We are celebrating Ganesh Festival here. In this auspicious and festive time, Let’s get to know something interesting, which most of you might not have read! Our culture has spread all over the world – especially in Japan. As we all know there are many similarities in the Culture of India and Japan. The tradition of drinking tea, sitting on the floor while having a meal, treating the guest as God, etc. Buddhism has spread widely across India and Japan and that is one of the reasons why India and Japan share a very strong bond in every aspect.
Because of being Zen practitioners, the Japanese have got the skill of perfection, and Zen meditation helps them to inculcate the habit of simple living across social life. But you will be surprised to know that we have similar deities also! At many places in Japan, people worship Lord Shiva, Varuna, Saraswati, Laxmi, Ganpati, and other gods and goddesses. If we explore Japan, we will find many Hindu temples. Even there are so many temples of Yama-dev, the God of Death. Japanese also worship Varun-Dev (commonly known in Japan as ‘Suitengu’, which also means “place of the watery sky”. The temple (Shinto Shrine) is in Tokyo situated in Chuo. It was recently rebuilt in 2016, this shows their devotion towards the deity.
In ancient times many Japanese scholars learned Sanskrit language and that’s why they have used Beej mantra on their temple. They have also adopted many words from Sanskrit like Oseva (Seva) means ‘offering Service’. Across many temples, they have used the Sanskrit language to write scriptures. Lord Ganesha is also a very popular deity in Japan. In the Japanese language lord, Ganesha is called Kangiten. They also worship him to remove the obstacle and they also offer Ukdiche Modak ( in the Japanese language they are called ‘Kangaidan’) to Ganesha.
I hope you find this information interesting. You can find more information online. When you learn a Foreign Language, you get too deep into other cultures. That’s surely an experience which makes our lives richer!