Translated by Madhurima Mukherjee, in Sahitya
Hariprabha Mullick (Takeda) (1890—1972) was born in Dhaka. She was probably the
first Bengali lady to have married a Japanese man. Her husband, Uemon Takeda, had
come to Dhaka as a migrant labour in a soap factory. The account of her visit to Japan,
Bangamohilar Japan Jatra (A Bengali Lady’s Journey toJapan) (1915) was the first
account of a Bengali lady’s visit to Japan, though it is common knowledge that
Rabindranath Thakur (1861-1941) was the first to travel to Japan from Bengal in 1915.
A series of letters published as Japan Jatri (Traveller to Japan) in 1919 was the first
travel account of Japan by a Bengali. Hariprabha did not travelto Japan once; the
Takedas made a second trip in 1924, and a third in 1941, on the eve of the Second World
War. When Hariprabha reached Japan in1941, Rashbehari Bose and Subhash Chandra
Bose were present in Japan. She met them and at the request of Bose acted as a war
correspondent on behalf of the Azad Hind Fauz.