But as I began thinking a bit about blogging, I found an old Japanese diary of a lady-in-waiting to the Emperor, called the "Pillow Book", by Sei Shonagon. It was something I'd read before and found quite interesting, but picking it up again in a blog context put it in a completely new light. It read just like a 10th century LiveJournal.
Here's a sample entry:
Small children and babies should be fat. Provincial governors should be fat too, and other people who have done well for themselves. If they're too thin, it makes you think they're miserable.
As well as thoughts, observations, tales of life at the court, the book contains a large number of random lists, which really made me think of LiveJournal polls and surveys. Here's another example:
- Things I think are elegant
- A white coat over a violet waistcoat
- Duck's eggs
- Sherbet ice, liana syrup, in a nice new silver bowl
- Rock crystal
- Snow on plum blossoms
- A pretty little girl eating strawberries
I decided that it would be quite fun to translate the blog -- uh, book -- in a fairly modern, relaxed style, use fictitious but plausible dates for the entries, and run it as a real blog.