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Japanese lady warkari joins Pune palkhi again

Sixty-year-old Yuriko Ikenoya is a Japanese and a warkari for over 30 years now.

The devoted 'Vitthal bhakt' just completed translation of Dnyaneshwari (a commentary on Bhagwad Gita by Sant Dnyaneshwar) into the Japanese language. Besides, she is a permanent member of the Acharya Vinoba Bhave Ashram in Wardha and has translated Bhave's 'Geetai Pravachan' into Japanese. The book has already sold 1,000 copies and the second edition is awaited.

Ikenoya, who has a master's degree in social work from Tokyo, walks to Pandharpur every year with the warkaris since 1980. "When I first joined the wari, there were only 10 dindis in the front of the palkhi and 50 behind. But the number has increased ten fold. Now, there are about 350 dindis," said Ikenoya.

About the translation of Dnyaneshwari, Ikenoya said, "I published this book for today's generation of Japanese people who are very keen on studying religious texts. They look at India as the seat of knowledge and we find many of them reading these translations." The Japanese scholar has so far translated over 1,000 Abhangs (poems) of Sant Tukaram into Japanese. Ikenoya also has an excellent command over Hindi and has given several discourses on 'Tukaram Gatha'.

Ikenoya is a part of the Shedge dindi since 31 years and is accompanied by her fellow Japanese Shizuko Suzuki, who teaches yoga in Japan and Tanaka Chihiro, who completed his PhD on the warkari sect from University of Pune.

Courtesy: Somnath Deshkar, TNN Jun 26, 2011, 03.32am IST

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