Another Asia: Rabindranath Tagore and Okakura Tenshin, Rustom Bharucha (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006).

Mika Eglinton


Another Asia is a unique and provocative work in which Calcutta based theatre director, writer and cultural critic, Rustom Bharucha, has produced an informative and insightful narrative on the spiritual friendship between Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) and Okakura Tenshin (1862-1913). Set against the volatile backdrop of the anti-English Swadeshi movement in Bengal, and Japanese imperialism of the late Meiji period, this book questions ideas of Asia through encounters between these two iconic figures: Tagore as India’s national poet and the first Asian Nobel Prize winner, and Okakura as the internationally renowned Japanese art historian and curator for the Japan Institute of Fine Arts (Nihon Bijutsuin), the Tokyo Fine Arts School and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. These two men of culture held very different views towards Asia as they did towards each other; while Tagore stood for universal humanism, Okakura was branded an imperialist and even an ‘ultra-nationalist’.

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