Japan lost the war and Netaji was forced to leave the Indian regions he captured back from British. Death of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose still remains mysterious. Some of the commissions established by the Government of India found that he was died in a plane accident at Taiwan. Some believes he was living like a monk in Faizabad or somewhere near the capital of India. But the ashes of Netaji is believed to be in Renkoji temple.
It was raining when we visited the Renkoji temple. I explained a little bit of history to my children who still can not understand what is freedom fighting and all. My elder daughter asked me, if Netaji was an Indian, why Japanese people made his statue and temple for him in Japan?. I am not sure how many Japanese people really know Netaji and his contributions to the Indian freedom fighting. Probably the new generations may not know Netaji. They might have heard of Radha Binod Pal, the judge who supported Japanese cause for the second world war and whose opinions saved many of the Japanese prisoners of war from execution. We could see this Judge’s photo in the garden of the Yasukuni shrine, which is in Kudanshita when we visited the shrine in April 2010.
We heard about this temple from a friend living in Japan. The temple is 40 minutes by train from the place we live. It is accessible easily from Shinjuku Sanchome by Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line. From Shinjuku Sanchome it takes only 10 minutes. We got down at Higashi Koenji and took Exit-1. The trains that goes to Ogikubo which have stops in Higashi Koenji can also be used to reach at Renkoji temple.
If you are going from Tokyo, take Marunouchi line that goes to the direction of Ogikubo. Get down at Higashi Koenji, which will take only 27 minutes.
After coming out of the exit No.1, we were little confused where to turn and walk. I approached the “Lost and Found” division of the Tokyo Metro to ask about the road that goes to Renkoji temple. After searching in there area map book, one of the staff came out of the office to show us how to go to the temple. As he told, when we turned left from the exit, we found a cycle stand, a park and then a small pedestrian road. We took left at the end of the park to the pedestrian road. As per the instruction of the staff we walked on the road looking at the right side for the temple. I guess, we might have walked around 150 meters to reach to the temple. The temple is small and we could find Netaji’s statue at the garden.
Those were the proudest moments in my life in Japan – paying homage to the great Indian leader – Subhash Chandra Bose – an evergreen inspiration in my life.