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The KIZUNA India-Japan Study Forum is aimed at promoting the study of under-researched aspects of India-Japan historical and cultural interactions by holding lectures on a monthly basis. This will open avenues for all young and old researchers/scholars to share and exchange their work encapsulating rich history and contacts between the two countries in trade, business, economic, cultural, philosophical spheres. This would not only enhance mutual understanding but also strengthen the foundations of rapidly expanding multifaceted cooperation between the two countries.

Saturday, 7th October, 2023, 3 - 4.15 pm (IST) 

Helen Christina Xavier photo.jpg

Ms. Helen Christian Xavier did her Masters in Applied Psychology from Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed Women’ college in Chennai. After completing her studies, she started a profession in Psychology. After 10 years of fruitful work, fascinated by the history and culture of Japan, she decided to pursue Japanese studies in 2003. She studied in Indo Japan Chamber of commerce and Industry and got her N2 Certification in 2015. 

Since 2013, she has been a freelance Japanese Interpreter and Translator with India Yamaha Motors (Via consultants) many other Japanese auto companies. 

Kabuki and Kathakali – The lost siblings

Ms. Helen Christina Xavier’s penchant for Kabuki and Kathakali, Japanese and South Indian dance forms respectively, motivated her to study the two dance forms and understand their subtle similarities with uniqueness. 

In her presentation, Helen will explain the origin of both the dance forms and its beginnings /artiste backgrounds and then go on to describe details like the stages, the costumes, masks, unique poses etc. She will unravel the magical truths behind these two cherished dance forms in great depths, leaving you awed!

03:00   Welcome by the Coordinator: Prof. Sushila Narsimhan

03:05   Introductory Remarks by the Chair: Prof. A. Damodaran

03:10   Lecture by Ms. Helen Christina Xavier

03:35   Open Interaction 

03:50   Concluding Remarks by the Chair 

04:00   Wrap up

Saturday, 23rd Septembert, 2023, 3 - 4 pm (IST) 

Prof. Benoy K Behl

Benoy K Behl, Adjunct Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, is a film-maker, art-historian and an avid photographer. His penchant for Asian monuments and art heritage is evident from his 146 documentaries which are regularly screened at major cultural institutions worldwide, and a huge wealth of 53,000 photographs. Stories of his pioneering works have been carried by the National Geographic magazine and BBC World News. 

Hindu deities and Sanskrit in Japan
Lecture with documentary

50 of the major temples of Japan have given unprecedented support to Prof. Benoy K Behl for this research and film. In the words of the Former DG of The Japan Foundation Mr. Kaoru Miyamoto, the film shows many shrines and deities which are not accessible even to Japanese people.

The film shows that numerous Hindu deities are very actively worshiped in Japan. In fact, there are hundreds of shrines to Saraswati alone. There are innumerable representations of Lakshmi, Indra, Brahma, Ganesha, Garuda, Shiva and other deities.

In 1,200 temples in Japan ‘havan’ or ‘homa’ (goma in Japan) is performed every day, along with Sanskrit chanting. The very script of Japan ‘kana’ was created on the basis of the phonetics of Sanskrit. 

Prof. Behl researched this subject since 1994 and the study was completed on a Fellowship of The Japan Foundation in 2014. The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India sponsored the making of the film on the subject, which you will see personally presented by Prof. Behl.

Hawan or Homa, called Goma in Japan, Takahata Fudo Temple, Tokyo

03:00    Welcome Remarks by Coordinator Prof. Sushila Narsimhan 

03:05    Introductory Remarks by the Chair Mr. Kiran Karnik 

03:10    Speaker’s Lecture with Documentary Prof. Benoy K. Behl 

03:50    Open Interaction 

04:00    Concluding Remarks by the Chair 

04:10    Wrap up

Friday, 18th August, 2023, 3 - 4 pm (IST) 

Prof. Archana Shastri


The paper will be contextualized with reference to the worldwide concern for sustainable textile production and consumption. It will elaborate on the Indian and Japanese traditional textile practices that were nurtured within a shared concern and economy of thrift within a larger social, ecological and economic dimension. It would also take into account the shifting dynamics of art and craft, with the very act of making as shaping and re-envisioning a futuristic and sustainable world.

03:00    Welcome Remarks by Coordinator:
               Prof. Sushila Narsimhan

03:05    Introductory Remarks by the Chair:
              Prof. Saumya Pande

03:10     Speaker’s presentation:
              Prof Archana Shastri

03:35     Open Interaction

03:50     Concluding Remarks by the Chair

04:00     Wrap up

Prof. Archana Shastri is a very versatile practicing artist, a design practitioner and an educator. She has headed the FD and FC Departments of NIFT, Art Education Department at NCERT, GCA Chandigarh, Kaladarsana, IGNCA and was the former Director of MGCA Traditional Textile Museum, Cambodia. To her credit are several exhibitions and published papers. She holds a post-graduate degree in Fine Arts from MS University, Fellowship from NID, Advanced Printmaking from RCA, London and Fashion Orientation from FIT, New York.

Saturday, 22nd July, 2023, 3 - 4 pm (IST) 

Dr Sampa Biswas

Dr. Sampa Biswas has taught in the National Museum Institute of History of Art, New Delhi; Museology and Conservation and Restoration of Art, New Delhi; and at Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts, New Delhi. Her major publications include: Indian Influence on the Art of Japan (538-1333 AD) (2010); Fudo Myo-O (Acalanatha Vidyaraja) in Art and Iconography of Japan (2011); and Assimilation of Brahmanism into Buddhism (2017).


The paper makes a survey of how after the introduction of Buddhism in Japan in 6th century CE, especially after the introduction of Esoteric or Tantric doctrine of Buddhism during early Heian period (8th-9th century CE), the art of Japan underwent significant transformation. Along with the many Buddha images displaying austerity, mystery and severity, and Bodhisattvas and other fierce looking guardian deities of Buddhist faith, we also find gods and goddesses, and host of other deities of old Brahmanical religion.


Welcome & introductory Remarks by Coordinator: Prof. Sushila Narsimhan

Chair: Prof. Shashibala, Dean, KM Munshi Centre of Indology, on Chair-Acharya Raghuvira, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan,
New Delhi. 


Speaker: Dr. Sampa Biswas, National Museum Institute of History of Art, New Delhi.


Discussion and Interaction with the Speaker; Initiated by Mr. Sushmit Sharma, Deputy Curator in the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.


Open Interaction


Closing remarks: Prof. Shashibala

Monday, 5th June, 2023, 3 - 4 pm (IST) 

Helen wu Thahn

Dr. Hélène Vu Thanh is Associate Professor at the University of Bretagne-Sud/Institut universitaire de France. She specializes on the study of missionaries in and around Japan in the 16th and 17th centuries. Her recent research focuses on the funding of the Japanese mission from a local and global perspective. Her publications include: Devenir japonais. La mission jésuite au Japon (1549–1614) (Paris: PUPS, 2016). She is the co-editor with Ines Županov of the book: Trade and Finance in Global Missions (16th-18th c.)
(Leiden: Brill, 2020).

BETWEEN COOPERATION AND RIVALRIES: The Jesuit Missions in India and Japan (16-17th c.)

This study analyses the organization of the Jesuit missions in Asia in the 16th and 17th centuries, through the case of the relationship between the Indian mission and the Japanese mission, which was subordinate to the former. It demonstrates the growing autonomy of the Japanese mission, which was trying to free itself from the Indian supervision - both from administrative and financial point of view.

03:00 pm

Welcome & introductory Remarks by Coordinator:
Prof. Sushila Narsimhan

03:05 pm

Speaker: Speaker: Dr. Hélène Vu Thanh, is Associate Professor at the University of Bretagne-Sud/ Institut universitaire de France.

03:30 pm

Discussion and Interaction with the Speaker; Initiated by Prof. Joao Paulo Oliveiria e Costa, is Professor of History in NOVA Lisbon, Portugal.

03:50 pm

Open Interaction

03:55 pm

Closing remarks: Prof. Sushila Narsimhan

Monday, 1 May 2023, 3-4 pm (IST)

Vishaka Chowdhury

Visakha Chowdhury is currently pursuing her second master’s degree in Comparative Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam. She has completed her postgraduate degree in East Asian Studies from the University of Delhi, and has a background in English Literature. Her research interests include visuality and material culture in East Asia and South Asia and their transnational perception and circulation. 

Hybridity and Adaptation in Ramayana: Rama Ouji Densetsu

This paper will analyse the legacy of Japanese animation within Indian popular culture through the Indo-Japanese animated film Ramayana: The Legend of Prince Rama. The adaptational space created through this collaborative venture will be examined through a detailed study of the film’s amalgamated animation style and aesthetics. Furthermore, this paper will posit the cultural exchange and hybridity engendered through this venture as a model for future Indo-Japanese cultural collaborations.

03:00 pm

Welcome & introductory Remarks by Coordinator:
Prof. Sushila Narsimhan

03:05 pm

Chair: Prof. Sushama Jain, former Professor of Japanese language at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi.

03:10 pm

Speaker: Visakha Chowdhury, currently pursuing her second master’s degree in Comparative Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam.

03:30 pm

Discussion and Interaction with the Speaker; Initiated by Prof. Ranjana Mukhopadhyaya, Professor of Japanese Studies in the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi. 

03:40 pm

Open Interaction

03:55 pm

Closing remarks: Prof. Sushama Jain

International Conference

Discovering India-Japan Civilizational Ties and Southeast Asia Connectivities

February 10 - 11, 2023

Venue: Seminar Room 1-3, Kamaladevi Complex, India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi

Mode: Hybrid

Aim of the Conference

The aim is to examine the interconnectivity of the whole of Asia (South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia), direct or indirect, by land or by sea, that facilitated linkages between India and Japan. Expanding the geographic confines of the discussion will help to highlight missing links of India-Japan cultural and historical interactions. The Indian Ocean maritime networks, especially between India and Japan, were replete with flows and connections that through multidisciplinary tools can enrich our understanding. These papers should serve as an encyclopaedia of all information pertaining to the past and present of India-Japan relations. 


India and Namban Art, with a focus on St Francis Xavier and Namban screens

Akira Tsukahara, Curator, Kobe Museum, Kobe, Japan

Abstract: The Kobe City Museum is known for its collection of so-called Namban art, of which the two most representative works are the ‘Portrait of Saint Francis Xavier’ and the ‘Namban Screens’ by Kano Naizen. The former depicts the saint who first introduced Christianity to Japan, while the latter gives a vivid account of European-Japanese exchange in Japan at the end of the 16th century, during the reign of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. This presentation will point out their connection with the Jesuits, who made Goa, India, their Asian missionary base, and will refer, in particular, to the possibility that the Namban Screen depicts objects, people and animals brought from India to Japan.

Akira Tsukahara

Akira Tsukahara is a curator at the Kobe City Museum since 1991. His main research theme is the influence of Western painting on early modern Japanese art, and he was involved in the composition of the permanent exhibition ‘St Francis Xavier’, newly installed in this museum in 2019.

India Materialized: South Asian textiles in early modern Japan 

Alexandra Curvelo, Art History Department NOVA FCSH Av. Lisboa Lisbon, Portugal

Abstract: The beginning of the early modern period structured its geographical horizons around networks based on connections, with emporiums, regions of production and merchants operating over vast spaces. Textiles, particularly cotton, comprised the essential components of long-distance trade relations across the Indian Ocean, perhaps being the most global of the various commodities that entered into this type of commerce in the period 1500-1800.

This presentation echoes the approaches favoured by the latest research, which has highlighted the importance of Indian textiles in structuring socio-economic and political relations in the non-European world and explores the impact of this trade in Japanese in the early modern period. Drawing on previous studies, the paper appraises the introduction of Indian textiles in sixteenth-century Japan via the Great Ship from Amacao, named by the Portuguese the ‘Nau do Trato’ (the merchandise ship) and by the Japanese the Kurofune (literally, the black ship), through the analysis of the pictorial representation of the so-called Nanban folding screens depicting the arrival of the Nau in Japan, with particular emphasis on the crews’ clothing and the trade goods. These meaningful visual documents have not been considered in the study of this topic despite their relevance as testimonies of a particular historical context that echoes the presence of the Southern Europeans (Portuguese, Spanish and Italians), African and South-Asian people in Japan from the mid-sixteenth to early seventeenth centuries.

Alexandra Curvelo

Alexandra Curvelo a PhD in History of Art on Nanban Art and its circulation between Asia and America (c.1550– c.1700), is a Professor at NOVA FCSH, Lisbon, and a member of the Art History Institute (IHA /NOVA FCSH). Her major publications include: Interactions between rivals: the Christian mission and Buddhist sects in Japan (c.1549-c.1647) (Alexandra Curvelo; Angelo Cattaneo (Eds.), Peter Lang Publishing, 2021) and Nanban Folding Screens Masterpieces. Japan-Portugal XVII Century (Chandeigne, 2015).

South Asian faces and Traces in Eighth Century Japan

Abigail I. MacBain, Historian and Lecturer in premodern Japanese Studies, Department of Asian Studies, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Abstract: The cultural highlight of eighth-century Japan was the eye-opening ceremony in 752 for the Great Buddha at Tōdaiji Temple. On this occasion, the Great Buddha’s pupils were painted in, thereby enlivening the statue and transforming it into a religious icon. According to temple records, the one who carried out this action was the Brahman Head Monk from South India, Bodhisena.

In this talk, I will discuss the historical evidence documenting Bodhisena’s journey to Japan and his rise to the most prominent position over Japan’s monastic community. In particular, I will show how his disciple, the Chinese monk Xiurong, used Chinese literary and religious allusions to argue that Bodhisena was comparable, if not superior, to early Indian and Central Asian Buddhist proselytizers to China. This was primarily due to the increased distance and hardship of his journey to Japan. Additionally, I will explore Indian cultural elements in Japan both during and preceding Bodhisena’s arrival, including in the masked drama known as Gigaku as well as Rinyūgaku, a style of music and dance purportedly from modern-day Vietnam but reflecting Indian influence. Both Gigaku and Rinyūgaku were performed at the Great Buddha’s eye-opening ceremony. Rinyūgaku is commonly thought to have been introduced by the Southeast Asian monk Phật Triệt, purportedly Bodhisena’s friend. I will also address how India was perceived in Japan at this time, both conceptually and geographically. In doing so, I will better contextualize what was meant by Bodhisena’s coming from “South India” and what cultural capital his country of origin gave him.

Abigail I. MacBain

Abigail MacBain is currently a lecturer in pre-modern Japanese studies in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She obtained her PhD from Columbia University, where she also taught in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. Her dissertation “Precepts and Performances: Overseas Monks and the Emergence of Cosmopolitan Japan” is about the relocations of several Buddhist monks from various parts of the Asian mainland to Japan in the mid-eighth century. 

Okakura Tenshin and India: Mutual influences

John K Gillespie, President, Gillespie Global Group, New York City, USA

Abstract: Much has been written about Okakura Tenshin and his place in the greater East-West art world, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His bilingual ability in Japanese and English was legendary and his ongoing work with the Harvard professor Ernest Fenollosa, deeply taken by Japanese art, opened Western art to East Asia—especially to Japan—and Japanese art to the West—especially to the United States. At some point, he moved beyond being a public intellectual in Japan and the U.S., a challenging enough achievement, to being a global one. 

Still, while his exploits in Japan and the U.S. are well known, his connection to other cultures—notably to India—has often been relegated to less in-depth research. In fact, he found Indian culture and art to be vastly appealing, notably through his relationship with Rabindranath Tagore. In this presentation, Gillespie attempts to explore Okakura’s interest in India, with a view to the nature of India’s influence on him and of his influence on India.

John K Gillespie

John K. Gillespie has a PhD in Comparative Literature and Culture from Indiana University. He is the President of Gillespie Global Group, an intercultural research, consulting, and training company in New York City. His major publications include: Alternative Japanese Drama: Ten Plays, with Robert Rolf (1992) and A Bilingual Handbook on Japanese Culture with Sugiura Yōichi (2004). He has also edited the modern Japanese theatre section in the Encyclopedia of Asian Theatre (2006).

Representing India in Edo Print culture

D. Max Moerman, Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, USA

Abstract: For Japanese Buddhists throughout the centuries, India represented an obscure object of religious desire, a land of origins from which they felt hopelessly removed. Buddhist India, known as Tenjiku in Japanese—or more specifically, as Gotenjiku, “the Five Regions of Tenjiku”—was not the India of modern geography. Its borders more fluid and undefined, Tenjiku represented a faraway realm, a land beyond the known world of the Chinese cultural sphere and the site of sacred history. The earliest and most detailed representation of this realm is a fourteenth-century manuscript map, depicting the itinerary of the Chinese monk Xuanzang’s seventh-century pilgrimage to Buddhist India, which was transcribed and preserved in temples across Japan into the late-nineteenth century. Yet at the beginning of the eighteenth century, this classical cartography of Buddhist India also appeared as a large-format woodblock print, which was then replicated in numerous popular printed maps and in the widely circulated encyclopedia of the age. This presentation analyzes the representation of Tenjiku in the visual and intellectual realm of late-Edo print culture to argue for the persistent place of the Buddhist cartographic imagination in the construction of early modern (and modern) Japanese identities

D. Max Moerman

D. Max Moerman (PhD. Stanford University, 1999) is Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures, Barnard College, Columbia University. His research interests lie in the visual and material culture of premodern Japanese Buddhism. He is the author of Localizing Paradise: Kumano Pilgrimage and the Religious Landscape of Premodern Japan (Harvard, 2004) and The Japanese Buddhist World Map: Religious Vision and the Cartographic Imagination (Hawaii, 2022).

Indian diaspora in Japan and Japanese diaspore in India in the Early modern period

Lúcio de Sousa,Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, The School of International and Area Studies, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract: This presentation will be divided into two parts: 1) Japan’s presence in Goa and Kochi, and 2) India’s presence in Nagasaki. In the first part of our talk, we will examine the arrival of the first known Japanese in Goa and Kochi and the creation of an Asian community. To illustrate our analysis, we will provide a few examples from that community. After concluding this section, we shall study the Japanese diaspora from Goa to the American continent and Europe. In the second part of our presentation, we will emphasize India’s presence in Japan, starting with a biographical sketch of the earliest known individuals of Indian origin living in the Far East. After this stage, we shall study the Indian merchants who lived in Nagasaki with the Portuguese in the first half of the seventeenth century. To conclude, we will focus our analysis on the end of diplomatic relations between Macau and Japan and the last remnants of the Indian presence at Nagasaki.

Lúcio de Sousa

Lúcio De Sousa is Associate Professor at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (Japan). He obtained in Ph.D. course in Asian Studies from the University of Oporto (Oporto, Portugal) and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at European University Institute (Florence, Italy). He was a book winner by the Macao Foundation, the Social Sciences in China Press and the Guang Dong Social Sciences Association (2013), the Portuguese Academy of History and the Gulbenkian Foundation Award (2019). 

Hindu mythology on Japanese Majolica Tiles, Modernizing Space, Consumption and Nationalism in Colonial India

Aki Toyoyama, Kindai University, Osaka, Japan

Abstract: This paper examines the pattern of tile consumption and modern space-making in colonial India, focusing on India-Japan relations in ceramics trade and their nationalist sentiment in the interwar period. Mass-produced decorative tiles were introduced in India under British rule. These tiles, known as Victorian tiles, made in 19th-century Britain became status symbols for local elites in colonial urban centres such as Calcutta and Bombay as well as princely states. By the late 1920s, however, Japanese tiles overwhelmed British and other European tiles in the Indian market, firstly on account of the First World War which adversely hit the tile imports from Europe to India, and secondly, because Japanese tiles were not only cheaper, but also gained popularity not only because of their designs depicting Hindu mythological subjects, mostly inspired by popular prints of Ravi Varma), but also of their implications in the nationalist movement. This paper aims to show a connected history between nationalising India and imperially motivated Japan reflected in tile consumption underlain by sanitary, aesthetic, and nationalistic perceptions of modern space-making.

Aki Toyoyama

Aki Toyoyama, PhD from Kansai University (2008), is Associate Professor at the Faculty of International Studies in Kindai University (Osaka, Japan). Her research interests are: Arts of colonial South and Southeast Asia, and intra-Asian correlations of art and architecture in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her publications include Visual Politics of Japanese Majolica Tiles in Colonial South Asia in The Journal of Indian and Asian Studies, (1:2:2020), and Vibrance of Indian Fabrics (co-author, 2021, in Japanese).

Rash behari Bose and Japan's culinary love affair with curry

Pallavi Aiyar, Writer and journalist currently based in Madrid, Spain

Abstract:  Kare Raisu, or curry rice is a staple of Japanese cuisine. Just how this came to be involved a rip-roaring yarn, featuring a revolutionary fugitive from India, a love story, and an entrepreneurial Japanese family of bakers.

A fair, if surprising, contender for the title of Japan’s national dish is curry. In Japan, the dish dates to the 1870s when naval officers of the British Royal Navy who had picked up the curry habit in India passed it on to Japanese colleagues. The earliest recipes for raisu kare (rice curry) in Japanese cookbooks were lifted from Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, in which the ingredients included curry powder, flour and sour apples. There is, however, one restaurant in Tokyo that has historically prided itself in serving “authentic India curry” — no wheat, no apples, and no holds barred on the chilli: Nakamuraya. How this came to be involves a rip-roaring yarn featuring a revolutionary fugitive from India, a love affair, and one of Japan’s leading bakeries.

Pallavi Aiyar

Pallavi Aiyar is a foreign correspondent and an author, and currently based in Madrid, Spain. She is the deputy Editor-in-Chief of the online magazine, The Globalist. Major publications include: Orienting: An Indian in Japan (2021), and New Old World: An Indian Journalist Discovers the Changing Face of Europe (2015). She served as advisor to the Confederation of Indian Industry on China-related issues. In 2010 she was recognized by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao for her work in furthering Sino-Indian relations.

An Indian language teacher in Early Shōwa Japan, a case study of the linguistic parameters in Indo-Japanese exchange

Nile Green, Professor of South Asian and Islamic History, UCLA., CA, USA

Abstract:  Indian intellectuals developed a keen interest in an East Asian country that had previously been all but unknown. Whether in Bengali, Urdu, Tamil, or Hindi, such authors wrote poems, travelogues, dramas, and histories of Japan, some based on direct encounters and others on indirect European accounts. Among these many works, perhaps none was more direct and detailed than the two-volume work written by Badr al-Islam Fazli, an Aligarh graduate employed to teach Urdu and Persian at the Tokyo School of Foreign Languages (Tōkyō gaikokugo gakkō) in the early 1930s. This talk draws together Fazli’s Urdu writings with other texts that emerged from the Indian section of the School of Foreign Languages to explore the linguistic reach and limits of Indo-Japanese interactions as they reached their zenith in the years before the outbreak of World War II. Drawing on Nile Green’s How Asia Found Herself (Yale, 2022), the presentation in this way probes the gap between connection and comprehension that has been greatly underplayed in studies of global history.

Nile Green

Nile Green is Professor of History at UCLA, where he holds the Ibn Khaldun Endowed Chair in World History. His major publications include: Bombay Islam: The Religious Economy of the West Indian Ocean; The Love of Strangers: What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen’s London (a New York Times editors’ choice); and, most recently, Global Islam: A Very Short Introduction, and How Asia Found Herself: A Story of Intercultural Understanding (Yale, 2022)

Imagining the Soundscape of India in Premodern Japan, Legends on the Indian origin of compositions in the repertory of Gagaku and Bugaku

Fabio Rambelli, Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Abstract: Premodern Japan was characterized by a high degree of “Indianization”: there was a pervasive discourse about the Indian origins of important historical figures, tools, and cultural practices of Japan. Differently from Indianization in Southeast Asia, which resulted from extensive and centuries-long direct connections with India that also involved migrations, Japan never had direct ties with India until the early modern period. It appears that many premodern Japanese, not just scholarly elites or members of the Buddhist clergy, found in the exotic remoteness of India (which they called Tenjiku) an appealing and highly symbolic source of important aspects of their tradition. Many connection to India were expressed in artistic forms: legends, performing arts, and visual culture.

This paper addresses a number of stories about the alleged Indian origins of important composition in the repertory of Gagaku and Bugaku, the ceremonial music and dance of the imperial court, Buddhist temples, and Shinto shrines in Japan. These stories began to appear around the eleventh century and continued to circulate among professional musicians, court aristocrats, and beyond, until the beginning of modernization in the late nineteenth century, after which they morphed into components of Japanese Pan-Asianism. 

The musical connections of Gagaku with ancient India have been studied by musicologists for almost a century, often from a highly ideological perspective. The study of origin narratives about Gagaku compositions, which also include information on performance techniques, is a highly interdisciplinary endeavor, which involves literary analysis, intellectual history, and musicology. The focus is on the production and the meaning of cultural heritage, the symbolic value of India, and the shifts in the cultural role of India in Japanese history.

Fabio Rambelli

Fabio Rambelli is Professor of Japanese Religions and Cultural History, and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, where he holds the International Shinto Foundation Endowed Chair in Shinto Studies. He is the author, among others, of Buddhist Materiality (2008) and The Sea and the Sacred in Japan (2018). He is also a student and performer of the shō, a musical instrument unique to Gagaku

From Tenjiku to India, the indology of Hirata Atsutane and Indo-Zoshi

Takahito Ishizaki, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract: This paper is a study of Indo Zoshi written by a scholar of kokugaku, Hirata Atsutane (1776–1843) an enormous work (25-volume) written from 1820–1826. It is generally known that India was called “Tenjiku” from medieval times until the early modern period of Japan. However, there were several complicated twists and turns until Tenjiku, the Buddhist holy place, was identified as real India. In the later Edo period, through Rangaku (Dutch learning), modern geographical knowledge let people understand that both Tenjiku and Indo (India) had the same roots. Atsutane was one scholar who referenced the geographical works by Asahina Kosei and Yamamura Saisuke. Indo Zoshi is a splendid historical record from which we can learn how Atsutane imagined and represented India. Since Tenjiku was a substantial “other” for Japanese people, this idea played an important role in drawing the self-portrait of the new modern Japan as a new nation state. 

Takahito Ishizaki

Takahiko Ishizaki is currently a Research fellow at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. He obtained his PhD in 2017 from the same University. He did his Masters in 2009 in International Scholarly History of India and Japan. He also holds the venerable position of being a Shinshoku (Shinto Priest) at Hitachinokuni-Sosyagu shrine in Sosha, Ishioka, Ibarakai Prefecture, Japan, where he conducts all the shrine ceremonies.

The Mikado's chemist, Puran Singh's education in Japan and his contribution to Science

Francesco Paolo Cioffo, University of Turin, Italy

Abstract: This paper discusses the life and contribution to science of Puran Singh (1881-1931), one of the towering figures of Punjabi literature. I trace Puran Singh’s life from the classrooms in Punjab to those in Tokyo, and back to the laboratories of Dehra Dun. I argue that his life epitomised the experience of hundreds of Indian youths who travelled to Japan. By looking at Puran Singh’s life I can demonstrate how between 1890s and 1920s Japan was integrated within the geographical imaginaries and the global networks of travel established by the Swadeshi movement.

The paper is divided in three main chronological sections following Puran’s life in Punjab (1881-1899), in Japan (1900-1903) and back in India (1904-1931). In the first section I will discuss the India in which Puran Singh’s grew up and the local organisations that shaped his understanding of Japan and then funded his studies there. In the second section the main concern will be to understand his times in Japan and how this experience radicalised him and made his education in science closely related to India’s struggle for freedom. Finally, I will discuss his return in India and how he contributed to the broader field of industrial chemistry. 

Francesco Paolo Cioffo

Francesco P. Cioffo holds a BA in History from Royal Holloway, University of London. In 2017 he earned an MA in World History from King’s College, London, and in 2019 he obtained an MA in Japanese Studies from SOAS. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Turin, Lungo Dora Siena, 100 A, 10153 Torino TO, where he is researching lesser-known spaces of Indo-Japanese interactions such as industrial workshops, classrooms, and factories.

Catholic Art in Asia in the 16th Century: Interaction between India and Japan

João Paulo Oliveira e Costa, Professor, Department of History, NOVA/FCSH University, Lisbon, Portugal

Abstract: The Portuguese arrived in India, in 1498, and brought with them their religion. There were Christians in India (the Thomas Christians, tied to the Syriac Church in Mesopotamia), but the newcomers tried to impose soon the predominance of the Catholic rite. The spread of military positions and trading ports along the Asian shores created several small catholic communities under the control of Portuguese bishops and tied to Rome. Since the middle of the 16th century, missionaries started working intensively inside Estado da India and beyond its borders. The grow of new communities and the building of new churches demanded the fabrication of new images and most of them were produced in situ, instead of coming from Europe. Many craftsmen (baptised or not) started making statues of Jesus Christ, of the Virgin or of the saints. They had European objects to copy, but they included some local traditions in the depiction of these Asian Catholic images.

Together with private traders the clerics travelled across Asia and arrived in other countries such as Japan. Here, a great Catholic community arose during the second half of the 16th century and the Japanese Christians had also a great need of images and they started also producing by themselves.

The paper presents examples of statues and paintings, through which we can perceive how both cultures accommodated Catholic Art to many pre-Christian believes and traditions.

João Paulo Oliveira e Costa

Joao Paulo Oliveiria e Costa, obtained his PhD in History from FCSH/NOVA University, Lisbon, Portugal. He is Professor of History Department of NOVA Lisbon, and Coordinator of the UNESCO Chair “The Oceans’ Heritage.” Some of his research projects include Project CONCHA – ‘The construction of early modern global Cities and Oceanic networks in the Atlantic: An approach via Ocean’s Cultural Heritage’; and FCT funded research projects, ’Nobility in the India State in the 16th century’ and ‘Portuguese Jesuits missions in the Far East.’

Indian craftsmanship meets Japanese influence – Early modern Luso-Asian religious artifacts manifest cross-cultural encounters

Ulrike Koerber, Universida de Nova de Lisboa, Instituto da História de Arte Department, Lisbon, Portugal

Abstract: Early modern Catholic-European presence in Asia, under the patronage of the Portuguese Crown, linked varied ports of South, Southeast and East Asia via the Luso-Asian networks of maritime trading routes, commercial ventures, diplomatic relations, and missionary work. On various levels resulted manifold circulations that promoted exchange and mutual influences in the scope of European-Asian and inter-regional encounters. Heterogeneous artifacts and new artistic styles emerged that well illustrate cultural, religious, and artistic intermingling promoted by cross-cultural interaction. Several examples of lacquered Luso-Asian religious items ordered and employed all above by the Society of Jesus in their mission in China and elsewhere manifest present craft contribution and stylistic influences from India and Japan, even not resulting of direct India-Japan linkages. The Jesuits, the most active and influential congregation of the Catholic missionaries promoted the circulation of people, merchandise, and artifacts. To equip their various missions, they commissioned liturgical implements to evangelize local populations, often taking advantage of the already existing production of devotional items settled around Goa and local lacquer arts of Japan or China, using the maritime trading routes that linked Lisbon, Goa, Macao, and Nagasaki. Thus, fascinating creations that combine contributions of different origins arose, only decipherable through closer analysis.

Ulrike Koerber

Ulrike Körber, integrated researcher at IHA - NOVA FCSH Lisbon, obtained her Ph.D. in, The Journey of Artifacts: The Study and Characterization of a Nucleus of Lacquered Luso-Asian Objects from the 16th and 17th Centuries from the University of Evora (2019). Her interests are material manifestations of cross-culture relations, manifold exchanges, and circulations that characterize much of the early modern period, featuring the transfer and transformation of motifs, iconography, and techniques.

Travel of Batik to Japan from India, via China and Southeast Asi

Padmini Tolat Balaram, Sasi Creative Institute of Designs, Coimbatore, India.

Abstract: The technique of using wax as a resist to paint or print textiles for creating patterns before dyeing - commonly known as Batik is an Indonesian word, but it is not correct to say that batik technique originated in Indonesia. This paper talks about the origin of Batik in India, much before the beginning of the Christian Era, its export to Egyptian Empire and on its way to other empires such as Parthian, Roman, etc. based on the Indian textiles excavated from tombs of Pharaohs of Egypt and ruins of other cities on its ways. 


Batik seems to have originated in India and travelled first to West and then to China and later to Southeast Asia, before it reached Europe from India. Indian Batik painted textiles are clearly seen in Ajanta caves paintings. They are also excavated from Niya, an oasis on the silk road to China and from Indonesian and other southeast Asian countries sites. Batik technique first reached Japan via China and later via Indonesia. This paper discusses the travel of Batik from India to Japan via China and Indonesia and its impact and development in Japan from Nara period to present day. 

Padmini Tolat Balaram

Padmini Tolat Balaram, a PhD from CEPT University Ahmedabad is currently a visiting Professor at Sasi Creative Institute of Design, Coimbatore, India, had earlier taught at Visvabharati, Santiniketan, Bengal, and several other places in India. She has published and held 36 exhibitions of her natural dyed textile paintings and wall hangings, including her natural indigo batik. She was a Research Fellow of The Japan Foundation thrice, Asia Scholarship Foundation, and Fulbright, Nehru Trust. She also created her own natural indigo dyed batik. 

India-Japan Cross Cultural Comparisons: Revelations from an Exercise involving
Heritage Arts

A. Damodaran, Professor of Economics and Social Sciences, IIM, Bengaluru, India

Abstract: Cross-cultural comparisons can be tricky and fraught with complexities. However, such exercises yield considerable insights on the philosophical and material foundations of the phenomena that are compared. This brief presentation seeks to outline some of the important revelations that came from a comparison of two classical heritage forms from Japan and India.  The Japanese theatre form Noh has important resemblances with India’s old theatre form Kutiyattom. Both theatre forms were proclaimed as intangible heritage of human kind by the UNESCO in the year 2001. The author undertook an exercise of carrying out a cross-cultural comparison of the two art forms. The exercise yielded important insights to the researcher regarding the cultural milieu and the management of space and time by the stakeholders connected to the two art forms. This paper seeks to present some of these aspects.

A. Damodaran

A. Damodaran, PhD in Economics, is currently a Professor at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India. He was awarded the Homi Bhabha Fellowship in 2004-07 to work on Global Commons. In 2012, he was appointed Visiting Fellow at the United Nations University in Japan. He is deeply involved with Japanese society and culture. His latest book, Managing Arts in Pandemic Times and Beyond (2022), is on performing arts organisations of several countries including India and Japan. 

The Uniquness of Japanese Artistic Heritage: Reflection of Japan’s Cultural
Encounters with the Outside World

Sampa Biswas, Independent Scholar, New Delhi, India

Abstract: This paper is an attempt to study Japan’s art during the era of Buddhist culture. Japanese art arose from the stimulus provided by the introduction of Buddhism in the sixth century through the Silk Road, China and Korea. Soon Buddhism became an effective vehicle for transmitting Indian thought, and Buddhist philosophy and culture gained a strong foothold in Japan. 

As to how widely and deeply Buddhist art and culture have been rooted in the Japanese mind can be seen when one compares the pre-Buddhist art of Japan with the art of the later period. The art had no direct connection in style or theme with the work of art produced after Buddhism came to Japan. Under the profound impact of the Gupta period style of art of India, Japan produced a wide variety of magnificent images, for example, Buddha, Bodhisattvas, Devas, Guardian Kings and Vidyarajas etc. with great enthusiasm. During ninth-tenth centuries, a major artistic shift was noted in the visual culture of Japan, when new modes of depiction were developed in sculpture as well as painting that shaped Japan’s artistic scene for several years.

Sampa Biswas

Sampa Biswas a PhD from Visvabharati, Santiniketan has taught in the National Museum Institute of History of Art, New Delhi; Museology and Conservation and Restoration of Art, New Delhi; and at Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts, New Delhi. Her major publications include: Indian Influence on the Art of Japan (538-1333 AD) (2010); Fudo Myo-O (Acalanatha Vidyaraja) in Art and Iconography of Japan (2011); and Assimilation of Brahmanism into Buddhism (2017).

Trading networks of Indian Traders in Modern Japan

Ui Teramoto, Soka University, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between Japan-India-Southeast Asia in the modern period through the trading activities of British Indian merchants, especially Sindhi and Muslim merchants, who had established trading bases in South-East Asia before coming to Japan, and incorporated Yokohama and Kobe into their sales networks spanning the major port cities of British India, Europe, the USA, East and South-East Asia. They then imported and exported goods from each region on this network. From the late 19th to early 20th century, Sindhi merchants in Yokohama transported “oriental” Japanese curios and silk textiles to the open ports of Europe, the USA and Asia, while Muslim and Parsee merchants in Kobe carried Japanese light industrial goods to Hong Kong, India and Southeast Asia, playing a role in the inter-Asian trade. The various trade goods that were thus transported were consumed in various parts of the region, encouraging further exchanges of people and goods. 

Ui Teramoto

Ui Teramoto is a Ph.D. in Media and Governance from Keio University, Japan. She teaches ‘South Asian Area Studies’ at Soka University and ‘Japan-India Interactive History’ at Keio University-SFC. Her publications include: Expansion of trade by Sindhi Hindu merchants in modern Yokohama (Socio-Economic History, 2021) and Trade and Commercial Networks of British Indian Trading Houses during the Treaty Port Trade in Yokohama (1859 -1899)” (Journal of the Japanese Association for South Asian Studies, 2016). 

Some Aspects of the Relations of Japan and India via Ayutthaya (Siam) in the
Seventeenth Century: Especially on a Japanese interpreters’ manual entitled
‘Yakushi Chotanwa’

Hiromu Nagashima, Professor Emeritus of University of Nagasaki, Japan

Abstract: Tokugawa Japan introduced so-called seclusion policy in 1639. But, Japan was not totally cut off from the world. It had trade relations not only with China, Korea and Dutch but also with some Southeast Asian countries. Though the direct relations between Japan and India were rare, the relations between the two regions continued through the Dutch East India Company (VOC) or through the Southeast Asian countries such as Ayutthaya Kingdom (Siam). As a result, Japanese government set interpreters of several languages such as Chinese, Dutch, Ruson (Philippines), Tonkin (Vietnamese), Shamuro (Siamese) and Mouru languages. It was not clear what language the Mouru language was. However, an interpreters’ manual called the Yakushi Chotanwa (5 vols.) contains nearly 1400 Mouru sentences and words. These Mouru sentences and words show that they are mostly in Persian language. But those Persians had some strong trade relations with India. It is indicated by the fact that nearly thirty Hindi or Urdu words are also included in the Mouru language in the manual. Two interpreters of Mouru language were appointed in 1672 at first in Japan. Behind this appointment there seems to be the fact that Mouru merchants visited Japan almost every year aboard either Chinese junks or junks financed by the head of the Mouru community and by the king of Ayutthaya from Autthaya to Nagasaki in the sixties of the seventeenth century. The head of the Mouru community had a strong influence at the court of the Ayutthaya Kingdom at that time. He and other Iranians at Ayutthaya had strong trade relations with Golkonda, Bengal and Gujarat in the Mughal Empire. The main commodities the Moor (Muslim) merchants brought to Japan from Ayutthaya were diverse kinds of textile of Coromandel and Bengal in the 1660s. According to an English writer (in 1679), the junks for Japan carry quantity of calicoes of Surat and Coromandel. 

Hiromu Nagashima

Hiromu Nagashima, Professor Emeritus of University of Nagasaki, did his Masters (i) in 1973 from Aligarh Muslim University, majoring in Medieval Indian History, and again (ii) in 1974 from Kyoto University. Left the Doctor’s Course of Graduate School of Kyoto University, after the prescribed three year-period of study (March 1977). His publications include: Bania Merchants under the Mughal Empire: A case study of those of Surat city, in The Toyoshi-Kenkyu, 40:4 (1982) [Japanese]; and Persian Muslim Merchants in Thailand and their Activities in the 17th Century: Especially on their visits to Japan in Nagasaki Kenritsu Kokusai Keizai Daigaku Ronshu, 30:3 (1997) [English]. 

Japan in Bombay: Trade, community, and cultural convergences

Sifra Lentin, Bombay History Fellow at Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations, Mumbai, India

Abstract: The earliest sizeable presence of Japanese expatriates in India was in colonial Bombay and its Presidency. The Japanese came here for trade but their engagement with the port city of Bombay and its cotton hinterland transcended the transactional to encompass the spiritual, India’s national movement, and Bombay city as an important node in the transnational movement of women in the sex trade which included Japanese women known as Karayuki San.

The paper weaves together these multiple narratives to present an overview of Bombay and its Presidency’s early Japanese community, the religious, community, and social infrastructure they built here, and their important commercial and cultural contribution to Bombay city and its Presidency.

Sifra Lentin

Sifra Lentin is the  Bombay History Fellow at Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations, a foreign policy think tank in Mumbai. She was awarded the 2018-19 Herbert Katz Fellowship for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania for her ongoing project on “Karachi’s Jewish Community.” Her publications include: Mercantile Bombay: a journey of trade, finance, and enterprise (February 2022); and Our Legacy: the Dwarkadas family of Bombay (March 2018).

A Whiff of India: Sandalwood in Early Modern Japan

Martha Chailklin, Historian and independent curator, Maryland, USA. Formerly in Leiden University, Netherlands

Abstract: Smell is one of the most acute senses. Certain aromas evoke stark memories: a person, a place, a food.  Pleasant odors can mask foul ones and unpleasant smells can ruin a pleasurable experience. Although a fine and beautiful carving material, it is its fragrance that makes sandalwood one of the most valuable woods in the world. Although they are two different species and have somewhat different properties and applications, this can be said of both white and red sandalwood. 

White sandalwood grows in south and southeastern Asia and the Pacific while red sandalwood is endemic to South India. The consumption of these woods in premodern Japan created a visceral linkage between India, Southeast Asia and Japan.  Although a luxury, through the use of incense in Buddhist temples the scent of sandalwood was experienced by a wide swath of the population. This paper will trace the introduction and applications of sandalwood from its introduction through Buddhism to medicinal and secular uses focusing especially on early modern Japan.  It will use trade records to elucidate interactions between Japan and sandalwood producing regions that supplied the wood, the foreign traders who acted as middlemen, and the consumer to elucidate a connection of the senses between India, Southeast Asia and Japan

Martha Chailklin

Dr. Martha Chaiklin is a historian and independent curator, currently based in Maryland, USA. She obtained her PhD at Leiden University. Her major publications include: Cultural Commerce and Dutch Commercial Culture (2003) and Ivory and the Aesthetics of Modernity in Meiji Japan (2014). She translated C.T. Assendelft de Coningh’s A Pioneer in Yokohama (2012); and edited Asian Material Culture (2009), Animal Trade Histories in the Indian Ocean World (2020). 

The Transoceanic Trading Network of Bombay and Japan in the late Nineteenth
and early Twentieth Centuries

Chhaya Goswami, S. K Somaiya College of Arts, Science & Commerce, Mumbai, India

Abstract: After the American Civil War, the dynamics of textile trade changed drastically in the western Indian Ocean. The Americans, for instance, were not able to recapture their lost position of dominance in the eastern African trade. This was also the deciding phase for the English textile manufacturers to face the challenge of undermining the importance of both the American as well as Indian textiles in the East African market. In reality, the war brought equal opportunities for both the Indian as well as the English and cotton manufacturers from Bombay and England found their profitable way into the Zanzibar market. Though most of the cloths were locally sold, East Africa emerged as the most important distant market for the Bombay made fabrics.

Moving beyond the eastern Indian Ocean, the circularity of Bombay cotton and yarn had reached to the island of Japan in the pacific waters around the similar times. By the 1860s, Imperial Japan and its port cities were participants of the global trade in cotton and textile which was thickly interlocked with Bombay’s trading network. By the dawn of twentieth century, the Japanese business firms were tapping the access over the cotton umland of Bombay. Looking at the emerging commercial linkages of Bombay and Japan, this paper wishes the explore and rethink the idea of global dimension of the Asian capitalism and its wider circularity.

Chhaya Goswami

Chhaya Goswami, a PhD from the University of Mumbai is an Assistant Professor at the Department of History, S K Somaiya college, University of Mumbai, India, specializes in the maritime history of the west coast of India and the western Indian Ocean. Her major publications include: The Call of the Sea, Kachchhi Traders in Muscat and Zanzibar c.1800-1880 (2011); Globalization Before its Time: Gujarati Merchants from Kachchh (2016); and Transregional Trade and Traders: Situating Gujarat in the Indian Ocean (2018). 

Carnatic Vocal Music by Prof. Takako Inoue

Sarod Vadan by Shri Anupam Joshi

Shri Anupam Joshi

Saturday, 19 Nov 2022, 15.00 (IST)

Maya Best

Maya Best

Maya Best graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2020 with a BPhil research degree in International and Area Studies, Anthropology, and English Nonfiction Writing; and a minor in Japanese language. In 2020, she received the Fulbright research fellowship (which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic), and returned to Tokyo in 2022 through affiliation at Waseda University, to continue her fieldwork examining Bengali cultural influences on Japanese society.


David H. Slater

David H. Slater is a professor of cultural anthropology at Sophia University, Tokyo. He did his Masters and PhD from the University of Chicago. He has worked on youth and labor, capitalism and urban space. He is currently working on issues of migration and displacement of asylum seekers in Japan.


A Piece of Bengal in Japan: Intercultural Relationships Between Bengalis and Japanese in Contemporary Tokyo

Through various modes of intercultural exchange and emulation of Bengali culture, both diaspora Bengali community members and Japanese locals can create contexts in which they feel a new sense of “home” and belonging in Tokyo. These instances of emulation appear in musical performances and dance, language, architecture, academia, visual art, beauty conceptions, and the food industry. Becoming immersed in Bengali customs and practices have led some Japanese locals to become kinds of “cultural ambassadors” to spread knowledge about and share Bengali culture with other Japanese.

David H. Slater
Bengal and Japan
Bengal in Japan

Saturday, 15 October 2022, 15.00 (IST)

Tomo Kawane

Tomo Kawane

Tomo Kawane is a senior researcher at the India Japan Laboratory, Keio University, Japan. She is also a visiting researcher at the Asia Eurasia Research Institute, Tokyo. She has been part of the Advisory Committee of the Indo-Japan Business Council (Pune) and the Asian Community News Advisory Board (New Delhi). Her three-decade long experience has consisted of advising multiple government and corporate entities conducting projects between India and Japan. 


Ashok Jain

Dr Ashok Jain has been a MEXT scholar, Physics research, Kyoto University, 1963-66 and a diplomat Science Attaché, Indian Embassy, Tokyo 1974-78. He has been in Physics research and teaching at Universities of Delhi and Bristol and in planning and management of science at national and international levels with DST, Govt. of India and Commonwealth Science Council, London. Subsequently as Director of CSIR’s National Institute of Science Technology & Development Studies he got into Science, Society and Development studies, an area in which he continues to work after retirement. He is a fellow of National Academy of Sciences, India.


Connecting India and Japan: Curiosity, Good Will and Flavors of India

Love for Indian flavors has been playing a significant role in our Japanese society, quietly weaving friendship among people from India, Japan, and beyond. Tomo Kawane will narrate her experience of bilateral exchanges through three decades of her life in India through her poem with some anecdotes.  

Dr. Ashok Jain

Kizuna India-Japan Study Forum: Inaugural Seminar

Thursday, 26 Sept 2022, 15.00 (IST)

João Paulo Oliveira e Costa

1. Speaker
João Paulo Oliveira e Costa

Professor of History Department of NOVA Lisbon, Portugal. His main interests are maritime history, construction of early modern global cities and oceanic networks. He is the Coordinator of the UNESCO Chair “The Oceans’ Heritage.”


Hélène Vu Thanh

Associate Professor at the University of Bretagne-Sud/Institut universitaire de France, France. She specializes on the study of missionaries in and around Japan in the 16th and 17th centuries


Kurofune: The first ship which linked India directly to Japan

In 1543, a giant black Portuguese carrack (kurofune) equipped with booming cannons, sailing from Goa via Indian Ocean bound for Ningpo, drifted by a typhoon, landed on the tiny Japan’s southernmost island of Tanegashima. This was not only Japan’s first encounter with the Europeans and Indians, it also established a direct sea route between Goa
and Nagasaki.

Hélène Vu Thanh
Kurofune trade treasures
Prof. Masumi Igarashi

2. Speaker

Prof. Masumi Igarashi

Senior Assistant Professor at the Center for Liberal Arts and Language Education, Okayama University. She was earlier a museum curator. Her main interests are Japanese modern artists and their international activities.


Prof. Rajeev Lochan

An eminent scholar-artist, was the Director of National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, for several decades. Recepient of Japanese govet fellowships, he has held many exhibitions of his artworks, with both national and international recognitions.


Cultural exchanges among Indian and Japanese painters since the beginning of the 20th century

The Japanese art scholar Okakura Kakuzo’s visit to India in 1901-02 opened up avenues for the arrival of many Japanese artists and painters in India. Overwhelmed by India’s rich culture, it inspired them to depict various aspects of Indian culture in their paintings.

Prof. Rajeev Lochan
Mr. Mukund V. Kirsur

3. Speaker

Mr. Mukund V. Kirsur

An alumnus of University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru,
Mr. Mukund Kirsur has a Masters in Seed Technology. A seasoned science writer and communicator, he started his career as a researcher and also taught agriculture. Later, he worked as a Sr. Scientist in Central Silk Board Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India where he edited Indian Silk - an industrial monthly.


Dr. M. N. Anantha Raman

A senior scientist with profound knowledge about sericulture industry and worked for almost three decades as Statistical Officer in Karnataka State Sericulture Research & Development Institute.


Japanese contribution in the development of sericulture in India

During his trip to Japan in 1893, the great visionary and a philanthropist, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, saw a silk farm and he immediately realised that India had a blooming future in silk looms. On his return, he chose the State of Mysore where he set up a silk farm in 1896 with the help of Japanese experts. Today sericulture is a successful industry in India.

Dr. M. N. Anantha Raman
Silk in India
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