Note: This letter was sent in response to Kaeru Kid’s “Little Tokyo on the Rhine” column, July 8-14, 2010.
I read your Kaeru Kid column on Dusseldorf, Germany and [was] surprised that you didn’t mention Ekoji Buddhist Temple. You may not be interested in the religion, but it is now a major Japanese cultural center with a lovely Japanese garden (according to photos I received with publicity information). They seem to have lessons for tea and flowers (ikebana).
It was established by Rev. Numata, who founded the famous instrument company and became quite rich, so he decided to work on the spread of Buddhism with a translated book of Buddhism — now in over 45 languages — donated to hotels around the world!
There also is a Numata Buddhist Translation Center near the UC Berkeley campus, managed at present by Brian Nagata, also now ordained as a Buddhist priest…
Good luck on your columns about traveling, which my husband and I used to do in our younger days — before the 1990s! We visited Dusseldorf and a Japanese restaurant there years ago, and I thought it was funny to hear the Japanese waitresses speaking German!
We were there before Ekoji was built.
Kaeru Kid’s response:
Thank you for your comments.
I didn’t know how large a Japanese population existed there until I was leaving so I didn’t really explore the area. Just stopped for lunch and a cursory view didn’t impress me. If I had more time, I probably would have looked for the temple and other places.
I have never seen a Buddhist book in hotels and would be interested in seeing one but most owners probably don’t want to offend narrow-minded people (the majority).
I hope you enjoy my other travel articles.
The Kaeru Kid