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Japanese monk: Bury me in Xinjiang
2009/09/17
  

 Yasutaka Kojima

Wearing Japanese-styled cassock, Yasutaka Kojima, a prominent Buddhist monk from Japan told this reporter in fluent Chinese: "Xinjiang is my second home. I will very much like to have my ashes buried in the Taklimakan Desert."

Those who get to know Yasutaka Kojima won't feel surprised by his belief. Since 1982, the Japanese monk has visited Xinjiang, in northwest China, for more than 120 times. He is proud to be lauded as "the person who has witnessed the prosperity and progress of Xinjiang region".

In 1982, Kojima came to Xinjiang for the first time to do jewelry business. "However, I was deeply fascinated by this land even though my business venture failed," he said.

Kojima said that Xinjiang had been part of the territory of China since ancient times. He proved it in 1995 when he financed and directed a Sino-Japanese joint research team to do archaeological study in the Taklimakan Desert.

The team's greatest discovery was a color-embroidered brocade with lavish patterns that have eight Chinese characters (Wuxing Chu Dongfang Li Zhongguo), which literally means "China will rise when the five stars appear together in the East."

The place where Kojima found the brocade is what was known later as the "Pompeii of the Silk Road", Niya. It is called "Jingjue State" in China's Han Dynasty.

According to Han Shu which recorded the history of Han Dynasty, Jingjue State was governed by Western Regions Frontier Command, which was established by the central government of Han Dynasty.

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