Kurukshetra: Srimad Bhagavad Gita left such an impression on the life of a Japanese woman that she left the job of a company like Microsoft and started teaching Gita and Indian philosophy in Japan. Reiko Watanabe was presented the Gita by some unknown person. Reiko has come to Kurukshetra from Japan for three days. Here she read her research paper on Srimad Bhagavad Gita in Japan in a seminar organized on Gita.
Curiosity about Krishna increased by reading Gita: Reiko’s life changed completely after reading the Gita. She told that after completing her schooling, she studied at Kanagawa College of Foreign Studies. She then went to England to study English and Commerce.
After completing her studies there, she joined the local government in England as a trainee. She says, ‘I trained for a few days and came back to Japan. Worked in Japan as a Japanese and English translator for companies such as Microsoft and Fuji. Meanwhile, one day an unknown person gave me the Gita at Tokyo railway station. Gita was in Japanese language, after reading it, I wished to know about Lord Krishna and other religious texts.’
Love marriage against family wish: Reiko told that she met Mukesh in Delhi during Tokyo Disney. Mukesh imported clothes from India and sold them in Japan. After this both of them started meeting. Mukesh’s Japanese was not good, but Reiko taught him. Mukesh and Reiko decided to get married, but both of their parents were against the relationship. Mukesh persuaded his family members, but could not convince Reiko’s family.
Got married in 2000: Despite this, Reiko and Mukesh got married in the year 2000. The wedding took place in Indian customs in Delhi. Rico came to India alone. He had a son in 2005, whom he named Arjun. After the son was born, Rico’s family also accepted the marriage.
Now teaching in Japan: After marriage, Reiko asked Mukesh about Indian philosophy. He introduced her to Odisha Guru MK Panda. Reiko studied Gita, Veda, Yoga and Indian philosophy from Guru Panda. She decided that she would promote them by staying in Japan. After this, Reiko said goodbye to the job and began sharing knowledge of Gita, Vedas, Ramayana in Japan. Now she is teaching Gita and Indian Philosophy in different places and running Yoga Institute.
Many people in Japan are associated with Yoga and Gita: Reiko says that more than 7 million people in Japan are involved in Yoga. In many institutions, knowledge of Yoga, as well as Gita, Mahabharata, Ramayana and other Vedic texts, is given. Tokyo alone has about 150 yoga centers. Institutions like ISKCON are also working in Japan to promote Gita. A simple translation of Gita into Japanese is available for just Rs 200.
(Story by Manoj Kaushik)