At the granting ceremony (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Nguyen Anh Tuan, 24, has been honoured with the Inoue Yasushi Award for his PhD thesis about women’s poetry in Manyoshu, the oldest collection of Japanese poetry compiled during the Nara period.

The Japan Foundation and the Inoue Yasushi Memorial Foundation on April 5 presented the awards to five Vietnamese for their outstanding research on Japanese literature.

The organisers received 31 essays from Vietnamese researchers both at home and abroad from November to the end of December last year.

Tuan received the top prize thanks to his deep and painstaking research on Japanese female authors’ poetry which were written in an old language that took much passion and effort to understand, said researcher Phan Nhat Chieu, a member of the jury.

The Manyoshu (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) is the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry, compiled sometime after AD759. It is widely regarded as being a particularly unique Japanese work.

The second prize was awarded to Tran Thi Hai Yen for her writings about the essence of the novel, while Ngo Tra Mi’s essay on Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book earned her the third prize.

Phan Thu Van and Nguyen Bich Nha Truc won the fourth prize for their writings about Inoue Yasushi’s The Warrior and the Wolf and the narrative techniques in Haruki Murakami’s novels.

The foundation was established in 1992 in memory of the Japanese novelist, who is noted for his historical fiction novels, notably The Roof Tile of Tempyo.

The contest was held to promote research on Japanese literature in Vietnam, thereby contributing to strengthening co-operation between the two countries.

“Through the contest, we realised that many young people are engaged in researching Japanese literature that helps provide references and material for further research, and enhances the mutual understanding between our two countries,” said Chiêu.

Hidehiko Kuroda, director of the foundation, said the foundation was founded to fulfill the author’s wish to disseminate research into Japanese literature internationally, and to honour individuals who have made great achievements in historical, literary and artistic works.

His wife, Yoshiko Kuroda, Yasushi’s daughter, translated Truyen Kieu (The Tale of Kieu) by Nguyen Du into Japanese.
Previously, the foundation has granted awards to researchers from Japan, Australia and New Zealand.-VNA