Monday, May 7, 2012

Hariprobha Takeda and the Azad Hind Fauz

The Statesman featured an article on my aunt,  Hariprobha Takeda and her contribution to the Azad Hind Fauj, on May 6, 2012. An excerpt.

This “exceptional” story of Hariprobha Basu Mallik, the first woman from the Indian subcontinent to write a book in Bengali on Japan in 1915, whose life has been recreated on the celluloid by veteran Bangladeshi director Tanvir Mokammel in his latest documentary “Japani Bodhu” (The Japanese Wife) that is scheduled to premiere in India in June. After her marriage to Takeda, who had set up a soap- making factory in Dhaka, Hariprobha Basu Mallik became Hariprobha Takeda and travelled to Tokyo in 1912. Born in 1890, Hariprobha would have remained unsung and largely forgotten but for her “Bangamahilar Japan Jatra” (The Journey of a Bengali Woman to Japan), a memoir of her journey to Japan in 1912, the first book on that country by any woman from Indian subcontinent, said Mokammel adding the book was first published from Dhaka in 1915.

When Hariprobha went to Japan with her husband in 1912, it was an opportunity for her to not only meet her in-laws but also see the Japanese socio-cultural life. She wrote a memoir, a kind of travelogue about the then Japan which, as portrayed in Hariprobha's book, is a different country altogether hundred years back, said Mokammel.

Read the whole story at The Statesman.
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