Back to Index

The Japanese and Turkic languages. Buddhism and peace



Ross Wilcock of Canada, who wants a peaceful world, says that a Japanese friend told him that: "Japanese grammar is Turkic. due to the historic Asian horse culture. Japanese grammar has Turkic roots + some Chinese vocabulary. Intrepid souls have travelled these paths for thousands of years. Some call it the Silk Road but the term refers not to a road-like highway but the whole system of transport and communication that linked for instance Alexandria, Athens, Qandahara (Kandahar) with Mongolia, and Japan (Northern route) and of course China too. So Eurpoean-- Japanese links are stronger than we realized. The great, peaceful Buddhist culture area, that included what we now call Afghanistan, Pakistan India and Nepal, so impressed Chinese travelers that they sent emissaries inviting them to bring Buddhism to China. Here is one of the peaceful roots of traditional Chinese culture that was very badly served when European culture reached China in recent times. [China became a land of warlords long before the Europeans arrived.RH].

Our world of today has a great deal to learn before emulating this great cultural achievement. What culture today is invited and welcomed in peace and friendship as Buddhism was in China and then in Japan. In a sense, the Cold War ended in that sort of positive way, but the promising process went off the rails when selfish and national interests were pursued instead of a world at peace. This gives us a profoundly deep and difficult cultural problem and challenge to resolve".

My comment: It is important to realize the historic importance of Buddhist culture. I believe that Christianity arose from a syncretism of Buddhism and Judaism. However, Buddhism collapsed in its center of diffusion as India reverted to its traditional religions. Islam was the great enemy of Buddhism, and an Islamic regime dominated India until the British conquest. Buddhism preaches peace, but reality often chased with its religious ideals. I share Ross' hope that the culture of peace will prevail.

The spread of the Turkic languages was from east to west, although Turkish has the most speakers, just as there are more English, Spanish, and Portuguese speakers in the Americas than in Europe. It is claimed that Turks traveling as far east as China can understand the local Turkic languages, but any relationship with Japanese is much more distant.

Ronald Hilton - 2/23/02


Webmaster