In this study, the author will clarify how the Japanese artist and philosopher Okakura Tenshin contributed to the cultural exchange between India and Japan, which started in the early 20th century. The research is based on secondary data. Desk research was conducted for this study.
As an artist and philosopher in the early 20th century, Okakura Tenshin had a significant impact on the cultural exchange between India and Japan. His interest in India and Swami Vivekananda led him to India.
His close relationship with Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore and his support for India's Swadeshi Movement for independence at that time show his closeness to India. His friendship with Tagore was particularly deep, and he was inspired by Okakura’s philosophy of "Asia is one". Their friendship resulted in the exchange of many students and artists between India and Japan.
His effort to inspire people in Japan to visit India is seen in his first lecture that he gave after he went back to Japan from India. Tenshin Okakura inspired and sent his students Yokoyama Taikan, Shimomura Kanzan, Hishida Shunso, and others to deepen their exploration of Indian culture. He also sent Hori Jitoku to Santiniketan, West Bengal, to study Sanskrit as the first foreign student.
All of these initial exchanges became possible due to Okakura Tenshin’s interest in Indian culture and his friendship with Rabindranath Tagore. Okakura Tenshin's work promoting cultural exchange between India and Japan laid the groundwork for the strong relationship that the two countries enjoy today.
Aneesah Nishaat, Soka University, Japan
About the Presenter(s)
Ms Aneesah Nishaat is a University Doctoral Student at Soka University in Japan
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