Tuesday September 18, 2018
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Japan’s devotion towards Indian dieties

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Kolkata: Hindu goddess Saraswati, the epitome of knowledge, arts, and wisdom, is worshipped not only by Indians in their homeland but also by the Japanese in a unique way, ie in the pool of water.

An art historian at the Indian museum, Benoy K Behl revealed about the various shrines worshipping goddess Saraswati. His exquisite display of photographs reveals unknown facts about the influence of Hinduism and Hindu deities in Japan.

Behl claimed that goddess Saraswati’s association with the mythical river Saraswati is the reason behind her worship in pools of water in Japan.

“There are scores of Hindu deities which are very actively worshipped in Japan. In fact, there are hundreds of shrines of Saraswati alone,” he said.

Behl, in one photograph, showed the goddess with a veena at a shrine located in Tokyo. His snaps also revealed that Osaka comprises one of the most impressive and tallest shrines of Saraswati in the world.

While Saraswati is worshipped as Benzaiten, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as Shoten. Garuda is known as Karura in Daiyuzan-Saijoji temple near Odawara.

What is further surprising is the fact that people in Japan worship other Hindu deities which are rarely done by Indians, “In fact, deities we have forgotten in India, such as Vayu and Varuna, are still worshipped in Japan,” Behl said

Preservation of Siddham, a 5th century Sanskrit script is also done by the Japenese, besides religion. At Gokokuji in Tokyo, a photo shows Japanese tombs with the Sanskrit letters.

“The Japanese cannot read this alphabet, but it is still used to respect the dead. It is very interesting that the 5th-century Siddham script, which has disappeared in India, is still in use in Japan. At Koyasan, they still have a school where Sanskrit is taught with Siddham,” the historian said. (picture courtesy: wordpress.com)

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A Start Up Company From Japan To Launch ‘Love Satellites’

If this service receives a good response, Warspace would expand its business and will send out more commemorative objects into space.

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Japan Love satellite
.Japanese firm to launch love satellites. Flickr

A Japanese start-up linked to the University of Tsukuba is set to launch small satellites with commemorative titanium plaques carrying love messages into space by the end of 2019, the company said on Monday.

Those interested would be able to engrave messages of their choice on the plaques, which would be 1.8 centimeters long and 0.8 centimeter wide, set to be carried to space aboard the satellites and orbit around the Earth for around two years before being destroyed, Efe reported.

Around 10 centimeters in size, the CubeSat satellites would be able to carry up to 600 pure titanium plaques and would be transported to the International Space Station (ISS) by a rocket of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Japan Love satellite
Around 10 centimeters in size, the CubeSat satellites would be able to carry up to 600 pure titanium plaques

In the ISS, the astronauts stationed there will take photographs of the ultra-small satellite which would be then sent to the couples to prove that their messages have reached space, Warspace CEO Toshihiro Kameda said.

The start-up had planned to offer this service exclusively to the couples getting married at a hotel in Tsukuba, in Ibaraki prefecture, for the price of $270, but in the face of growing demand it decided to expand its offer and set up an online order facility in September.

Although they have not determined the number of people interested in the service yet, couples from Japan, the US and Taiwan have contacted the company.

Japan Love satellite
University of Tsukuba, Japan. Flickr

Also Read: ISRO’s First Manned Space Mission to Cost $1.4 Billion

The mini satellites and the plaques would be destroyed after two years by burning up when they come in contact with Earth’s atmosphere, said Kameda, a professor who teaches the mechanics of materials at the University of Tsukuba.

If this service receives a good response, Warspace would expand its business and will send out more commemorative objects into space which would later return to Earth, the head of the project said. (IANS)

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