Special Interview with H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama Artist Rima Fujita’s Journal of Her Travels to Dharamsala


画像: ナムギャル寺院にて、私もマニ車を回して朝のお祈りをする I joined the morning prayers spinning the mani prayer wheels at Namgyal Monastery.

I joined the morning prayers spinning the mani prayer wheels at Namgyal Monastery.


March 7
I got a sore throat in Delhi where I was until the day before yesterday. I still feel a bit under the weather perhaps because I am tired from the traveling. I continue to be nervous. I had lunch to get some sustenance. I talked with a sweet woman who waited on me. Maybe in her mid- twenties, her silky black hair was beautiful. She told me that she fled Tibet 10 years ago. Her parents paid a guide that helped her cross into India on her own at the age of 14. She walked across the Himalayas with seven other children. “I do feel lonely living alone, away from my parents, but I’m happy because I can live near HHDL and get an education as a Tibetan,” she said to me emphatically. Her parents must have made the decision to let her go knowing fully well that they would never be able to see their precious daughter again. Tears started trickling down my face, and she got teary as well. We cried together. There are many Tibetan refugees in Dharamsala who, like her, fled Tibet putting their own lives in danger.
At 3:00 PM I had a meeting with HHDL’s media secretary. I became increasingly tense as he checked the questions I had prepared. Gradually, however, he understood that I had spent years preparing myself for this occasion, and graciously provided me with thoughtful advice. I could not get any sleep at night due to the jet lag, travel fatigue and extreme anxiety.

画像: 私がデザインした「結核ゼロキャンペーン」のロゴ The logo for the Zero Tuberculosis campaign that I designed. PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF RIMA FUJITA

The logo for the Zero Tuberculosis campaign that I designed.


 昨年私は、ニューヨーク在住のチベット人医師である友人に頼まれ、デレク病院の「結核ゼロキャンペーン」のロゴをボランティアでデザインした。世界一の結核研究所として知られるジョンズ・ホプキンス大学とのコラボレーションで、インドに住むチベット人の子どもたちの結核撲滅キャンペーンのためだ。また数年前、結核予防の教育絵本『TB AWARE』を作り、1万部を配布した。それで、デレク病院のスタッフたちは私のことを知っていてくれたのだ。

March 8
I got sick. How could this happen just before the audience!? I felt so frustrated. I wrote an email to the Director of the Delek Hospital of Dharmsala, and two hours later, a doctor named Sonam came to check on me at my hotel. It was the first time we met, but he said, “I have known you for a long time” as he examined me. Last year, I was asked by a friend of mine - a Tibetan doctor - to create a logo for Delek Hospital’s Zero Tuberculosis campaign, and I designed it as a volunteer. This was a campaign that was run in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, renowned as the world’s best research center of tuberculosis, to eradicate the disease among Tibetan children living in India. A few years ago I had also made an educational picture book about tuberculosis prevention entitled TB AWARE and 10,000 copies were distributed to Tibetans in India. That is why the staff of Delek Hospital knew about me.
Doctor Sonam tried to allay my anxiety by telling me, “It’s all in your head. It’s totally natural to get nervous because you are interviewing HHDL. It’s not surprising that you are tense. Try to relax and think positively.” I felt so embarrassed. He too must have been a refugee who went through unspeakable hardships to reach Dharamsala. He also probably never had the opportunity to speak alone with HHDL, his spiritual pillar and god-like presence. Despite all this, he offers me, someone who grew up with no particular struggles, the kind encouragement to “think positively.” How shameful to make him say this to me. He even went back and forth over the steep hill to buy medicine for me, losing his breath in the process. When I tried to pay the consultation fee he shook his head saying that he would never accept it. He smiled at me and said, “It’s a small gesture of gratitude for what you’ve done for us.”

T JAPAN webメルマガ会員限定!



This article is a sponsored article by