play.


9 thoughts on “About”

  1. Hi, I'm the publisher of Time Warrior by Steve Chandler and I'm glad to see you enjoyed the book. May I send you his newest book, Wealth Warrior? And where shall I send it?



  2. anitarai793 said:

    Teaching yourself to speak a new language can be very mind-opening, that's for sure. I like to explore on my own the intricacies of a new language, but I always have questions that no one can answer. And they are often cultural questions as much as grammar and lexical ones.

    Like for instance, I remember Camille Paglia once argued that Japanese and French societies are very formalistic, hierarchical and structured, which is why their languages are like that. That is intriguing.

    I also want to challenge the implication you made about Japanese "traditionality" as opposed to the West's modernity. In the 19th century, to be sure, Japan had to revive itself, but much of what the West considered modernism — especially in design — is actually "traditionally" Japanese, like simple, bare, uncluttered design, solid colours, sleek functionality, etc.

    Anyhow, great website. Very interesting.

    • taijuando said:

      Thank you!

    • taijuando said:

      That is an interesting point that you made. One of the aspects that allowed Japan to industrialize during the Meiji era is that they already had pretty sophisticated distribution techniques, and different systems of production and craft. I like how you described Japanese design.

  3. sunoy14 said:

    My little brother is keen on learning japanese. Is it very difficult? By the I love samurais. I've heard too many myths about them, like they could predict the next sixteen moves of their enemies intuitively 😀 http://www.mamamusicians.com

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