Osaka University's Professor Emeritus, Dr Tomio Mizokami. Photograph:( WION )
Tomio Mizokami speaks Hindi as fluently as if it is his first language. Mizokami spoke to WION on his love for Hindi and other issues.
Tomio Mizokami is a Professor Emeritus of Osaka University, Japan. In 2018, he was conferred the Padma Sri by the President of India for his contribution to the fields of Indian literature and education.
He speaks Hindi as fluently as if it is his first language. Mizokami spoke to WION on his love for Hindi and Indian culture.
WION: What made you learn Hindi?
Tomio Mizokami: When I was a high school student, I was born in Kobe, Kobe had the biggest Indian community. I was influenced by them. I wanted to learn about India and Indian language. I choose Hindi department at my university and I choose Hindi as my subject.
WION: And you were conferred by Padma Shri last year.
Tomio Mizokami: I don't know why I was chosen (smiles), at least I contributed something to Hindi and other Indian languages.
WION: PM also waved at you at the Indian community event.
Tomio Mizokami: The Prime Minister said, ap theek hai, ap achi tarah se hai? (You are alright?). How can I express my feelings, I am so happy.
WION: What makes you so in love with Indian culture?
Tomio Mizokami: It's very difficult to express. Dedication to the country and very deep culture, profound culture and I like "unity in diversity". India is multilingual and multicultural. In spite of so much diversity, there is Indianess. I like old Hindi songs. Mera juta hai japani.