From Gandhara to Niya: the Great Buddhist Route to China

From Gandhara to Niya: the Great Buddhist Route to China By Li Xiguang

Standing in freezing wind of Beijing winter, 68-year-old monk Yasutaka Kojima, with shaven head and dressed in thin fabric of Japanese-styled cassock, put his palms together

and chanted “Amitabha” to me.

The last time I saw him was last December when he came to Tsinghua University to present scholarships to my students.

“Work well, eat well, drink well, sleep well and always smile heartily,” the Japanese monk told my students in a warm classroom.

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Since the Japanese earthquake three weeks ago, I had been praying in anxiety for my monk friend until I got a letter from him last week.

In his letter, he wrote, “People still have fear. Some people have left their homes in Tokyo and move to the west of Japan. But I am not worried. I don’t care even if I am dead today. I am a monk and I have died many times in my many trips to Niya.”

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