Yoga was popularized in Japan largely due to the efforts of Bishnu Charan Ghosh. The yoga guru, originally from Bengal, will be commemorated in Japan with the release of four postage stamps bearing his image and those of his family who were also instrumental in spreading postural yoga in the country. The stamps will be the first time yoga experts will be featured on postage stamps in Japan.
The stamps will feature Bishnu Charan Ghosh, his son and daughter, Biswanath Ghosh and Karuna Ghosh, and Karuna’s father-in-law, Asutosh Ghosh.
As reported by Hindustan Times, the stamps were officially released in Japan and were showcased by Masayuki Taga, the Japanese Consul General in Kolkata, India recently.
Taga said that the stamps are indicative of the close relations between their two countries which is strengthened through yoga.
“This is the first time Japan has released postal stamps on any yoga experts. It is a result of the constant endeavour by the four yogis to create a close cultural linkage between the two countries by popularising the Indian form of yoga in Japan,” he said.
He also took the opportunity during the event to wish the Indian Martial Arts team good luck at the 2020 Olympics in Toyko where they will be performing.
Bishnu Charan Ghosh’s Yoga Legacy
Bishnu Charan Ghosh, who passed away in 1970, remains one of the most beloved teachers of modern yoga. He introduced yoga to Japan and his 1968 speech given on Fuji TV, Tokyo was played at every graduation ceremony at Bikram College of Yoga since they began hot yoga teacher training in 1994.
Both Bikram Choudhury and his wife, Rajashree Choudhury, were students of Ghosh who, under his guidance developed to become as international yoga champions in the late 1970s and early 80s.
In addition to being a Hatha Yoga teacher, Ghosh was also a doctor, lawyer, an engineer, a philoshopher, and served on the faculty of Columbia University.
His brother, Paramahansa Yogananda, was the writer of Autobiography of a Yogi. Together, the brothers set up the Self Realization Fellowship in the US in 1925.
Ghosh’s Yoga College continues to be a family-run organization with courses being run by Muktamala Mitra, the grand daughter of Bishnu Charan Ghosh.