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PM meets Japanese author and artist anchored in Indian culture

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Japan met well-known author Dr. Tomio Mizokami, an author and Hindi and Punjbai linguist (Pic Courtesy Twitter/@narendramodi)

In the midst of his hectic and busy itinerary in Japan to attend the Group of Seven summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took time out to meet two Japanese cultural personalities – an author and an artist – who have deep ties with India.

The renowned author who is also a Hindi and Punjabi linguist and also a Padma Shri recipient (2018) is Dr. Tomio Mizokami. His works have not only provided a boost to India-Japan relationship but also helped to create awareness and promote Indian culture in Japan.

The 81-year-old dedicated to teaching Hindi was born in 1941 and studied the language from 1965 to 68 in Allahabad. He also learnt Bangla. On his return to Japan, he joined Osaka University’s Hindi department.

Interestingly, he has also translated 301 popular Hindi songs with Japanese subtitles.

PM also met a leading Japanese painter Hiroko Takayama, who presented him one of her prominent artworks – an oil painting of Lord Buddha – created in 2022. Based in Hiroshima, her works have resulted in deeper cultural bonds between India and Japan. She has been using resilient Indian women as her motif ever since her first visit to the country in 1981.

Takayama has conducted numerous painting workshops for Indian artists using Japanese ink in various Indian cities. She even taught briefly at the Visva Bharati University, Shantiniketan. Apart from this several solo shows of her have been held in India and Japan.