This year's Namaste India is a part of a special event called "India Festival 2014-15", which was planned after the official visit at the end of August, of the new Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi. It was officially inaugurated in October 2014
The opening ceremony, the lighting of Diyas, was done in conjunction with the official public exhibition of Buddhism. It is the first time a full-fledged, Buddhist art exhibition has come from India through the Kolkata National Museum and it was held at the Tokyo National Museum from March to May 2015. (It was a great success, thanks to the support from the India related organizations, and the Buddhism officials. Over 100,000 visitors came to see it). With the cooperation of the Indian Embassy, a seated figure of Bodhisena (made of 3D glass fiber) was made in Delhi. This figure was placed at the Todaiji Temple prior to the formal public exhibition, which opened to the public on May 18th 2015.
During the Nara period, year 736, Monk Bodhisena was the first Indian ever to come to Japan. At that time, the Great Buddha and the Todaiji were erected and about half of Japan's population at the time was involved as per the request of Emperor Shomu, who took a huge brush and filled in the pupil of the eyes of the Great Buddha. (At present too the brush is displayed in Shosoin). More than one million monks, the royal family, and over 100 officials were involved in organizing this event, which was the first major Buddhist spiritual event in Japan. Bodhisena died in year 760 in Nara. In those days, Bodhisena had to overcome many difficulties to reach Japan from India, and many say that it is the same as people thinking of going to the moon now.
The Bodhisena's Statue, after the opening ceremony, is scheduled to be placed at Harajuku Exit of the Keyaki street in Namaste India Festival.
Entertainment by the Gujarat dance troupe of 10 people, organized by Indian government ICCR will be held on stage. Last year 2 large tents were used for group lectures and workshops and the same are planned for this year too. Some of the people who participated in last year’s Namaste India will participate in the Asia-India Festival to be held in Taiwan Taipei from June 12. The organizers will send these dance troupes to Namaste India this year too, and they will promote their activities in these booths.
"India Festival 2014-2015" is also coming to an end.
From August 12th 2015, India related special culture events are planned in Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi for 2 weeks. With “Namaste India” we will continue to strive to enliven and strengthen Japan-India cultural exchange in the "India Festival". This year “Namaste India 2015” will be held on September 26th and 27th, and we will put in a lot of effort and our best.
We look forward to the cooperation and participation of many people.
Namaste India 2015 President