Monday October 23, 2017

Japanese Minimalist Movement: Why Less is More?

The Japanese minimalist movement promotes ideas of simplicity and to keep just what you need

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Japanese house
Japanese style house. Source: Pixabay
  • Zen Buddhism is promoting simplistic way of life
  • Japanese people are being promoted to only keep just what they need
  • People are focussing on more important things in life rather than keeping up with the trends

New Delhi, July 8, 2017: A new trend, which has become prominent in Japan is called minimalist movement. it promotes stress-free simplicity and has become popular under the influence of Zen Buddhism. It supports simplicity and ideas like less is more. A de-cluttering expert Marie Condo influences people to throw everything out and retain just what you are just in need of. There are thousands of people who are hardcore minimalists with almost thousands more interested.

Japan is regularly hit by natural disasters like an earthquake which does not make it sensible to fill their homes with a lot of valued possessions. Studies reveal that falling objects cause nearly half of earthquake injuries. Moreover, it is cheaper to be minimalist.

ALSO READ: Japanese Animation series Dragon Ball Super portrays Lord Ganesh as one of the ‘evil gods of destruction’ 

Some of the bedrooms in Japan are so simple that they do not have beds. All consumerist products are kept out of sight in drawers. Everything is kept right where it was picked up from after use. In some houses, even the living rooms have been de-cluttered and are filled with only a desk and chair. They manage to decorate their houses with simple yet beautiful objects. It is easier to find items you need and they are kept within reach. A popular storage strategy used by minimalists is hanging objects on hooks.

Fumio Sasaki is one of the many Japanese people who decided that less is more and lives in a minimalist way. His friends compare his one room apartment to an interrogation room. He, who was once a collector of books, CDs, and DVDs, got tired of following trends and starting selling his belongings or giving them to his friends.

According to him, if he spends less time on cleaning and gathering trendy things he would be able to focus on the more important things in life like friends and traveling and it’ll make him a lot more active. Definitions of minimalists vary because the aim is not just de-cluttering but re-considering what possessions mean to them in order to gain something else.

In the West, an empty space is made complete by filling it with different things but here, in Japan, spaces are left empty to let people’s imaginations make them complete. It is a way of valuing the more important things in your life and discarding the less important ones.

– prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter: Hkaur1025

 

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Hinduism Acts As a Boundary for the Spread of Radical Islam in India: Chinese Media

The article called attention to the solid impact of Hinduism in India

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Hinduism in India
Hinduism in India. Pixabay

Sep 03, 2014: Muslims in India generally stayed unaffected from the radicalization of Muslim gatherings in different parts of the world in light of the strong impact of Hinduism in the nation, which has established a mark of itself by going past a religion to end up plainly as a lifestyle and a social establishment, said the state-run Chinese media on Wednesday.

Adulating Hinduism for helping India setting up an ever lasting attachment towards the religion among different sects, an article in Global Times, titled – “Hinduism tied to India’s geopolitical standing” said that Hinduism made India a boundary for the spread of radical Islam on the global geopolitical scene.

The article asserted that-

Why does it seem that Muslims in India have remained largely apart from the radicalization that has happened to Muslim groups in other parts of the world? Indian Muslims seldom have extreme organizations compared with groups in many other Asian countries. In the southern part of the Philippines, extremists backed by Islamic State have turned their occupied cities into horrible places. In southern Thailand, terror attacks staged by Muslim extremists take place almost every week.

The article called attention to the solid impact of Hinduism, the dominant religion of India while answering the question: Why does it seem that Muslims in India have remained largely apart from the radicalization that has happened to Muslim groups in other parts of the world? 

“Like many other religions, Hinduism has its extreme side, but for the most part, its more moderate side has the strongest influence. Perhaps it is this more moderate influence that has helped establish India’s lasting cohesion and is one of the reasons that the country has not separated”

Indians take pride in the Mughal Dynasty, the time of history which was built up by Muslims, not even by the Hindus, however, there was a strong Hindu influence in that time also.

“In the long history of India, Hinduism has gone far beyond a religion to become a lifestyle and social institution. Both its extreme and tolerant sides have constituted the foundation for its relationship with Muslims and this dual character is going to exist for a long time,” it said.

The consequence of this relationship has made India a hindrance for the spread of radical Islam on the global geopolitical scene.

Also Read: How Hinduism is Interpreted by Western Indologists-David Frawley. Wendy Doniger. Koenraad Elst

The article brought up that the absence of Islamic fanatics in India has established its role in Asia and it has been thought about by the US, Japan, Russia and European nations as well.

“In the future, India is sure to continue to stand out in geopolitical significance when it comes to increasing religious and ethnic conflicts around the world. Where China is concerned, this significance should not be ignored”, the article concluded.


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Japan comes Out in Full Support for India in its 2-month Long Military Standoff with China at Doklam

The support of the Indian position by Japan is a notable step as China has not only violated agreements with India and Bhutan but Japan as well

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Japan backs India on Doklam standoff issue
Doklam standoff. Wikimedia Commons
  • Japan said there should be nothing to change the status quo on the ground by force
  • The statement comes as an endorsement of the Indian position that China has violated agreements with India and Bhutan
  • India has made its standpoint clear that it stands for peace and that the border problem can be resolved diplomatically and not by war

New Delhi, August 18, 2017: Japan has come out in full support for India in its two-month long military standoff with China at Doklam, near the Sikkim-Tibet-Bhutan tri-junction, stating no ‘unilateral forces’ to change the status quo on the ground.

Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu acknowledged the situation at the Doklam Plateau and said, “We recognize Doklam is a disputed area between Bhutan and China and the two countries are engaged in border talks. We also understand that India has a treaty understanding with Bhutan, that’s why Indian troops got involved in the area”, mentioned ANI report.

The support of the Indian position by Japan is a notable step at a regional level as China has not only violated agreements with India and Bhutan but Japan as well.

It is appropriate to state that Japan is also involved with the sovereignty issue with China… Click To Tweet

The Bhutanese Government had earlier recounted ANI over the phone, “Our position on the border issue of Doklam is very clear.”

ALSO READ: China warns India about 1962 Military Defeat, asks to Withdraw troops from “Chinese territory”

In a response to the developments in Doklam, the Bhutanese Government issued a press release on June 29 where it was clearly mentioned that the construction of the road inside the Bhutanese territory is the infringement of the agreements and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between the two countries.

China is trying to build a trail through Doklam plateau, which is part of Bhutan, a construction that would serve as an impediment to India’s military defenses.

Doklam stand-off has now approached its second month, and there has been no change in the situation. China’s Foreign Ministry has restated that India should withdraw all its troops and equipment as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops will continue to defend Dong Lang, which is Chinese territory.

The prolonged standoff began on June 16 when India sent troops to stop China constructing a road in the Doklam area, a remote, unsettled territory claimed by both China and India’s ally Bhutan. India opposed the road construction after the Chinese troops neglected Bhutanese protests, which triggered the border tensions.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has reemphasized that “India’s roadmap is peace and talks are going on to resolve the issue diplomatically”.

India has made its standpoint clear that it stands for peace and that the border problem can be resolved diplomatically and not by war.


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

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Woman Medical Pioneers from India, Syria and Japan Who Traveled to Philadelphia in 1885

The picture shows a group of medical students, all women, dressed in their traditional attires belonging from Syria, Japan and India

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Women Medical Pioneer
Photograph of Anandibai Joshee, Kei Okami, and Tabat M. Islambooly, students from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. Wikimedia

New Delhi, August 15, 2017:

There is a remarkable archaic picture of some extraordinary medical students in Pennsylvania in 1885, who was featured on Public Radio International’s “The World” and has been making rounds on the web.

The picture shows a group of medical students, all women, dressed in their traditional attires belonging from India, Syria, and Japan.

What’s so outlandish about the image that has stunned the internet? Nothing is too remarkable in the picture until you see the period of time indicating the image from the year 1885. Each woman was the first in their respective countries to obtain a degree in western medicine.

Why did these women trek to the United States for studies?

America was the only place in the world at that time who offered Medical education to women. It’s also a tribute to the Quakers of Pennsylvania, who believed in women’s rights sufficiently to set up the WMCP way back in 1850 in Germantown.

Woman Medical Pioneer in India
Photograph of Anandi Gopal Joshi (March 31, 1865 – February 26, 1887). Wikimedia Commons

One of the strong-minded looking women among the group is Anandibai Joshi from India. She was married off at the age of 9 to a high caste Brahmin family. Her husband motivated her to pursue her studies back then, which is commendable to acknowledge with regard to the antiquated time of the history. But what impelled her to become a doctor was the tragic story of her own. At the 14, she gave birth to a child who died right after ten days post birth due to unavailability of healthcare facilities. From that point onwards, she decided to become a doctor and overcome hurdles that came her way.

Anandibai Joshi was the first Hindu woman to set foot in America. Click To Tweet

Hindus of ancient India considered traveling overseas as a sin that would corrupt them, regardless of which Anandibai succeeded in attaining her dreams. She was the first Hindu woman to set foot in America.

The WMCP received a letter of congratulations from Britain’s Queen Victoria, who was also Empress of India on the graduation of Anandibai.

The Pri.org mentioned an extract from her letter of application to WMCP:

“[The] determination which has brought me to your country against the combined opposition of my friends and caste ought to go a long way towards helping me to carry out the purpose for which I came, i.e. is to to render to my poor suffering country women the true medical aid they so sadly stand in need of and which they would rather die than accept at the hands of a male physician. The voice of humanity is with me and I must not fail. My soul is moved to help the many who cannot help themselves.”

The picture is also a reminder of just how exceptional America was in the 19th century. America was the inspirational beacon of freedom and equality for the entire world back then.

Another woman from Japan, Keiko Okami, returned to Tokyo and was recognized as a doctor and appointed as the head of gynecology at one of the main hospitals. However, she resigned a couple of years later when the Emperor forbade to receive her during a visit to the hospital because she was a woman.

Sabat Islambouli from Syria also headed back to Damascus and later moved to  Egypt in 1919 according to the alumnae list of that year. It is not known what happened to her ultimately as the college lost contact with her.

Joshi was respectfully appointed to a position as physician-in-charge of the female ward at the hospital in the princely state of Kolhapur. At the age of 21, she was afflicted with tuberculosis and died within the year.

ALSO READ: ‘That’s What They Said’- 15 Quotes by Influential Women around the world 

Anandibai is still revered not lesser than a hero among Indian feminists

Again breaking away with custom, Joshi’s husband sent her burial remains to one of her American friends, who laid them to rest in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Besides the international students, the college also produced the nation’s first Native American woman doctor, Susan LeFlesche. Many American graduates traveled overseas as medical missionaries, particularly to China, Korea, India and elsewhere.

It’s living alumnae number about a 1,000, and are found in almost every part of the American republic and in many foreign countries namely, Egypt, India, China, Japan, Persia, and Korea.

As the heterogeneity has waxed and waned throughout the years, it is interesting to perceive that it was still strong at a time when it was not a popular stance. Even in the crisis of the Second World War, WMC admitted students from Japanese internment camps. However, not everyone was happy about their presence.


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