ome people might be wondering why a Japanese nonprofit organization concerns the Himalayas. In fact, there is a deep and strong relationship between the Himalayas and Japan. Here are some:
In Japan, mainly, it is humid temperate climate. The 70 percent broad-leaved
trees such as zelkova, gingko, beech tree and so forth are flourishing. Japan
is the richest country in broad-leaved tree in the world. The Himalayas is far from Japan, but it
actually created the rich natural environment in Japan.Every June, much moisture vapor is
spawned in the Indian Ocean and it goes north as huge clouds. This is the Asian monsoon. After
it affects the Indian subcontinent and surrounding regions, it is absorbed
into westerlies, course of which the Himalayas as a huge natural barrier
changes. Then, the monsoon goes east and rains in plenty in areas from southern China to Southeast Asia. The humid clouds move to Japan and
give it the gift of much rain.The humid clouds move to Japan and give it the gift of much rain. Thanks to this phenomenon, Japan has its climate, rich natural environment and created its original culture
arising from the nature. According to the Meteorological Research Institute in
Tokyo, if the height of the Himalayas is the half of as of now, the amount of rainfall
would be the half in Japan. That means without he Himalayas Japan would be
definitely not the same as it is now. So, this is some kind of naturalmiracle
between Japan and the Himalayas.
Siddhartha Gautama, a spiritual teacher who founded
Buddhism, is said to have been born near the town of
Kapilavastu, in the foothills of the Himalayas in what is now Nepal. By tradition, when Siddhartha reaches enlightenment and becomes Buddha, Brahma asks Buddha to preach the Law
(Dharma) to people. Buddhism was firstly introduced to Japan in 6thcentury.
Since then, it has influenced the Japanese society and people’s mind. Among
the sects, Zen Buddhism was once very influential and created Japanese unique
cultures such as tea ceremony, bushido (the spirit of the samurai), calligraphy
and so forth. In addition, there is Shugendo, an ancient Japanese religion in
which enlightenment or oneness with kami is obtained through the understanding
of the relationship between Man and Nature, centering on an ascetic, mountain-
dwelling practice. Shugendo incorporated beliefs or philosophies from Shinto as well
as animism, Taoism and esoteric Buddhism. Interestingly, there are many similarities.
Glaciers in the Himalayas are the sources of major rivers, including China's
Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, India's Ganges and Indus Rivers, and Southeast
Asia's Mekong River. Their combined drainage basin is home to some 3 billion
people (almost half of Earth's population).According to many scientists, because of global warming, the
glaciers have been significantly melting. Some says the Ganges might be dried up within 100 years.
The critical case might apply to not only the Ganges but also other rivers. If the
rivers would be dried up, we’ll have many so-called “ecological refugees” for sure,
which will be one of major international issues. It is very obvious that the
problem will also deeply affect the Japanese society, rather Japan, one of the
economic giants and one of the worst CO2 emitting nations in the world, has to take initiative and act to solve the
problem. More commonly and urgently, there exists a deeper connection between Japan and the Himalayas: As
the Fukushima nuclear accident has shown, we too need to learn to strike a
balance between economic development, consumption, leisure and environ-
mental protection. As well, we need to continue to raise awareness about the
importance of respecting cultural and ethnic diversities within our society.
Therefore, it’s quite natural for the Himalaya Archive Japan to take the initiative to
do projects to think about our lives and earth through the Himalaya.
between Shugendo practitioners and yogis in the Himalayas in their characteristics.
Himalaya Awareness Archives