Tag Archive: about the blog

I’ve been a terrible blogger.

Bloggers should write pretty much every day, for one thing. And should follow up on commitments to write about stuff they said they’d write about, for another.

I have sucked, and I do suck, at both. I have made verbal commitments to Laurent, GameOver and fuckphilosophy to follow up on conversations we’ve been having, and I have yet to deliver. I’ve probably teased a few people into thinking I had a promising start to a new thing that I’ve entirely failed to follow up on.

To all of you, I truly am sorry. I have yet to figure out whether I simply don’t have what it takes to be a blogger, or whether I need to readjust my blogging standards. I’m new at this, and I’ve also failed to make a serious enough commitment to really get it off the ground.

Without going into details, in the past two weeks I have spent much more of my time on trying to help out my wife (who recently was diagnosed with a fairly serious medical condition), holding up my part in two different bands, following the success of the playoffs-bound Denver Nuggets, and (alas!) only getting around to atheist blogging and tweeting as a quaternary priority.

(For the record, I didn’t know the word quaternary until I just googled what comes after tertiary).

Anyhow, I probably will never be able to make the promise of full-time devotion to my blog. It will, almost certainly, remain a haphazard, when-I-get-to-it-and-when-I-feel-like-it endeavor. And there will, without question, be times like now, when other priorities… well, take priority.

If you, despite all this, remain interested enough and patient enough to hang out and hear what I’ve got to say when I muster up the gumption to say it, then what can I say? I couldn’t be more appreciative and grateful.

But I’m gonna have to work this thing out at my own pace. If you don’t mind bearing with me for the ride, then welcome aboard.


After spending much of January visiting family in Southeast Asia, and the beginning of February getting back into the swing of things here in Japan, I’m happy to say that I’m ready to return to The Atheist Den and God… er, me willing, get a more regular blogging rhythm rolling.

Thanks for your patience, I appreciate it!


I’ve just created a new Facebook page for The Atheist Den. You can find it (and even like it) here:


I still won’t be very active here (or there) until after I take my Japanese exam in early December. But for now I’m trying to get the infrastructure in place to a) reach a wider readership and b) have more arenas available for various modes of communication.

This blog is the space that will allow me to go in depth on an array of topics with more time for careful consideration and research. I’ll always welcome and appreciate your comments here, but I have no illusions about this turning into its own “community”. Realistically, unless something happened and my blog totally blew up, most of the communication with readers here will probably consist of individual two-way exchanges. And while I’ll be grateful and excited for the opportunity to have those conversations, some more multi-dimensional communication is in order as well.

And along those lines, twitter is basically the exact opposite of the blog: An extremely diverse, and somewhat random and chaotic mish-mash of generally brief exchanges that tend to stay limited to whatever the flavor of the day happens to be. It can be great for networking, as well as for (and this cuts both ways) getting one’s ideas out to those who otherwise might not be exposed to or challenged by them. At the same time, the 140 character limit can be a bit maddening at times. (I’ve had exchanges where I’ve had to break up a “single” post into ten or more tweets, which can be a real headache to say the least).

So, my hope for the Facebook page is that it can function as a sort of happy medium between the two, combining the broad community aspect of twitter with the clearer, prosier communicative space of the blog. Ideally, discussions there can be more in-depth and constructive than is possible on twitter, but also more multi-directional and inclusive of wider audiences than the comments sections of this blog are likely to be.

Hopefully, the result of getting this all set up now will be a smoother and more impactful “re-launch” when my schedule permits me to start posting a lot more content, and subsequently a more enjoyable experience for all involved. Stay tuned…


On twitter and elsewhere, there has been some confusion about the name “denbutsu”, so I’d like to clear this up right from the get go.

I originally started using the name on the message board Pro Sports Daily, where I primarily posted about the Denver Nuggets and all things NBA, as well as the Denver Broncos. My original user name over there was JesusBong, which I had chosen for its irreverence and because I just loved this picture, which I used as my avatar. But as my involvement on that site got heavier, I spent more and more time there during my lunch breaks at an office where I worked at the time. The fear of someone looking over my shoulder and seeing something that could potentially get me into trouble led me to request a name change.

I chose “denbutsu” as a combination of the two places I call home: Colorado, where I was born, and Japan, where I’ve spent most of my adult life. The “den” is for Denver, and the “-butsu” comes from the Japanese word daibutsu, which means Great Buddha. One of Japan’s most famous cultural icons is the Great Buddha in Kamakura, which is just a stone’s throw away from where I live in southern Yokohama. I chose that image for my avatar because a) it represents where I live, b) it looks “person-like” so it works for an avvy, and c) I just think it looks cool. And it just stuck. I’ve been using it for a long time now.

I’m an atheist, so for me it has no meaning beyond the aesthetic and cultural. And while I do consider Buddhism to be among the more innocuous of the world’s religions, especially here in Japan where it takes on a largely secular form, I myself am not a Buddhist.

I actually did consider Continue reading

Hello everyone, denbutsu here wishing you a warm welcome to my new blog.

Why am I doing this? Truthfully, the main reason is that until now I’ve mostly been using twitter for my atheist musings, but I’ve come to find the format constraining. I’m tired of making long chains of tweets (1/7, 2/7, 3/7, etc.) to write about my generally verbose views. I figured a blog would just allow for a more comfortable space to do that, as well as provide a bit more flexibility in terms of sharing video, pictures, and quotes from other articles and blogs.

It’s also my hope that raising my “officially atheist” profile a little will allow me to make some inroads in the international atheist community, and I have some vague ambitions of getting something off the ground here in Japan if there are numbers.

So here we go. Hate to get so incredibly geeky on my first post, but this quote from J.R.R. Tolkein does come to mind:

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say.  “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Here’s to the great unknown, and keeping our feet as we venture into it. Cheers!

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