Soul for the Soul – Japanese Style

Out of all the countries I’ve been to, there is one country that stands well and truly above the rest when we are talking about having soul. That country is Japan.

Japan is that little country floating off the side of Asia with 127 million people in it. It has as much history as anywhere in the world, and what I believe to be the most interesting.


Thank you Google maps!

And from it’s deep history, until now, is pure soul food. Now why do I think that the country is full of soul? Let me explain…

Family is important

I have never been somewhere that cherishes it’s family so much. Often several generations live under the same roof. I love this. This has to be great for the soul. Dinner is always eaten together and lessons are taught from generation to generation. This is so different to the rest of the world, where some grand children may only see their grand parents once a year and the first thing they want is not lessons, but presents!


Japanese itself is a very difficult language to learn. It can take years to master. There are some great language software packages that help make learning Japanese easier and it’s well worth the effort, as it is a beautiful language. The written words of Japanese just makes me feel relaxed. This is especially so when it is written in calligraphy, which is an art form in itself.

Origami paper folding

The Japanese have made an art form for folding paper. Some of the more complex creations can take weeks to learn. They can be ever so intricate. Making these paper creations is very relaxing and lets you be one with yourself.


I’ve already mentioned how important family is to the Japanese. This comes from a strong culture. There is far too much to write about in a 500 word post, but I found a great article that looks in depth about it. Click here for a lot more information.

ZaZen (Zen Meditation) Zen Buddhism

ZaZen has been around for thousands of year and is a meditative discipline typically related to a religious practice. The meaning and method of zazen varies from place to place, but in general it can be regarded as a means of insight into the nature of existence. Zazen is basically just sitting and suspending all judgmental thinking and letting words, ideas, images and thoughts pass by without getting involved in them. It is one of the most relaxing practices once you get the hang of it.

Some soul music for the Soul

What better way to get this site going than talking about Soul Music. Music has always been associated with the soul since the day someone made a hollow log to beat with a stick. While this post will look directly at Soul Music, it really could be for any type of music that tickles your fancy. What ever music makes you feel relaxed and fills your soul with meaning is the right music for you. There is no better feeling than sitting back and relaxing to your favorite type of music.


Soul Music

Soul music started back in the 1950s in the United States of America. It combines elements of gospel music, rhythm, blues and jazz. From there it expanded into many countries to be quite a world wide phenomenon. It peaked in the 60s and 70s and was as popular as any music going around. It seemed to find a great balance between the different music styles of the time.

Soul gave us some of the all time great singers including James Brown and Aretha Franklin. A number of groups also claim soul music to be there starting point. They include The Supremes and the Pointer Sisters to name two.

Since the 80s soul music has dropped off the popular music lists and it’s hard to find new releases. Having said that you can feel the influences in the music through out the 90s and today. Without soul I think rock and roll would never have become as great as it was.

For more information have a look at the wiki page.


Some of the Best

Here are some of my favorite soul songs…


“Let’s Get It On”—Marvin Gaye


“I’ve Got So Much to Give”—Barry White


“My Girl”—The Temptations


Soul music just makes you feel good. Whether you are just sitting back to relax or you want to move with the music and dance the night away there will be a soul song for you to love. Youtube is a great place to search for them. You can be on there for hours and find some great songs you have never heard of before. Enjoy!