The first part of the seminar consisted of three lectures. Prof. Abhijit Mukherjee in his keynote address titled “Tagore’s First Visit to Japan – An Interpretation of Its Impact on Tagore”, threw light upon Tagore’s remarkable appreciation of Japanese culture but relative unpreparedness to grasp the political tradition and the role of Emperor, going into details of the prevailing situation in 1916 mostly as depicted in Japanese literature. Next, Prof. Nabin Kumar Panda of Dept. of East Asian Studies, Delhi University, in his speech talked about the history of the introduction of Japanese Studies in India that began with Jinnotsuke Sano, the Jujutsu teacher who started teaching in Shantiniketan in 1905. The next paper was of Dr Kyoko Niwa, her paper titled “Rabindranath Tagore and Noguchi Yonejirou” was read out in absence of her. This paper is interesting in bringing out new perspectives of the well known debate that followed between the poets Tagore and Noguchi, following the Sino-Japanese war in 1938.
Dr. Satyanarayan Bhattacharya, Prof. Abhijit Mukherjee, Prof. Nabin Kumar Panda, Mr. Bipul Krishna Das, Mrs. Sumita Bhattacharjee & others
News Paper Review: "Paribartton" 26.03.2011
In the second part of the seminar five speakers presented their papers on different issues relating to Tagore’s association with Japan. The first speaker was Dr. Satyanarayan Bhattacharya, the title of his paper was, "Tagore and Japan: An Aesthetic Bond". The next speaker was Mr. Prabir Bikash Sarkar. He intended to talk about the history of Japan’s cultural tie with Bengal, and the role of Okakura Tenshin. Two more informative papers were presented by Sri Pratyay Banerjee and Sri Debanjan Ghosh respectively. The first speaker spoke of Tagore’s initiative in introducing Judo in Santiniketan. The next speaker presented a paper titled “Tagore’s Literature in Japanese Language”. The last speaker was Mrs. Suparna Chakraborty and the title of her paper was “Japan‑Jatri as a Travelogue”.
News Paper Review: "Bikeler Protidin" 05.04.2011
Tagore’s appreciation of traditional Japanese culture is well known. The poet not only visited Japan quite a few times, but also played a significant part in bringing about a new wave of cultural relation between Bengal & Japan.
News Paper Review: "News Bangla" 25.03.2011
Mr. Debanjan Ghosh
Mr. Probir Bikash Sarker
However this cultural relation between undivided Bengal and Japan lost its vibrancy due to the changed perspective in the post war period. Viewed from this historical perspective this seminar turns out to be a meaningful attempt to remember a historical period that has almost passed into oblivion.