This book chronicles the role of Buddhism in the formation of the state, literature, art and beginnings of technology in Japan from the sixth century down to our times. From the name of the country as Nippon arising out of the golden light of the rising sun in the Suvarnabhasottama-sutra down to the Indic sequence of the kana syllabary, or the kanji of the sutras becoming the terminology of the yosai in the 19 the century, from the haiku of Basho to the very name of the astounding poet Saigyo going to the west (i.e. Idnia), and the overwhelming sharing of culture alongside its internalisation as Japanese are recorded herein. Transience of the cherry blossoms, the resonance of temple bells vanishing into sunyata, or the vice-admiral of the Japanese navy committing harakirti at the end of the Second World War, scenes from the Mahabharata in the Kabuki theatre, Sanskrit Mantras, the sprawling homa fires of the yamabushi on the mountains, gigantic Sanskrit bijaksaras on rocks, the rathayatra of Sravasti of Lord Buddha’s life time featuring as the major vibrant Gion festival with millions of Japanese participating, and innumerable historical and living events are deep bonds of India and Japan.
The book is a moving story of how Prof. Raghu Vira renewed these bonds by inviting Japanese students, commencing classes of Japanese language for the first time in India, inviting Prof. Kenzo Takayanagi who had defended the WWII Prime Minister of Japan at the War Crimes Tribunal and so on. A rare letter of General Dougals Mac-Arthur, not to convert the emperor of Japan to Christianity is cited in full.
The third chapter details the study and critical editions of Sanskrit texts, culminating in a facsimile edition of the Gilgit mss of the Lotus Sutra in the perfection of Japanese technology: it looks as a veritable original.
The Fourth chapter recounts the history of Buddhist sculptures, scrolls, pantheons, mandalas from fourteen centuries, contemporary calligraphy of the post-Gupta Siddham script, Mudras used in ritual, letters written in Sanskrit by Prof. Wogihara and Nagara, and the immense diversity of the art heritage of Buddhism.
The fifth chapter details the unique concept of Linguistic Sovereignty which became the creativity of neologisms, the miracle of economic development, and was the inspiration of Prof. Ragu Vira to create the modern technical terminology in Indian languages.