The year was 2018, when Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe vowed to be the friend of India for life. Ashutosh Rawal from Ahmedabad feels the same way for Japan.
He is a strong advocate and supporter of all things Japanese. Be it Tourism or business or even creating a positive platform for Olympics 2020-21, he always takes the lead. His upcoming book on Japan is a unique testimony to it.
‘Mera Joota hai Japani….Phir bhi Dil hai Hindustani’, a very popular song from Raj Kapoor’s film Awara in 1950s, resonates with the feelings of Ashutosh Rawal. The song conveys the ideology that one may travel across the world and adapt to different cultures and styles but at the core of the heart, one is an Indian. Traveler by heart and explorer by nature, Ashutosh Rawal feels a deep connection with Japan and its people. He has very innocently narrated these heartwarming and rib-tickling experiences in his upcoming book about his travel experiences to Japan.
He admiringly quotes Mahatma Gandhi: “I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.” This, he says, has a deeper spiritual meaning wherein one keeps their mind and heart open to other cultures but stays grounded in their moral values & principles. He has traveled to over 70 countries now but remains rooted in Indian culture and its values system.
Many of his friends feel that he is ‘Crazy About Japan’. However, he is proud about his love and flaunts his connection with Japan, its people and its culture. He takes the fondness to another level. He goes into the history and finds out that many Indians have settled in Japan for over a century and many of them were Gujarati, Parsi and Sindhi.
A recent news talks about conferring the second highest civilian award of Padma Vibhushan to Ex-Prime Minister of Japan – Shinzo Abe for ‘exceptional and distinguished service’ — in the field of public affairs. He also talks about Yogendra Puranik becoming the first person of Indian origin to win elections in Japan. The point being highlighted is the great connection between two countries and its people.
He has studied Japanese language as an exchange student and strongly feels that Gujarati and Japanese language has a lot of similarities. He cites the example of Gujarati’s saying ‘Ha Ji Namaste’ whereas in Japanese language they say ‘Hajime Mashtey’ when they meet someone for the first time. Gujarati/Hindi word ‘Seva’ also has a similar meaning in Japanese language.
There are many such similarities as the grammatical construction of the speech is also very similar for both the languages. In his upcoming book, he fondly talks about many such similarities and anyone would love reading these interesting narratives conveyed in a simple and witty manner. Small stories with wonderful & heartwarming life lessons are the takeaway from his book. One can read this fantastic book to be released in March 2021. He talks in a witty manner with a great sense of humour but the underlying message has deeper meaning.
Ashutosh Rawal strongly feels past life connection with Japan. He has created life-time friendships and bond with the people of Japan. He becomes highly emotional when he talks about his friends and host families in Japan. Tears roll down his cheeks and he becomes philosophical as he narrates some amazing and highly touching experiences with people of Japan. In the end, he laughs and calls himself Japanese Gujju.
One can follow him on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter where he shares his travel adventures and magical experiences in Japan.