Durga Puja on 10th and 11th October, 2008.

Durga Puja, 2008, was held in Tokyo for the 19th consecutive year at the Ota Bunkanomori Hall on the 11th of Oct. People from different parts of Japan came to join in the celebrations. The pratima, made by Gorachand Paul of  Kumartuly was the same as last year’s. Our litereary magazine “AnjaliE was published and distributed. After Puja and Anjali performed by Sudeb Chattopadhyay, prosad was distributed. This was followed by lunch catered by Priya restaurant, who also served dinner.   The cultural program started with “AgamaniE. The “Colors of IndiaEgave us a chance to see our community members give us a glimpse of  the colors that make India so unique. Among the other programmes performed by the local talents was a group dance by the youngsters, piano recital and songs of Lata Mangeshkar. The highlight of the evening was a brilliant Odissi  dance performance by a Japanese dance group E Studio Odissi.  This was followed by evening Arati, sindur khela, dancing to the rhythm of the dhak and greeting all with “Subho BijoyaEand another year to look forward to Durga Puja 2009!

   Click here to see Durga Puja 2008 photos

 

Rabindra Jayanti on 18th May, 2008.

Keeping up with her tradition as in the last 25 years Rabindra Jayanti, in Tokyo was organized again this year by Tomoko Kambe on 18 May at the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum auditorium. With the backdrop of the beautiful garden of the museum the atmosphere of Shantiniketan was recreated. The program started with songs by Tomoko Kambe. The Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indian Embassy Mr. Sanjay Bhattacharrya, gave a short speech. As in previous years members of the BATJ performed Tagore songs and dances for 30 minutes. With a few more songs from Ms. Kambe the program came to an end. But the finale was a group dance  by both Japanese and BATJ members set to the tune of  “Phule phule dhale dhaleEsung by all Ein both Bengali and Japanese.

Click here to see Rabindra Jayanti 2008 photos

 

 

Poila Boisakh 1415 on 19th April, 2008.

This year’s Bengali New Year celebration was very special, as Swami Medhasananda of Ramakrishna Mission in Japan had invited the Bengali community to celebrate Naba Barsha at the Ashram in Zushi. Set on the top of a hill in Zushi, a beach city in Kanagawa, about 90 minutes away from Tokyo, the Ashram is truly a very peaceful place. But on the 19th of April the tranquility of the ashram was broken as a group of about 60 prayed, sang, talked, laughed and cooked while the children played at the ashram premises making it a truly memorable day. We all gathered before lunch. After lunch Maharaj led the group along the winding pathways of this beautiful town to the beach. The beach is quite popular with surfers but it was quite conveniently quiet this day. The children could play in the beach and Maharaj requested everyone to sing together. We all returned to the Ashram in time for the evening prayers, Maharaj performed Arati and gave a discourse after which the ladies prepared dinner. After dinner all were ready to go home.

   Click here to see Poila Boisakh 1415 photos

 

 

Saraswati Puja on 10th February, 2008.

Saraswati Puja was held in Tokyo by BATJ on the 10th of February at the Ota Bunkanomori hall. Sudeb Chattopadhyay performed the puja followed by “Hathe khoriE  Puja was followed by lunch prepared by Priya Restaurant.

The cultural program this year started off with Devi Vandana in the way of a song and dance. Next was the children’s talent show sponsored by World on Demand TV. Then came the much awaited “AntakshariEorganized and conducted by Soma Choudhury that left both participants and the audience enthralled. The program was very generously sponsored by

EBrastel TelecomEnbsp; “Priya RestaurantE “Spice Magic Calcutta RestaurantEand “World on demand TVE  The day was wrapped up by Sandhya Arati and tea donated by Shanti Tea.

Click here to see Saraswati Puja 2008 photos

 

 

Durga Puja on 19th and 20th October, 2007.

Durga Puja, 2007,  in Tokyo was held on the 19th and 20th of Oct. at the Curian Hall in Shinagawa. It was perfect Puja weather enabling about 450 people from near and far to take part in the festivities. The pratima, made by Gorachand Paul of  Kumartooly was certainly admired by all, specially the Japanese and the foreigners. Puja was performed by Sudeb Chattopadhyay. Lunch and dinner was catered from Priya Restaurant.  During lunch a short film about the making of the Durga pratima in the British Museum and the Puja that followed was shown. For the cultural program this year Sutapa Talukdar (well known Odissi dancer from India) and her troupe gave a magnificent performance. Among the other programmes performed by the local talents was Saat bhai Champa by the youngsters, and dances and songs. The evening arati signaled the end of the celebrations and all joined in the dance to the rhythm of the dhak wishing each other Shubho Bijoya and all the good wishes that come with it.

   Click here to see Durga Puja 2007 photos

 

 

Rabindra Jayanti on 20th May, 2007.

Tomoko Kambe, or fondly called Kambe san is a name very recognized among the Bengali community in Tokyo. A disciple of Santideb Ghosh, she is trying tirelessly to make the Japanese people aware of Rabindrasangeet. In this pursuit she has been organizing Rabindra Jayanti in Tokyo for the last 25 years. On this occasion she has always invited BATJ members to participate and this year was no exception. On May 20, 2007 Kambe san and her students organized Rabindra Jayanti and BATJ members performed on this occasion with a collection of Tagore’s Brahma sangeet : “Dhrubojyoti tumi andhakareE To honor this silver jubilee year BATJ presented Kambe san with a sari and flowers.

 

   Click here to see Rabindra Jayanti 2007 photos

 

 

Poila Boisakh on 15th April, 2007.

Founded in 940 by the great monk, Kancho-Shigo Naritasan Shinshoji temple is the head temple of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. More than 2 million visitors come to pray at Narita san during the first three days of the New Year. Keeping in tune with this Japanese tradition this year the Bengali Association of Tokyo organized a trip to Narita san for Poila Boisakh , 1414.

The temple authorities had made arrangement for us to be seated and offer prayers during their special ritual. After this there was a lunch hosted by Mrs. Hashimoto, the wife of the senior most priest of the temple. A toast with sake was raised (very traditional way of welcoming the new year by the Japanese with rice wine) wishing everyone good health and happiness in the New Year.

There was also a very special event taking place at the temple precincts that day. The drum festival or the taiko matsuri. It is one of the largest festivals in the region held once a year. We all enjoyed the event.

After this we all wished Karbi di A Very Happy Birthday and to Samaresh and Mimi Dhar a Happy Wedding Anniversary.

Our sincere thanks to Mrs. Emiko Kothari for making all the arrangements and we all had a wonderful day together.

  Click here to see Poila Boisakh 1414 photos

 

Saraswati Puja on 28th January, 2007.

The forecast was for rain or snow, but the clear cold morning of January 28th, Sunday saw the members of BATJ getting together to pray to Devi Saraswati at the Ota Kuyaksho Dai Ni Chosa Hall. Puja was performed by Sudeb Chattopadhyay. Bhog, traditional khichuri, was served by Rajmahal Restaurant.

Cultural program started off with invocation and then children’s talent show. Our main event this year was a superb Bharatnatyam performance by Gyanendra Bajpai. Mr. Bajpai is a renowned exponent of Bharatnatyam dance in India and is currently on deputation to the Indian Cultural Centre of the Indian Embassy in Tokyo.

Click here to see Saraswati Puja 2007 photos

 

 

Durga Puja on 29th October, 2006.

Durga Puja, 2006, was celebrated by the Bengali Association of Tokyo, Japan on the 29th and 30th of September which also coincided with Saptami and Ashtami at the Otabunkanomori hall. On 29th evening members of the Association got together and helped to make all the necessary arrangements for the 30th. The major attraction this year was the new “pratimaE from Gorachand Paul & sons of Kumartuli.

As in previous years, our literary magazine featuring writings in English, Bengali, Hindi and Japanese was published. The magazine received messages from the Honorable Chief Minister of West Bengal Sri Buddhadeb Bhattacharrya and his wife Smt. Mira Bhattacharrya and the Ambassador of India to Japan H.E. H.K. Singh.

Swami Medhasananda of Ramakrishna Mission inaugurated the pratima and then Sudeb Chatterjee performed puja. Bhog, catered by Rajmahal restaurant was served to about 300 guests who were present that day.

This was followed by the cultural program, which included songs, dances and music recital by the children, a tribute to R.D. Burman, Tagore’s “Holi khelaE? narration and songs followed by Naga Dance by a group of 13 members of the Rangmar Productions of Nagaland.

The day ended with Sindur khela and dinner and tired but happy faces looking forward to next year’s Durgotsav in the Land of the Rising Sun.

The Statesman in Kolkata reported BATJ’s Durga Puja celebration on Saptami Day.

Click here to see Durga Puja 2006 photos

 

Sakura Bazaar on 1st April, 2006.

This year Sakura Bazaar was held on 1st April - All Fool's Day. But the weather did not fool the big crowd which gathered on this very bright and sunny day to watch the beautiful event which is the blooming of the cherry blossoms. The Sakura Bazaar held by the Rachana Club in the premises of Indian Embassy was also a huge success. There were food stalls put up by Bengalis -with the "the famous sweets of Bengal", South Indians - with mouthwatering "dosas", North Indians - with tangy "chaat" and many more. The crowd enjoyed the delicacies as they watched the lovely pink and white cherry blossoms. The background of Sakura Bazaar and "Hanami" is provided below in last year's write-up for Sakura Bazaar.

Click here to see Sakura Bazaar 2006 photos

 

Saraswati Puja on 5th February.

The Bengali Association of Tokyo celebrated Vasanta Panchami by offering their prayers to Devi Saraswati .  After the puja, it was a big time for the 5 year olds who had their “hathe khori E This was followed by Prosad and Bhog . This year for our cultural program the guest artist was Mr. Kenji Inoue, who delighted us with his sitar recital. Mr. Inoue has taken his lessons from the veteran musician, Prof. Dwijendra Mohan Banerjee since 1987. He has been performing in concerts in India, Japan and Europe for the last ten years. Accompanying him on the tabla was Mr. Masaki Yoshimi, a student of Ustad Alla Raka and Ustad Zakir Hussain. Indeed a brilliant performance by him left the audience spell bound.  This was followed by children’s talent show Eand we can say it was superb!  But it was time to end the day and Arati was performed and time to go home looking forward to the next gathering.

Click here to see Saraswati Puja celebration photos

 

Durga Puja on 8th October.

BATJ Durja Puja of 2005 was held on 8th October. Like every year, the preparation was on for several weeks before but the main setting up of the Durga Protima and cultural program rehearsal was held the day before, 7th October, evening.

It was a rainy day but that did not stop Bengalis and non-Bengalis, Indians and non-Indians from all over Tokyo, and even outside Tokyo, to come and enjoy the Puja. Protima(Idol) decoration was done beautifully with paintings on both sides of Durga Ma and the traditional paper hangings. Anjali and Prasad distribution was enjoyed by everyone.

Lunch was served by Rajmahal, Roppongi. The delicious khichudi (Bengali Dish made from rice and lentil), vegetable curry, tomato chutney followed by gulab jamun (Fried cheese balls in syrup) and payesh was enjoyed by every attendee.

 The cultural program started in time and the audience was presented with some high quality songs, recitations, dances and not to forget the hilarious play. Though the whole program was really well managed and presented, everyone specially enjoyed the dances by the little ones including “dhunuchi naachE chorus song, and dance&song. “Babuder DalkukureE (Bengali play) had everyone laughing at the faux pas made by politicians and how the “assemblyEgets dissolved because the Chief Minister is attacked by a pet dog belonging to one of his ministers.Special mention should be made of the Japanese troupe that presented some high quality dance performances. It was really touching to watch the troupe performing Indian classical dances to such perfection.

Once evening set in, it was time for “sandhya aratiEand the drawing close of the puja celebrations. This year also Durga Ma was decorated with ‘SindurEvermillion coloured powder worn by married women in forehead) by ladies before putting sindur on each other’s forehead. The Puja ended on a happy note with everyone dancing together in the spirit of joy and harmony that the Puja depicts. We hope there will be many more such celebrations of joy, peace and harmony in the true spirit of Durga Puja!

Click here to see Durga Puja 2005 celebration photos

Swami Vivekananda 's  143rd Birth Anniversary Celebration:-

This year on June 5, Swami Vivekananda’s 143rd birth anniversary celebration was organized by Nippon Vedanta Kyokai under the guidance of Swami Medhasanandaji, President of Nippon Vedanta Kyokai,  Zushi in collaboration with many well-wishers including our Bengali community in Tokyo, at Toshima Kohkaido in Ikebukuro area of Tokyo. Swami Vivekananda is the greatest disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhamsa and founder of Ramakrishna Mission, a world-wide organization dedicated to the cause of religious harmony, education of underprivileged, and the service of all.

The program started at 2 p.m. with Vedic prayer and offering flowers to Swami Vivekananda’s photo. Sri Manilal  Tripathi, Indian Ambassador to Japan released the Universal Gospel special issue. Swami Prameyanandaji, senior trustee and treasurer of Ramakrishna Order joined the program and released the CD on guided meditation. This was followed by guided meditation by Swami Medhasanandaji. Prof. Tsuoshi Nara, Professor Emeritus, Seisen University and Dr. Yamaori Tetsuo, director International research center for Japanese studies , Kyoto participated in religious discussion. Mr. A.P.S Mani, secretary , celebration committee gave a vote of thanks.

The cultural program started with songs of “Four Seasons of JapanEby students of Tokyo National University of fine Arts and Music. This was followed by devotional songs by Japanese and Indian devotees. Lastly,  the members of Kanto Utari-Kai presented Ainu music. The Ainu people of northern Japan have an autonomous musical tradition. They are aboriginal people of Japan, now inhabiting parts of Hokkaido, Sakhalin, and the Kuril Islands.

As Swami Vivekananda said “Good motives,  sincerity, and infinitive love, can conquer the world. One soul possessed of these virtues , can destroy the dark design of millions of hypocrites and brutes.EWe paid tribute to Swami Vivekananda with a hope to follow his teachings in our day-to day life.

Click here to see Swami Vivekananda 's  143rd Birth Anniversary celebration photos

Rabindra Jayanti -2005 :-

 Like every year this time also Kambe-San celebrated Tagore 'birthday at Teien Bijutsukan on 5th of May. The bengali community of Tokyo presented 'Path o Pathik', a 30 minutes programme on Rabindra sangeet and narration.

The singers were Samudra Dattagupta, Indranil Roychoudhury, Ananya Karmakar, Meeta Chanda, Soma Chaudhury and Bhaswati Ghosh. The narrators were Souvik Banerjea and Sudipta Roychoudhury. The introduction in Japanese was done by Viswa Ghosh. Children artists who sang 'Mama chitte nriti nitte' were Tannistha, Sarbik, Arhan and Akash. The youngest artist was Nishant who recited  a poem from 'Sahoj Path'.
This time Kambe San sang Nazrul geeti as well after the interval.
 

Click here to see Rabindra Jayanti  2005 photos

 

Poila Boishakh Picnic at Kinuta Park - (Bangla year -1412) :-

Poila Boishakh Picnic at Kinuta Park

The weather around this time of the year in and around Tokyo is unpredictable. So, it is quite risky to organize outdoor gatherings in April. But, we were getting bored of having our community programs one after another in Government sponsored community halls. Therefore  we had decided to celebrate this year's Nababarsho outdoor with a back-up of indoor program following week. A team was formed under the leadership of J.K.Sinha and S. Kar to choose the site. They visited lot of sites and Kinuta Park (a few hectare land of greenery) in almost heart of Tokyo city was chosen. Previous night, sudden sad false alarming prediction almost broke the organizer's heart. But, God was with us. We had a fine sunny Saturday (Doshra Boishakh). Actually playing Baseball in the ground was not allowed. We took the privilege of less popularity of Cricket game in Japan and played a 15 over each side match. It was Indranil vs. Indranil game. Indranil Roychoudhury's team scored 97 runs with highest score by J.K Sinha. Indranil Chaudhury's team had lot of talents. But, under tremendous pressure, like the Indian team, they crumpled to less than 60 runs, even a last wicket great show by Sanjib Chanda could not save the game. The game was conducted peacefully under the able guidance of Bhola-da who was not only the umpire, but also the official scorer and occasional live commentator of the game.

Ladies were no way behind men in outdoor games. They played Badminton, Chain-Chain and Kabaddi. It was a lot of fun and spectacular performance by ladies in Kabaddi game. Karabi-di was judge for this interesting game of Kabaddi. Children were happy as they had lot of open ground to play around .

By the time we were tired and garam-garam Biryani and Raita came from Rajmahal Restaurant  which was served to all of us. After lunch  there was another game  named "Hum-Tum couple". This exiting game was to find out couples who know each other well .The game was organized by Soma and Indranil Chaudhury and it had three rounds. The competition was so close that the first winner has to be decided by a toss. It was time now to start packing up. By this time Tokyo skies already started becoming dark, without any sign of cloud.

All of us returned home with sweet memory and a hope for a Shubho Nabobarsho !!!

 

Click here to see more photos of Poila Boishakh Picnic

Sakura Bazaar-2005 ( Cherry Blossom Festival in Tokyo) :-

Cheery blossom or "Sakura"  in Japanese is an annual event of nature which last for a week. Japanese people celebrate this event through outdoor picnic called "Hanami" ,watching and appreciating beauty of Sakura through open air party of beer (in Japanese "Beeru" ) and hot foods. The weather office declares a weekend close to full blossom as "Hanami" day. Fortunately Indian embassy is next to the Emperor's palace which is one of the best spot for  "Sakura"viewing. The Rachna club of Tokyo ( typically headed by the wife of Ambassador) arranges a India food festival in the ground of Indian Embassy. The fund raised by this goes to charity purposes in India and Japan.

Ambassador Mr. M. L. Tripathy opened the "Sakura bazaar" this time by cutting the ribbon exactly at 9:30AM. Soon after, the Bazaar became full of India-enthusiasts. Like every year, serving Indian sweets mainly Bengali Misti was the responsibility of BATJ. Our Bengali Boudis, Didis and Sisters offered this time Sandesh, Gulab Jamun, Gajar-ka-Halua, and garam garam "Malpua". It was great taste, but little expensive (5US$ for two small Sandesh or two small Gulab Jamuns,..). But our stall became the first "SOLD OUT" stall.

  Picture:- Indian Ambassador inaugurating Sakura Bazaar-2005.

Click here to see more photos of Sakura Bazaar- 2005

Saraswati Pujo-2005 ( Bangla year -1411) :-

                                                                                        

On 12th of February  Bengali Association of Tokyo, Japan celebrated Saraswati Puja , a day prior to the actual date set in the Panjika. The tribute to the Goddess this year was paid, we might say, in music Eboth classical and light. Puja was performed by Sudeb Chatterjee , followed by the offering of Anjali. “Hathe KhoriEwas next performed for some children of our community. As usual after Puja,  Prosad and Bhog was served. Next on our agenda was a violin recital by Mr. Sanjoy Ghosh. Mr. Ghosh , a distinguished violinist from Kolkata had kindly accepted our invitation to come and perform on the occasion of Saraswati Puja celebration. His rendering of “VASANTEwas indeed a highlight of the day. We then had Soma Chaudhury conducting the Antakshari , in which many of us participated in a very professional and extremely entertaining manner. Competition was very stiff, and the winning team received dinner coupons for four at Rajmahal Restaurant, courtesy of Mr. Byomkesh Panda. The first runners up received coupons from Ambika Trading valid for buying groceries while  the second runners up received Brastel Int’l calling cards, courtesy of Chaitali Pal. It was curtain time now and the day ended with snacks, tea and laughter.

Aashchhe bochhor aabaar hobe !!!!

 

Click here to see more photos of Saraswati Puja- 2005

 Swami Gokulananda-ji's visit to Tokyo:-

 

In January this year we were fortunate to get a chance to see Swami Gokulanandaji of RKM, New Delhi, face to face and spend few moments with him and Swami Medhasanandaji in a private gathering organized by BATJ. The main purpose of Swami Gokulanandaji's Japan visit was to participate in the closing ceremony of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi's 150th birth anniversary celebration organized by Vedanta Society of Japan. He also inaugurated a brand new "Holy Mother's House" for female devotees near Ramakrishna Mission's office in Zushi .

Swami Gokulanandaji joined Ramakrishna Order in 1954 and since then, served the Order in many capacities. From 1986, he has been serving as the head of Ramakrishna Mission, New Delhi. He has published several books, has traveled widely throughout the World and taken part in many international conferences on religious and philosophical topics.

We, BATJ members wanted to spend some light moments with both the Swamijis. In one evening both Swamijis obliged us and we organized a small get-together where Bengali devotees from both Bengal and few more devotees from Tokyo attended. Swami Gokulanandaji shared some of his light and sweet memories with us. He also touched upon his activities among Khasi tribes of Meghalaya where he was posted before he took over as Swamiji of Ramakrishna Mission, Delhi.

He sang and taught us the song  "Oh Mother Sarada pronam to you". After that we had a nice dinner with superb Bengali delicacies and sweets of North India. 

Picture:- Swami Gokulananda-ji sitting on left and Swami Medhasananda-ji  sitting on right with devotees from both Bengal, Japan and rest of India.

Click here to see more photos of Swami Gokulanandaji's  visit to Tokyo

Durga Pujo-2004 ( Bangla year -1411) :-

This year we celebrated our main Puja on Dashami day (Saturday- 23rd of Oct) at Ota Ku (Ota Ward), Tokyo. Previous evening (Friday 22nd) we gathered at the hall  to place Goddess Durga on stage, decorate the Pratima and set up the hall . There is lot of limitation to use government halls, in spite of that the decoration was marvelous. Ladies team spent their evening  for preparation of next day's Bhog and Puja. Cultural Program co-ordinating team made the cultural program space ready for the next day. There was also some rehearsal of our next day's drama- Bharate Chai and children's variety program. We had a nice feast and Friday's program was concluded.

On Dashami-day, we performed Puja for all the five days which was followed by Anjali. Before that our Puja Magazine " Anjali" was officially released to the attendees. After Prasad distribution, Bhog started exactly at 1 PM. This year, the arrangement was very good and there was continuous distribution of Bhog till the cultural program started.

The cultural program began with Ganesh Vandana, followed by felicitation of three Japanese eminent people who dedicated their lives for promotion of Bengali art & culture (for details, please read our on-line "Anjali" Magazine, available in this website). Next we enjoyed a Rabindra-sangeet, followed by children's program " Hungry Caterpillar". It was extremely entertaining to watch Tokyo young kids on stage performing valiantly. Next there was a  Bollywood dance by child artist. Tokyo Budding Kids performed variety program based on "Banglar Tin Kobi-Nazrul, Rabindra and Sukumar". It was followed by an Instrumental Music program presented by Tokyo Young Bengali Kids in association with Japanese teacher and Tabla player. After this Instrumental program, it was time for  ladies to take the stage. We enjoyed some popular Hindi songs presented by them. This year we were fortunate to have a Rajasthani Cultural troupe to come and perform in our Durga Puja celebration. They started with a devotional  song "Mata Bhavani", followed by a music & dance extravaganza. Now it was the time to end the cultural program with a light note. That's why "Bharate Chai" drama was kept at the end. Bengali adults of Tokyo were the main cast and everyone enjoyed the hilarious drama.

It was already six past in the evening. It was time for Ma Durga's Arati. Then it was time for  Shantijal and Thakur baron by Tokyo ladies community and  Sindur exchange. After that we bid farewell  to Maa Durga with loud voice- " Durga Maaiii Ki.... Aashchhe bachhar aabaar habe " . With Bijoya greetings exchange, we concluded our main Durga Puja-2004  celebration.

Now, it was the time for pack up. Before that there was dinner (in Japanese- Bento) and then cleaning up the hall  as per the Japanese tradition.

This year when the cultural program was going on full swing  we felt tremors of earthquake. Japan's Nigata prefecture was rocked by strong earthquake which took many lives and made many people homeless. We sincerely pray to Ma Durga for the welfare of the families who were affected by this calamity.

Click here to see Durga Puja photos

Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi 150th Birth  Anniversary & Swami Vivekananda 142nd Birth Anniversary Celebration:-

On June13, 2004 Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi's 150th birth anniversary and Swami Vivekananda's 142nd birth anniversary celebration was organized by the celebration committee in collaboration with the Nippon Vedanta Kyokai under the guidance of Swami Medhasanada , President of  Nippon Vedanta Kyokai, Zushi ( A branch of Ramakrishna mission). Like every year this function was held at Toshima-Kohkaido hall, Higashi-Ikebukuro,Toshima-ku, Tokyo.

The preparations  for the program, hall setting etc. started from the morning. In the meantime Bengali Association of Tokyo, Japan arranged and served lunch to all the devotees. 

The program started at 2 p.m. with welcome address of Swami Medhasananda followed by a symposium on Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi's life and teachings. Prof. Tsuyoshi Nara , Ms.Yasuko Yamada, Prof. Kathy Matsui, and Ms. Ruma Gupta participated in the symposium . Ms. Kuniko Hirano took the task of master of ceremonies. Sri Manilal Tripathi, Ambassador of India released the 'Universal Gospel' (special issue) and speech on Swami  Vivekananda and a CD on guided meditation "Dhyanam". The program also included a short guided meditation, devotional songs by Japanese and Indian devotees. This was followed by a short break for refreshments and finally an enlightening slide show on life of Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi.

The devotees paid tribute to Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda whose various facets of character deliberate on their message, which not only would help us to solve the problems we face at different levels, but would also elevate us to a higher state of consciousness.

Click here to see the program photos

Rabindra Jayanti : A joint celebration by Japanese Tagore admirers and resident Bengalis in Tokyo area 

It was 5th of May 2004 (actually it was 22nd  of Boishakh , three days before 25th  of Boishakh, ). It was the last day of Golden week holiday period. Everyone was in holiday mood and the stage was perfectly set for the celebration. 

A Japanese lady named Tomoko Kambe-san organized the program. We were told she is organizing this event almost regularly for last two decades. Kambe-san learned various forms of Rabindra art  from young age and she traveled to West Bengal to learn this. Now she has many Japanese students and she teaches them Rabindra Sangeet, dance, dance-drama, etc. Kambe-san herself and her students are the main performers in this celebration. The Tokyo Bengali community participated in this songs and dance program. Most of the spectators were Japanese except Bengali performers and their relatives.

This program was organized in a Government faculty for art with beautiful surrounding, lots of greenery in the heart of Tokyo city (Meguro area). The program presented by Bengali community was titled as "PREM". Only Bengali ladies this time were in the team and the  male member was Hisamoto-san playing Tabla. Before this program Tokyo children performed dances in tune with Rabindra Sangeet and chorus by young children, even the keyboard was played by a young master.  

The program ended with  the song " Phule Phule Dhole Dhole" where our children again were invited to join with Japanese performers. In-between Japanese performers gave their heart to make this program as a big success, specially the Manipuri style dance performed by a Japanese dancer.

We also met a research student from Kolkata, who is doing a research on "Rabindra Charcha abroad". We feel she must have collected a good amount of data for her research work and all of us from Tokyo wish her all the success to complete her research work soon.

Also many thanks to Kambe-san, the great Rabindra admirer abroad.. Please keep it up... we will be always there to support you...  

 

Click here to see Rabindra Jayanti photos