Worlinaka, a suburb of Mumbai has a Japanese history. There is a Nipponzan Myohoji or the Japanese Buddhist Temple on Dr. E Moses Road. It was constructed following the prophecy of Japanese monk, Mahabodhisatva Nicherin. Nichida Tsu Fujii or Fuji Guruji, founder of the Nippozan Myohoji order, founded the temple in 1952.
Today the temple is looked after by Bhikshu Morita, the resident monk, who’s been in India for over 30 years. He oversees things inside this temple. It is now maintained by the Birla family. Recent renovations to the temple was funded by the Birla family I was told.
It is a structure of stone and marble. A Buddhist visitor to the temple told that this is the biggest Buddha Vihara temple in Mumbai. This temple is a new one. The older one is now a Dharamshala, a kindergarten school for poor kids. The temple is visited by people of all faiths and ethnicities. Hindus, Parsis, Christians, Dalits, Tibetans, Chinese, and many others. The reason behind the founding of the temple is that Maha Bodhisattva Nicherin, a Japanese monk, a hundred years ago said that the hope for humanity lies in India.
This newspaper page shows the devastation that hit the city in the 1993 communal riots in Mumbai. Such riots should never have happened and should never happen again. There is a picture of a Buddhist monk standing in the middle of the street asking for peace. The picture of the monk is in the middle.
Another media mention of the temple. Mumbai is more peaceful these days. This temple has always called for peace. Mahatma Gandhi too had a connection with this temple.
Another lesser known site is the Japanese graves. Nippojin Bochi, the cemetery is the last resting place of the geishas, or Japanese prostitutes. The geishas came to the city during the early 1910s along with Japanese businessmen.