Excerpts from Sahitya Akademi Bi-Monthly News Letter Sept.-Oct.2007.
Ms. Mami Yamada:
A ‘Literary Forum’ was organized on 17th September 2007 by Regional Office, Sahitya Akademi, Mumbai in which Mami Yamada, an eminent writer from Japan, who was in the city on Ananda Coomaraswamy Fellowship of Sahitya Akademi, spoke on her literary works with special interest in the traditional heritage. It was very interesting to hear from her that despite being a graduate in Economics she did her post-graduation in Marine Biology from Australia and subsequently developed a keen interest specifically in Indian Culture. She focused her talk on the goddess Saraswati, the Indian deity which persists in Japan too with traditional variations, where five Saraswati temples are situated on river banks.
The interesting part of Saraswati in Japan is that one cannot see the deity every day, she said. In some of the temples it is allowed once in a month or on a particular day in a year. In one of such temples, doors are opened once in 60 years.
She also spoke about her forthcoming book on magic. She being a researcher had interviewed about 500 Indian magicians. She especially went to Kerala in search of a Mango Tree Magician, perhaps the only one living in the world. She stayed there for few days along with one of her colleagues just to know the basic things of this magic performance. After intimate persuasion, he agreed to perform it on the soil and not on the concrete. She was really stunned to see a real mango tree on the soil which was full of fruits. She confirmed that the fruits were natural and she also tasted them from that tree. This and other aspects of India Magic are enumerated in her forthcoming book, which is going to be released shortly in Delhi.