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Ekai Kawaguchi

Ekai Kawaguchi (1866-1945). A Japanese monk who travelled to Nepal and Tibet between 1899-1915 being the first person from Japan to visit those countries. Studied in a Zen monastery in Kyoto (not inscribed). Early advocate of pan-Asianism and initiator of Nepali-Japanese cooperation. Has appeared on a Nepalese stamp (Dec 2002). At the time of "The Great Game" his visits to Tibet were "of interest" from an espionage point of view and he became friends with the British spy Sarat Chandra Das.

Connected Sites

  • Kathmandu Valley A commemorative shrine of his visit exists at Bodnath
  • Lumbini The Asoka pillar identifying Lumbini as the birthplace of The Buddha had been discovered in 1896. On a return journey to Nepal Kawaguchi visited it in 1912. He was shocked at the existence of Hindu animal sacrifices there and lobbied the Nepalese government to prohibit them.
  • Mahabodhi Temple Complex
  • Mountain Railways of India Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
  • Potala Palace First reached Lhasa in 1901 from Darjeeling. Is said to have had an audience with the 13th Dalai Lama Thubten Gyatso (1875-1933). He stayed 2 years in Tibet including a period at Sera Monastery (not inscribed) - but eventually had to flee back to Darjeeling.

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