Japanese emperor says India left a ‘lasting impression’

JapanNew Delhi : Japanese Emperor Akihito said the first visit of the royal couple to India more than half a century ago, as the then crown prince and princess, had left “a strong and lasting impression on us to this day” and hoped their current visit, as the king and queen of Japan, would deepen the bond of mutual friendship and trust between the two Asian countries.

The emperor recalled how in 6th century, Buddhism, which had originated in India, was introduced to Japan and subsequently the religion came to be widely practiced in Japan.

“In the 8th century, it is known that an Indian monk by the name of Bodhisena, who had travelled to Japan all the way from India, presided as the officiating priest at the eye-opening ceremony of the statue of the Great Buddha in Nara, in the presence of Empress Koken, Ex-Emperor Shomu, and Empress Dowager Komyo. The brush which was used in the ceremony to paint in the eyes of the Great Buddha is preserved to this day as a treasure at the Shosoin Repository,” he stated.

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