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For the Japanese in my generation, mountains in India is the place for the ascetic practice to be a super hero. The stereotype all comes from 70s' Japanese TV hero "Rinbowman". Maybe you had favorite heroes in your childhood, Superman, Spiderman, Ultraman ... yeah, for me the Rainbowman was something like that although it's not a big name.

"Practiced in the mountains of India / Took over the soul of Devadatta ..." It's a theme song of the Rainbowman. See? According to the lyrics, you must train in the mountains to be a hero of justice. The hero had exercised hard practice under the master "Devadatta" When he accomplished it, he became Rainbowman. That's a prologue of the story.

Rainbowman is a "masked ninja" type hero, who has incarnations of seven elements, the moon, fire, water, wood, metal, earth and finally the sun as the main figure. So the Rainbowman changes the figure depends on the opponent and uses special power on each incarnation.
Same to many super hero, Rainbowman fights to the syndicate of evil who try to exterminate Japan. I clearly remember the name of the evil because it had quite strange name. "KILL KILL". Society Kill Kill. Even though kids' TV series, "Hero of Love and Peace" and "Society Kill Kill", the contrast is too much. Sounds like no chance to win in the trial for the later once they declare the name in courtroom.

Rainbowman was a strange hero. Most of Japanese super heroes in those days were Westernized while Rinbowman was not. He headed to India. I don't know where the idea come from. Maybe it's inspired by the Beetles' episode who practiced yoga in Rishikesh of northern India a few years before that. (So you can say it's influenced by western culture)
However as I looked up the back story of Rainbowman, I knew it includes metaphor for Japan's patriotism.
Of course I had never knew the difficult back story in those days. I simply enjoyed the spectacle every week. It's same even now. Rainbowman is a good topic over the beer mugs for the middle agers. No serious matters just nostalgia for the old super hero.

However when I visited India, I got a simple question. Is that really good idea training in the isolated mountains in such a dense populated country? It sounds like going desert city to be a sushi chef. I think, in India, the best place for mental training is crowded town.

When you are walking on the street in Delhi, for instance, the guy behind you hold your shoulder and sweeps you off. Then he passes by without say anything. But you may not get mad for his impoliteness. Because he looks clearly in a hurry or has big luggage on his head. He looks having exact reason for sweeping you off. If it's in Tokyo, you would have frustration.

It's same in case of train seat. The 5th passenger come to a 3 seater. He or she finds a tiny space, and squeezes the buttocks into the space. The other passenger never complain about it, just give away the space. It must be "Excuse me!" matter if it's in NY subway.
Oh, I could give you hundreds of example like that. Every thing's not a big deal. Stress-free world.

Yeah, it is stressful. But, I think, Indian people know how to handle that. They don't go against the current of crowd. They always face in a same direction. It doesn't mean they have always good relationship to the others. But at least they know how to avoid a tiresome friction in daily life.
It's from the cast system? It must be. But more than that they don't want to waste energy on each trivial friction.

Rainbowman story quite resemble to current world politics. You can define who is justice or evil in meditation or ideal world. But in real world, about 200 nations exist. India has 12 billion population, 70 billions for the world. The relationship between the people is always decided relatively. No definite thing. We can't hardly say which side is correct or wrong.
As a super hero of love and peace, Rainbowman should have practiced in crowded city. I strongly believe so.

Jan. 2013

Today's piece
" Ticket counter " Delhi, India 2012

fumikatz osada photographie