1st of March 2011
The Okura Institute for the Study of Spiritual Culture and India
The Okura Institute for the Study of Spiritual Culture and the founder Kunihiko Okura (1882–1971) has a deep connection to India as stated below.
1. Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941)
He was an Indian famous litterateur, thinker and artist who was called the great poet “Gurudev”.
In 1913, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature with his anthology “Gitanjali”
In 1916, he had his first trip to Japan and stayed at the homestead of Tomitaro Hara(Sankei).
In 1929, he stayed at Kunihiko Okuras’s home for about a month.
At that time, he fell ill and was grateful for the nursery he got, so that he sent about 160 books of his writings and a model ship as a gift to Kunihiko after his return to India, which is kept at the Okura Institute at this time.
At the same year, Tagore shared Kunihiko his wish to spread Judo to India, so that he gave it further to Jigoro Kano, who arranged to dispatch Takagaki Shinzo from the Kodokan.
Tagore’s 70th birthday Anniversary in 1931
Chakravarty, the secretary of Tagore, asked all Tagore’s friends around the world to write a script about him and collected these to make the “GOLDEN BOOK OF TAGORE” to give it as a present to his anniversary. At that time, Kunihiko was asked to recommend Japanese authors and the pieces of the poet Yonejiro Noguchi, the novelist Saneatsu Musyanokouji and the philosopher Tetsujiro Inoue had been sent. Besides these three people, the names of Masaharu Anesaki (religion scholar), Toshihiko Katayama (French litterateur) and Kihachi Ozaki (poet) are also on the book.
Under the request of the Hindu then president Nehru in 1958, the Tagore Memorial Association was found to celebrate the centennial of Tagore's birth. Kunihiko became the director of the association and the office as well as Tagore’s laboratory was placed within the Okura Institute. Remembrance articles “Sachiya”, paper collections”Tagore”, publications such as “Tagore and Japan”, and exhibitions and more were held to celebrate his centennial.
Centennial celebration of Tagore's birth in 1961
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Tagore, the Okura Institute for the Study of Spiritual Culture is planning exhibitions and lectures in 2011.
2. Rash Bihari Bose (1886–1944)
The leader of India racial movement, known as “the Bose of Nakamuraya”
Bose also had friendship with Kunihiko Okura, so that he asked Kunihiko for the stay of Tagore at his house for the reason that “Tagore disliked staying at a luxurious house of rich people being formally welcomed but rather wished to stay on a place where he could share his thought with” (reference “Tagore Kinenkai Kaihou” Vol.1).
3. Radhabinod Pal (1886–1967)
Indian judge representative of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East's trials (Tokyo Trial)
Radhabinod Pal swore loyalty and became blood brothers with Yasaburo Shimonaka (1878–1967, the founder of Heibonsha and the head of Okura Institute for the Study of Spiritual Culture from 1952 to 1956) and drove forward the World Federalist Movement.
In 1953, Yasaburo Shimonaka, who was a friend of Kunihiko Okura and became the head of the institute, invited Doctor Pal all the way from India to Japan to open lectures to researchers and for the public at Okurayama from 20th to 30th of Oct.