When you hear the name Bose, who do you think of?
When people ask me about my research interests and I mention Bose, most simply shrug their shoulders. Among those who do have some vague familiarity with this name, it is Subhas Chandra Bose who tends to come to mind, and they briefly describe him as the man credited with launching the Imphal Campaign and the leading of India to independence.
Among those who I have talked to, there are only a very small handful who have heard of Rash Behari Bose, and even then, it is not uncommon for them to overlap him with Subhas – a man of no familial relation who coincidentally happened to share the same last name. Unable to definitively separate the two historical figures in their minds, many cannot explain with any certainty just who exactly Rash Behari Bose was.
This is an astonishing reality in light of the fact that if not for the efforts of Rash Behari Bose, India and Japan (and by extension perhaps the entire world at large) would not be as they are today. This is the great extent to which Rash Behari Bose’s contributions have impacted us, and it is for this very reason that the present situation is highly regrettable.
Follow along on this blog as the words of Rash Behari Bose are brought back to life, in English, for the very first time in history.
I am embarrassed to say that until November of 2016, even I could not clearly differentiate between the two. But as fate would have it, I was fortunate enough at that time to encounter the literary collections of Rash Behari Bose. I dedicatedly worked my way through his publications, and found myself becoming captivated not only by his life story and depictions of historical events, but also by the universally applicable human truths that are clearly laid out in his writings.
I was astonished to find the range of invaluable knowledge that lay buried in the pages of his books, spanning across vast realms of human history and culture including philosophy, religion, psychology, ethics, and sociology. His words are not a thing of the past. They are not limited to days gone by, only to be rendered irrelevant in the present day. Rather, they describe universal human truths that were as applicable a thousand years ago as they are today, laying out clear solutions to problems that we face even in our modern lives, and to the future struggles that will undoubtedly be tackled by our children and grandchildren to come.
With this realization coursing through my mind, I came to feel that it would be a shame for Bose’s works to continue to lie dormant – unread, unknown, and inaccessible to the majority of the population. You see, although Rash Behari Bose was born and raised in India, he had fled to Japan in 1915 to escape persecution by the British authorities. It is for this reason that his vast collection of publications exist only in the Japanese language. Not only this, but to complicate matters further, they are written in an old style of Japanese that is no longer in use, making his books a challenge even for modern Japanese readers to decipher.
I decided to dedicate myself to working through each of his texts, accurately rewriting his old language, word for word, into modern Japanese, and then translating them into English. On this blog, I will continue to post the contents of his books while I work my way through them. I will write in the first person as though Bose himself is speaking directly to you.
Please note that while these blog posts remain faithful to the contents of the actual books, they are not the complete, detailed and accurate translations that will appear in the finalized publication.
Once all my transcriptions and translations are complete, I will be publishing them in a series of books. But until then, please follow along on this blog as the words of Rash Behari Bose are brought back to life, in English, for the very first time in history.
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