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Exclusive: Photo Exhibition Documents Japan’s Sacred places and Pilgrimages in New Delhi

India & Japan Celebrate 50 Years of Cultural Relationship With The Exhibition

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A woman looking at the photographs at the Japan Foundation in New Delhi
  • It showcases natural and cultural heritages in Japan which were added to world heritage list of the UNESCO 
  • The photo display of heritage sites are from Nara, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Okinawa, Shimane, and Tokyo
  • The photographs are of the spiritual sites such as temples and shrines of Japan

June 26, 2017:

Little Adya is very much interested in learning about art and culture of Japan and wants to know a whole lot about it. So she forced her parents to take her to visit the Photo Exhibition which is being held at the Japan Foundation in New Delhi. Upon entering the photo gallery, Not just her, but her parents too were happy to give in to the wishes of the little one and find it informative and insightful.

The ongoing exhibition at the Japan Foundation in New Delhi includes the photographic collection of a famous Japanese photographer Kazuyoshi Miyoshi and showcases natural and cultural heritages in Japan which were added to world heritage list of the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation).

The photo display of heritage sites is from Nara, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Okinawa, Shimane, and Tokyo. The photographs are of the spiritual sites such as temples of Japan such as the Horyo-ji Temple in Nara which was built in 607 AD by Shotoku Taishi (Politician from the Asuka period), Saiho-ji Temple in Kyoto which was built by Emperor Shomu and Gyoki (a Buddhist of Nara period) and Ryoan-Ji Temple in Kyoto which was built in 1450 by Katsumoto Hosokawa and Shrines such as Kauga-taisha shrine in Nara which was built in 768 and Ujigami-jinja Shrine in Kyoto.

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The program coordinator at Japan Foundation, Ms Shalini Bisht said to NewsGram, “We have already hosted an exhibition on world heritage sites two years ago and this time we have taken only the sacred places and pilgrimages which are temples and shrines of Japan which are famous and categorized by UNESCO.”

Photo Exhibition at Japan Foundation in New Delhi

“This year is special for the celebration of 50 years of cultural relationship between India and Japan and there is a correlation between the culture of Japan and India. There are a lot of common elements in the way the Japanese and the Indian people worship and there are lot of deities from India but they have a different way of worshipping them in Japan and to bring that correlation of religion and worship, we thought we would bring this world heritage site exhibition in Japan foundation focusing on sacred places” said Ms Shalini.

She also added, “through this exhibition, I understood a lot about the ways of worship, how and when the shrines were built. I got to learn more about the comparative aspect of Indian religion and Japanese religion.”

– reported by Sumit Balodi of NewsGram. Twitter: @sumit_balodi

Next Story

Claiming Bias, U.S.A. And Israel Pull Out Of UNESCO

The U.S. could potentially seek that status during UNESCO Executive Board meetings in April.

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The logo of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is seen druing a conference at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, Nov. 4, 2017. VOA

The United States and Israel officially quit of the U.N.’s educational, scientific and cultural agency at the stroke of midnight, the culmination of a process triggered more than a year ago amid concerns that the organization fosters anti-Israel bias.

The withdrawal is mainly procedural yet serves a new blow to UNESCO, co-founded by the U.S. after World War II to foster peace.

The Trump administration filed its notice to withdraw in October 2017 and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed suit.

The Paris-based organization has been denounced by its critics as a crucible for anti-Israel bias: blasted for criticizing Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem, naming ancient Jewish sites as Palestinian heritage sites and granting full membership to Palestine in 2011.

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UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation. Image Source: www.mid-day.com

The U.S. has demanded “fundamental reform” in the agency that is best known for its World Heritage program to protect cultural sites and traditions. UNESCO also works to improve education for girls, promote understanding of the Holocaust’s horrors, and to defend media freedom.

The withdrawals will not greatly impact UNESCO financially, since it has been dealing with a funding slash ever since 2011 when both Israel and the U.S. stopped paying dues after Palestine was voted in as a member state. Since then officials estimate that the U.S. — which accounted for around 22 percent of the total budget — has accrued $600 million in unpaid dues, which was one of the reasons for President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw. Israel owes an estimated $10 million.

UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay took up her post just after Trump announced the pullout. Azoulay, who has Jewish and Moroccan heritage, has presided over the launch of a Holocaust education website and the U.N.’s first educational guidelines on fighting anti-Semitism — initiatives that might be seen as responding to U.S. and Israeli concerns.

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Migrants wait in line for food at a camp housing hundreds of people who arrived at the U.S. border from Central America with the intention of applying for asylum in the U.S., in Tijuana, Mexico, Dec. 12, 2018. VOA

Officials say that many of the reasons the U.S. cited for withdrawal do not apply anymore, noting that since then, all 12 texts on the Middle East passed at UNESCO have been consensual among Israel and Arab member states.

In April of this year, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO said the mood was “like a wedding” after member nations signed off on a rare compromise resolution on “Occupied Palestine,” and UNESCO diplomats hailed a possible breakthrough on longstanding Israeli-Arab tensions.

The document was still quite critical of Israel, however, and the efforts weren’t enough to encourage the U.S. and Israel to reconsider their decision to quit.

In recent years, Israel has been infuriated by repeated resolutions that ignore and diminish its historical connection to the Holy Land and that have named ancient Jewish sites as Palestinian heritage sites.

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Israel Flag, Pixabay

The State Department couldn’t comment because of the U.S. government shutdown. Earlier, the department told UNESCO officials the U.S. intends to stay engaged at UNESCO as a non-member “observer state” on “non-politicized” issues, including the protection of World Heritage sites, advocating for press freedoms and promoting scientific collaboration and education.

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The U.S. could potentially seek that status during UNESCO Executive Board meetings in April.

The United States has pulled out of UNESCO before. The Reagan administration did so in 1984 because it viewed the agency as mismanaged, corrupt and used to advance Soviet interests. The U.S. rejoined in 2003. (VOA)