Japanese archeologists claim unique bond with Vietnam’s history

A feature on N. Noriko and M. Nishimura, a pair of Japanese archaeologists who have been working in Vietnam for the last 12 years.

Japanese archeologists claim unique bond with Vietnam’s history
Saigon Giai Phong, 11 Feb 2013

For the last 12 years, two Japanese archeologists have been living in the country only because of their deep love for Vietnamese history.

Noriko sits cross-legged on a mat on the floor picking boiled morning glory with chopsticks, dipping the vegetable in braised fish sauce while her husband, Nishimura, accepts rice wine from their host and appraising the wine in the way Vietnamese people do.

Watching Noriko lie curled on the mat and Nishimura and their two children playing in the Red River sandbank, anyone would believe them to be Hanoians spending their vacation in Kim Lan Village.

Only when one looks closely at the ancient bowls and broken brick pieces do people realize their actual work in Vietnam is that of two passionate archeologists, who live and work quietly in complete devotion to their work.

Noriko arrived in Vietnam in 1999. Once, in a souvenir shop in Hanoi she was stunned to see ancient bowls selling for only US$10,000 a piece.

At that time she had no money to buy them but was able to see a similarity between Vietnamese culture and her native culture in Japan.

Full story here.

Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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