A ceremony took place in Hanoi on September 19 to bestow posthumously the Vietnamese President’s Friendship Order on late Japanese archaeologist Nishimura Masanari in recognition for his devotion to the local archaeology.

Ass. Prof. Dr . Masanari, who was a lecturer of Japan ’s Tokyo University and a collaborator of the Vietnam Institute of Archaeology, died in an accident on the way to an archaeological site in the northern province of Bac Ninh on June 9.

Masanari was born in 1965 in Yamaguchi Prefecture , Japan . He first came to Vietnam in 1990 for a project in the central province of Nghe An. He learned Vietnamese, understood Vietnamese culture and even adopted the name Ly Van Sy.

In November 1998, Nishimura discovered a piece of a mould used to cast bronze drums dating back 2300 years, the only one of its kind ever found. The object is an important piece of evidence for the research of Vietnamese bronze drums.

Both his postgraduate and doctorate theses were about Vietnamese archaeology and its ancient civilisations.-VNA