Japan: A country that worships Saraswati in pool of water

Kolkata (PTI): Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of knowledge, arts, and wisdom is worshipped by many Indians but not in the unique way Japanese do: in the pool of water.

There is a large number of shrines to Saraswati in Japan, tells art-historian Benoy K Behl at the Indian Museum here where a rare display of his photographs reveals little known facts about the influence of Hinduism and Hindu deities in that country.


Due to goddess Saraswati’s association with the mythical river Saraswati, she is worshipped in pools of water in Japan, Behl says.

“There are scores of Hindu deities which are very actively worshipped in Japan. In fact, there are hundreds of shrines of Saraswati alone,” he says.

He shows a photo of the goddess with a veena at a shrine in Tokyo as he says the one in Osaka must be the most the impressive and the tallest shrine of Saraswati in the world.

Saraswati is worshipped as Benzaiten, he goes on to tell, whereas Lord Ganesha is worshipped as Shoten. Garuda is known as Karura in Daiyuzan-Saijoji temple near Odawara.

As he shows photographs from his last year’s visit to the country for the Japan Foundation Fellowship, he says people there worship other Hindu deities, we in India rarely do.

“In fact, deities we have forgotten in India, such as Vayu and Varuna, are still worshipped in Japan,” Behl said.

Besides religion, Japanese have also preserved the Siddham, a 5th century Sanskrit script.

At Gokokuji in Tokyo, a photo shows Japanese tombs with the Sanskrit letters. “The Japanese cannot read this alphabet, but it is still used to respect the dead.

It is very interesting that the 5th century Siddham script, which has disappeared in India, is still in use in Japan. At Koyasan, they still have a school where Sanskrit is taught with Siddham,” the historian said.

The exhibition which will run till February 21 shows innumerable photographs of goddess Lakshmi, lord Indra, Brahma, Ganesha, Garuda, and other deities.


  1. Now the haters from beef club can enlighten us on how sanaathana armies went to Japan and forced the population to accept these traditions!! Oh never mind – it never really happened!!! After all, not every group did what their foreign masters did in history. An uncomfortable truth to digest!! This also explains the never-ending ajeerna problems of these groups towards sanaathana groups and culture!! smiles…

    • Now the haters from beef club can enlighten us on how sanaathana armies …… Yawwwwn… so says our Murudushwara Rampai

      “Beef club”? Read on:


      The Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi may have overlooked Gujarat’s contribution to the increase in India’s meat production during his tirade against the Congress at election rallies in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

      Data compiled by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry from Gujarat’s Pollution Control Board reveals that meat production in the State, under Mr. Modi, more than doubled in 10 years.

      Gujarat produced 22,000 tonnes of meat in 2010-11 against 10,600 tonnes of meat in 2001-02. During the same period, India’s meat production grew from 18,59,430 tonnes to 48,69,000 tonnes, or by 163%.

      With 39 abattoirs, which slaughters over 1,000 animals a day, Gujarat is amongst the top 10 States in India in terms of the number of slaughterhouses.
      And oh, the 44 seat party had NOTHING to do with it ya, Murudeshwara Rampai. Your Anthima Sevaka was at the helm of affairs in your Gujarathaaa. 🙂

      What a ……….! 🙁

  2. Now the haters from beef club can enlighten us on how sanaathana armies went to Japan and forced the population to accept these traditions!! -Atheist Mr.Original

    Sir, In our collective memory the river was once mighty. Just like our civilisation was, compared to our uninspiring present. So it is natural that we are digging breathlessly and budgeting crores of rupees to tag a small stream with the attributes of historical grandeur.The Maharashtra BJP has no plans to stop the suicide of its own farmers but have plenty spare money an ancient river that probably never existed.

    Reviving the river may not be easy and is likely to take a long time. But perhaps, the Modi government can take a cue from all the efforts to revive a dead river, to ensure that many of its existing rivers—which are at the verge of dying—don’t end up becoming another Saraswati.

    The mythical Saraswati river, according to the historians, had dried up 4,000 years ago. Satellite images had mapped its course that once flowed through North-Western India. Is it to summarily push aside the Aryan migration theory of early historians? To prove that Aryans were indigenous, and in fact they were the same as and contemporaneous with Indus Valley people. This effort will help push back the age of the Vedas from the widely held date of 1500 BC to 3000 BC.

    While holy Gangs is yet to be cleaned now Modi’s government in search for lost saraswati(hidden river). Why the government is not focusing on saving the rivers with high suicidal rate of farmers?

    Dying rivers: Washed away by our sins

    Ironically,the whole task of finding river is been given another Class 5 genius from Modi’s cabinet Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharati.

    Is our Original is taking flight to Tokyo to take dip in lake or Haryana muddy pool is the question?

    Jai hind

  3. Both sharia shaikh and joker Praveena continue to display their ignorance!! One guy posts some gibberish while the taqiyya artist talks about saraswati river. Both know that they can’t argue my original point – foreign masters went around the world destroying local cultures and converting them by force!! How sad and embarrassing!! smiles…

    • One guy posts some gibberish while the taqiyya artist talks about saraswati river. – Murudeshwara Joker Rampai

      I think I know the bloke. Isn’t he the same chap who brought in NATO, Federal reserve banking and gasp.. gasp…… Petro $’s when I asked why the man with the ‘Beeeeeegg stickka’ goes about printing $’s without adequate collateral?

  4. foreign masters went around the world destroying local cultures and converting them by force!! – Atheist Mr.Original Pai

    Sir,Before Islam and Christianity came to the Indian subcontinent, Buddhism has already been marginalized by powerful Hindus. Even in Bengal, which is closer to Bihar where Siddhartha Gautam Buddha was born, Hindu Brahmins/leaders/rulers were able to reclaim their control over the people. As a matter of fact, had it not been for Islam, Buddhism would have totally been wiped out by Hindus in entire India.

    Why Buddhism Declined?

    How does once great civilization of Buddhism prospered in central asia and disappeared in the land of its birth? Original RSS Pai,whom do you blame for the decline of Buddhism?

    Jai Hind

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