Tibet House Japan organized a Five-day Tibetan Spiritual Festival from 1st to 5th May at Japanese Buddhist temple, Joenji in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Nine monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in South India headed by Ven Kachen Lobsang Sherab visited Japan for the festival. This was the first of the series of cultural and religious tour organized by Tibet House Japan. The festival at Tokyo was planned to coincide with the Golden week holiday in Japan.
Mr. Lhakpa Tshoko, Representative of Liaison Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the inaugural function welcomed the Japanese visitors and spoke about the rich Buddhist cultural heritage of Tibet, and informed the gathering that this rich culture is on the verge of extinction in Tibet because of Chinese policy. Mr. Hiraoka, President of Seifu Gakuen School, and Mr. Ohashi, a noted brain scientist welcomed the audience and spoke on their experiences with Tibetan religious culture from the Japanese perspective.
The monks drew Avaloktesvara`s sand mandala, and gave teachings on Buddhism and meditation. Cham, Tibetan ritual dance was performed. Around three to five hundred people visited the Festival site per day.
The Japanese public greatly appreciated the festival, saying that the festival enabled them to see Sand mandala with their own eyes and hear Buddhist teaching directly from Tibetan lama. Many Tibetans in Tokyo also participated and helped in making butter tea and serving it to the visitors. More than thirty Japanese volunteers helped during the festival in various capacities.
Many Japanese volunteers and visitors came in Tibetan dress, chupas. The atmosphere at Joen Temple with colorful Tibetan prayer flags gave Tokyoite an enlightening spiritual experience during this Golden Week holiday.
The Tashi Lhunpo Monks will tour Nagano, Hokkaido and Kyushu to perform various cultural and religious activities. Mr. Lungtok, Cultural & Information Officer of Tibet House will accompany them to coordinate the Festivals.
report by Office of Tibet, Japan