SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English
HIROTA Chieko “I, as a part of Universe – Looking back on my research and experience at Atsumi Foundation-”
The other day, I experienced Indian astrology by a turn of fate. In Japan, we can see daily “fortune-telling” on TV or magazines. But, as I know such fortune-telling is written by writers, I understand it as just “good advice for my life”.
Then, why did I consult a fortune-teller? There are two reasons.
Firstly, I was interested in Indian astrology. Indian astrology is a way to read the stars and was introduced to Japan earlier than Western astrology. Indian, an astrologist precisely checks the birth time (up to an hour and minute) and place of a person first. Then, an astrologist checks the stars in the sky under which the person was born and lived. After such checking, an astrologist shows the position where the person will live and pilgrimage. It seems as if I peeked at the moment when I was born.
Secondly, I have a feeling that my rapidly changing life in these ten years seems to have been guided by something rather than by my will.
My research theme is the elucidation of the cultural movement of decoration and handcraft by Kazakhs who live in the Mongolian State as a minority race. I focused on the point that Kazakhs decorate the inner part of their tent type houses, and clarified the reason why they try to decorate inner part of their houses enthusiastically and how they inherit or change their decoration technique.
However, it is not correct that I chose Mongolian because I like Mongolia. Furthermore, I did not know about the existence of Kazakhs until I went to Mongolia. In particular, I was not an expert at handcraft nor good at it. Then, why, or how didＩchoose the research theme？It was just a result of coincidences. Furthermore, a chance encounter affected my life very much.
Looking back, there were turning points in my feelings which were guided by something. I never thought I would aspire to be a researcher until I met the present research theme. During the time when I proceeded with my survey and research, there was a time when everything went smoothly, and I came up with difficulties. I had a feeling vaguely that there are some reasons each time. For example, I was accepted by ATSUMI International Foundation was the one which I got such feeling. I have been thinking that it is impossible for me to be accepted because my graduation period has already exceeded. However, a friend of mine introduced application information about Atsumi International Foundation and I had an interview as if I had been introduced by something. When I was accepted as a scholarship student by the Foundation, I had a feeling that “God” told me that now was the time when I finished my dissertation.
God’s message was found also in the involvement with the people of the Foundation. It seems there are no common belongings or research themes among the people of the Foundation. However, it is common that everybody “searches for something strongly”. So, when I met scholarship students of the same year or others, I enjoyed myself and was excited listening to their talking. It was coincidental that I was blessed with good students for the same year. Or was it destiny?
In such a situation, my dissertation went smoothly, and I began to be conscious of my future course. And something new change has been introduced into my private and public life. I had a feeling that I was overwhelmed by some big movement which we cannot see with our own eyes. It may be a so-called “turning point”. In such a situation, I encountered Indian astrology.
An Indian astronomer handed me a few papers and a calendar. Papers show the position of the stars of my birthplace and time by symbols. And a calendar shows the circling of the stars, year, month and day, from my birthday to the age of 120. Enumeration of the year, month and day made me surprised most. The periods which are shown as “Turning Point” meet with the timing of my first visit to the research place, proceed to a doctor course and submission of my dissertation. I got a doctoral degree, taking more time than other students. But a smile flashed on my face when I thought I used my time possibly meeting with the circling of the stars. It is because I thought my life as a human being might be placed as a part of a very big movement in space.
Indian astrology did not show any concrete guidelines for my future actions. But it was more than enough for me. Now, I have completed my dissertation and will go ahead as one of the “researchers”. It may not be easy. However, if there is any mission in my existence in space, there would be no choice but to keep striving for what I can do without any fear of failure.
HIROTA Chieko: 2022 Raccoon, Special Researcher at Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Translated by Kazuo Kawamura
English checked by Sabina Koirala