India and Japan - A Study in Interaction During 5th Cent-14 Cent A D

India and Japan - A Study in Interaction During 5th Cent-14 Cent A D

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Author: Upendra Thakur
Publisher: Abhinav Publications
Year: 1998
Language: English
Pages: 98
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170172896


The present monograph deals with cultural interaction between India and Japan during 5th-14th cent. A D in the field of religion, languages and literature, art and painting. The story of the spread and dissemination of Buddhism and Brahmanism in the countries of Asia is really a thrilling story of Indian missionaries whose brilliant exploits in those far-off lands constitute a fascinating chapter in the cultural history of the world. Unfortunately the early Indian records have nothing to say about the activities of these noble sons of India. It is from the Chinese annals that we know how their selfless work had built up a common civilization for nearly three quarters of the Asiatic continent.

It was in the beginning of the fourth century A.D. that Buddhism entered Korea from northern Chinese countries and Korea’s close contact with Japan paved the way for the spread of this religion in that country also. Although the substance of Japanese Buddhism was based on Chinese Buddhism it was always known that Buddhism was originally an Indian religion. However, it has been only in recent times that direct relations with India have been established. In this connection it is interesting to note that in the early periods when successive attempts of the Japanese monks to come to India to learn the language and the teaching of the Buddha failed, they devised another method to achieve their objective.

They visited China one after another and made thorough and extensive study of the Sanskrit and Chinese languages to have a deep knowledge of the philosophy and teachings of Buddhism which were preserved in their languages in China. The history of the adventures of these Japanese and Indian monks is a saga of extreme fortitude and endurance and of braving tremendous perils for the sake of religion. The dissemination of a synthesized variety of Buddhist faith and ideology by the Japanese and the Indian monks and a study of language-manuals, art-objects, folklore and formal texts clearly reveals India’s contribution to and transformation of the two heritages.





Buddhism in Japan

Brahmanism in Japan

Indian Monks in Japan

Language and Literature

Art and Painting


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