During my research about the presence of Sanatan Dharma throughout the world,information about two countries has been very difficult to obtain.
Japan and China.
Three factors are responsible for this.
One is that these cultures are ancient and their philosophy, religious literature is , as in Hinduism cloaked in allegory.
The third reason is that the influence of Buddhism and its offshoot in the later stages in Japan.
In the case of China, the advent of Communism ensured that the information is suppressed.
In this article , the influence of Sanatana Dharma on Religion in Japan, Japanese language.
What strikes one is the use of Hindu Gods’ names .
Common Terms: Sanskrit/Chinese/Japanese
Archarya – Master Achali Ajari
Dharma – Law FA Ho
Pratima – movement warrior techniques of the Hindu ksatreyas Hsing
Sunyatapani – Tang-Shou Karate/To De
Dharmahasta Chuan Fe Kempo
Marga – The Way Tao Do
Guhya-Sutra Mi-Ching Mikkyo
Nagarjuna Lung Shu Ryuju/Ryusho/Ryumyo
Mudra – ritual gesture Yin In
Mandala a special zone or area Mantolo Mandara
Vajramukti Ching Kang, Chieh T’o Kongogedastsu
Sangha – congregation or group followers Seng So
Narya – strong or manly Na-Li Nara, Naha
Nata Na-Pa, Na-Ra Nara, Napa, Nafa
Yoga – to yoke Yui Cha Yu Ga”
Ganesha is worshiped as Shoten or Shoden (Holy God) in Buddhist Temples.
Sarasawti is worshiped as Benten.(read my post)
Visvakarma, the Divine Architect of Hinduism is called Bishukatsuma as the God of Carpenters.
Yama, God of Death in Hinduism is Emma- O, the King of Hell.
Samudra Manthan, Churning of the Ocean of Milk in Japan.
“According to author Donald A. Mackenzie: “The Indian form of myth of the Churning of the Milky Ocean reached Japan. In a Japanese illustration of it the mountain rests on a tortoise, and the supreme god sits on the summit, grasping in one of his hands a water vase. The Japanese Shinto myth of creation, as related in the Ko-ji-ki and Nihon-gi, is likewise a churning myth. Twin deities, Izanagi, the god, and Izanami, the goddess, sand on “the floating bridge of heaven” and thrust into the ocean beneath the “Jewel Spear of Heaven”. With this pestle they churn the primeval waters until they curdle and form land.”
(source: Myths of Pre-Columbian America – By Donald A. Mackenzie p.190-191).
The distinguished Japanese scholar, Mr. J. Taka Kusu, says: ” But I should like to emphasize the fact that the influence of India, material and intellectual, must have been much greater in an earlier period than we at present consider to have been the case. There were, for instance, several Indians, whom the Kuroshiwo current, washing almost the whole southern coast, brought to the Japanese shore.” He further says, ” It cannot be denied that several Indians came to Japan, especially in view of so many Indians finding their way to China by sea.”
He then relates how a Brahmin Bodhisen Bharadvaja, known generally as the “Brahmin Bishop” came with another priest from India via Champa (Cochin China) to Osaka, then to Nara, where they met another Indian ascetic and taught Sanskrit to the Japanese. “His monastery and tombstone, with a written eulogy, still exist in Nara. Just at the time a Japanese alphabet or syllables is said to have been invented. The fifty syllables, Gojuin, are arranged by a hand, evidently with a practical knowledge of Sanskrit method.”