This week we are in Tokyo, Japan, connecting with part of the Ghosh lineage. Namely, the family of Karuna and Jibananda Ghosh, and their son Bubai.
Karuna was the youngest daughter of Bishnu Ghosh, and after Bishnu's death in 1970, she and her husband Jibananda adopted Bishnu's dream of establishing a yoga school in Japan. They came to Tokyo and founded the Ghosh Yoga Institute Japan. Ever since, they have been instructing prescriptive and therapeutic yoga from a humble room here. The yoga has always been one on one, with each student getting unique attention and instruction from the teacher.
We have known about the Tokyo family only vaguely, aware that Bishnu traveled here with performance troupes, doing feats of strength and contortion. There are widespread videos of some of these performances. We knew that he had set up a yoga school and that perhaps Buddha Bose and his sons were involved in the early days. Thanks to Jerome Armstrong's new book Calcutta Yoga, we were aware that a handful of young teachers were sent to Tokyo as holdovers while a more permanent teaching solution was found. Among these young teachers was Bikram Choudhury, who passed through Tokyo before eventually settling in the USA.
But we have been ignorant of the depth of history and knowledge here. This limb of the Ghosh family has committed themselves to yoga for 50 years. They established and fostered a school and community here, ambassadors of yoga to a new culture.
Karuna Ghosh died in 2006, partly due to old internal damage from carrying heavy objects like elephants on her chest. Jibananda still runs the Institute. Their son Bubai is a businessman who also teaches yoga, prescribing "charts" for his students. He has started a separate little school in a more modern part of Tokyo.
Bubai met us as we disembarked from the plane. He fluently speaks English, Japanese and Bengali. He will generously spend the next 3 days introducing us to his family, Tokyo and the yoga history here.
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga. This blog is about their experience with yoga practice, study and teaching.
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