TOKYO: Tibetan political leader Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay yesterday visited Hongwanji temple in Japan’s ancient capital Kyoto, which maintained religious and cultural ties with Tibet since the time of the 13th Dalai Lama. In the early part of 19th century, as part of an exchange program, Tsewa Tutrul from Tibet travelled to Japan and Japanese Buddhist scholar Tada Tokan visited Tibet and studied over a decade at Sera monastery in Tibet.
Hongwanji Temple’s Governor General Chiko Iwagami greeted Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay on his arrival at the temple.
Venerable Iwagami said he hope Tibetans will gain autonomy and emphasised the importance of preservation of Buddhist religion and culture.
He emphasised the importance of providing sound education to young generation of Tibetans, who he says are the ones who will continue the work the elder generation to keep the Tibetan culture, language and religion alive. Praising Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay for being educated at the prestigious Harvard University, he said it is of paramount importance to produce more educated Tibetans like him.
Sikyong said it was his great honour to visit Hongwanji Temple with which Tibet shared old ties and that the temple’s respect for His Holiness the Dalai Lama means a lot.
“The temple’s expression to support the Tibetan people sends a very good message to Buddhists countries around the world to support Tibet,’ he said.
Sikyong also said it was very important for Tibetans to have a sound education, learn Japanese language and serve the Tibetan cause.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama had visited Hongwanji Temple three times.
Visit to International Manga Museum
Early in the morning, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay visited the International Manga Museum in Kyoto and interacted with students.
Interacting with the students and media at the museum, Sikyong said in the international affairs there is hard power and soft power, and the latter plays a very important role.
“The soft power like movies, songs, entertainments, comics and dance make more sustained and sophisticated effect on people. It touches the heart and have a lasting impact and friendship. Specially through comic, you reach out to the children. So kids are very impressionable. Once its stays there, it stays there for lifetime. So I clearly see the Japanese are continuing the tradition and continuing Manga’s influence around the world. It is a very good contribution to the world. In the days of nationalism and populism, diversity and inclusiveness is very important. And Manga’s contribution is inclusiveness and diversity,” Sikyong said.
-Report filed by Office of Tibet, Japan-