Special library debuts in Hanoi with books from late Japanese scholar

Saturday, 2017-05-20 18:24:23
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Representatives from Dr Nishimura’s family and the USSH inaugurate the library on May 20. (Credit: thanhnien.vn)
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NDO – The Nishimura Masanari Library, a special collection of books, magazines and maps produced by late Japanese scholar Nishimura Masanari, made its debut at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH), Vietnam National University - Hanoi on May 20.

Nishimura Masanari’s family donated more than 7,000 books, magazines and maps to the library named after him.

Dr. Nishimura Masanari (1965-2013) was a Japanese scholar who has over 20 years of experience in Vietnamese studies in the fields of archaeology, history, culture and anthropology. He spent the most time on his archaeology studies.

With a good understanding of Vietnamese archaeology, he worked with many experts from the USSH, Vietnam Institute of Archaeology and National Museum of History to carry out many archaeological excavations, explorations and investigations in Vietnam, as well as in the Southeast Asian region. He possessed a wealth of valuable material on the history of archaeology, culture and anthropology not only in Vietnam but also in the region.

Wishing to bring advancement to Vietnam in archaeological research, he opened many classes and training courses on excavation and field processing skills and techniques for Vietnamese students.

Along with his partner, Dr. Noriko Nishino, he was very interested in the field of community-based archaeology in Vietnam. The couple built the first two community museums in Vietnam: the Duong Xa Ceramic Museum (Bac Ninh) and the Kim Lan Commune Historical and Ceramic Museum (Hanoi). He also established the Foundation to Safeguard Underground Cultural Heritages in Southeast Asia (2001) and joined training courses for students and young officials on heritage protection in Vietnam.

For his great contributions, he has been awarded many honourable awards, including the Friendship Order in 2013 for his active contribution to archaeology in Vietnam and to the development of friendly relations between Vietnam and Japan.

On June 9, 2013, Dr. Nishimura Masanari suddenly passed away after an accident. This is a huge loss not only to his family, relatives and friends but also a major loss to regional and Vietnamese archaeology.

To honour his love for Vietnam, the country he considered his second home, his family decided to donate his entire bookcase to the USSH’s History Faculty.

The library has about 7,000 books, magazines and maps in five main fields, including Stone Age, Early Agriculture, Dong Son Culture and Drum, East and South East Asia ancient citadels, and ceramics and pottery history of East Asia and Southeast Asia.

On the occasion, Dr. Nishimura Masanari’s parents also donated JPY50,000 from their pension to the Faculty of History and the USSH to preserve and help operate the library in the most effective way.

Prof. Dr. Pham Quang Minh, Rector of the USSH expressed his appreciation for the priceless gift from Dr. Nishimura Masanari's family. According to him, this valuable resource will be preserved and utilised effectively, contributing to the goal of building the USSH into a leading learning centre in Vietnam.