Didi Ananda Krsnaprema

Didi Ananda KrsnapremaOccupation:
Meditation and yoga teacher
Time in Japan:
Seven years

Where are you from?
The east coast of Australia, near Byron Bay.

What brought you to Japan?
My work.

What do you do here?
I work for a spiritual organization based in India and am posted here to Japan. We have 2000 workers like myself all over the world, and we try to cover every country.

Is it a religious organization?
No, it’s not a religion. The word religion suggests dogma, things that you have to do. It’s not like that at all. We’re about spirituality, your individual connection with the oneness of being, and that cannot be controlled by someone outside of yourself. We teach yoga and meditation as a way to get in touch with that.

What’s the name of your organization?
It’s called Ananda Maga, which means path of truth. Modern Tokyo seems to be the exact opposite of spiritual.

How do you cope?
To me, Japanese people have a very deep spirituality but it’s covered by the material city, kind of pushed away in the rush of television and trains. But in their sense of aesthetics and beauty and in their behavior and respect for one another there’s a great spirituality. The roots of the society here are not materialistic. Outside Tokyo it’s so different. I’d love to get on a motorbike and travel the country, to get in touch with the old spirit of Japan.

Which other countries has your work taken you to?
I’ve lived in Taiwan, in Taipei, for five years, in Germany before that, in Sweden before that, and I’ve lived in India on and off.

So where does your money come from?
It’s a big problem. We run meditation classes and teach a few yoga classes, and I’ve just started running a weekend retreat program in English. As I said, we’re based in India so we don’t get any financial help. In fact, we’re supposed to help them. But our lifestyle is such that we don’t have a lot of money and don’t need it anyway.

How long are you planning to stay?
I just don’t know, as long as I’m posted here. I could be gone tomorrow or I could be here for the next two years.

What do you like most about Japan?
I love the refined behavior of the people. My friend was in Kobe when the earthquake hit a few years ago and she said that although there was no food and water, it was freezing cold and the store fronts were broken open, nobody looted them or took anything.

What' the weirdest thing you've ever seen or experienced in Japan?
I was going to say myself! Especially for Japanese people, to see someone who looks like a nun in bright orange must be a little strange.

If you could take one thing back from Japan to your native country, what would it be?
It’s a difficult question, because what suits here wouldn’t necessarily go down too well in Australia. Perhaps refined behavior. But it would be very difficult to change Australians. Otherwise, the sense of aesthetics, beauty.

Where would you like to be when the big one hits?
I’d like to be here, and if I survive it there will be a lot of people who will need my help.

You have to spend the rest of your life trapped on the Yamanote line. You're allowed to take one book, one CD and one luxury item. What would they be?

The CD would be some nice spiritual chanting, a notebook to write down my thoughts and some children because I love being with kids.

Didi runs weekend retreat courses in yoga and meditation. Call her at 0424-64-8961 for details.

Didi Ananda Krsnaprema spoke to Nigel Kendall

Do you know an interesting person in Tokyo? If so, email us at
248.9: Safia Minney
Founder of Global Village
247: Dimitri Herskovits
Marketing Consultant and Artist
246: Simon Setter
Freelance Hair and Makeup Artist
245: Jett Edwards
Music Producer
244: Yukiko Leitch
243: Ranjit Wickremasinghe
242: Fr. Jacques F. La Pointe
Franciscan Priest
241: Kyle Sexton
240: Stephen Mansfield
239: Darren Friend
Aikido Instructor
238: Didi Ananda Krsnaprema
Meditation and Yoga Teacher
237: Jason Angove
Fire Dancer/Professional Dancer
236: Susan Pompian
234: Jon Lynch
Music Promoter
233: Paula Terry
Singer and Recording Artist
232: Nikita Deo
231: Amy Chavez
Writer, Humor Columnist
230: Marco Bosco
229: Rick Kennedy
Author/Content Editor of Tokyo Q
228: Traci Consoli-Korenata
227: Ray Belscher
Computer Contractor
226: Robert Garside
Running the World
225: Thomas Paul
DJ, Dancer, Rapper and Party Organizer
4: Dr. Chieko McKinstry
Cosmetic Surgeon
223: Philip Harper
222: Paul Davies
221: Anna Livia Plaurel Belle
Writer, Literary Review Editor
220: George Williams
219: Eve Howard
Joint Owner Amphora Aromatics
218: Dr. Allen Robinson
Counseling Psychologist
217: Steve McClure
Writer, Tokyo Bureau Chief
216: Karen Wenk-Jordan
President, Wenk-Jordan and Company
215: Russ Veillard
214: Dru Robertson
"Sponsorship Evangelist"
213: Warren Arbuckles
Managind Director
212: Guo Liang
Qu Gong Healer, Tai Chi Teacher
211: Gerald Genteman
President and Executive Creative Director
210: Michelle Dorion
VP Asia Pacific Marketing
209: John Robinson
DJ at Velfarre
208: Jeff Libengood
Strength/Conditioning Coach
207: John Shelley
206: James Myers
Marketing Officer
204: Raj Ramayya
202: William Swinton
Membership Manager
201: Richard G. Roa
Representative Director
200: Cathy Bernatt
President of Wanderlust Adventures

Issues 300-360
Issues 250-299
Issues 150-199
Issues 138-149