Japanese archaeologist killed in accident buried in Vietnam village

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The Japanese archaeologist who died in a road accident Sunday has been buried in a village where a ceramic museum was built thanks to his efforts.

Nishimura Masanari, 48, was buried Thursday at a cemetery in Kim Lan village in Hanoi's Gia Lam District, and Tong Trung Tin, director of the Vietnamese Institute of Archaeology, said: "He must be pleased to know he was buried here."

He quoted Masanari's family as saying he had loved Vietnam and wanted to work and die in the country.

The institute and the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences are working to confer a medal on him posthumously for his contributions to Vietnam.

On June 9, Masanari was riding his motorbike from Hanoi to the northern province of Bac Ninh to survey a new excavation site when he was hit by a truck.


He was rushed to hospital but succumbed to his injuries.


Since coming to the country in 1990 Masanari was working for a joint archaeological research program by Vietnam and Japan.


He was fluent in Vietnamese and had thorough knowledge of Vietnamese culture and history.


He was regarded in Vietnamese archaeological circles as a leading expert on stratigraphy, or the analysis of layers of archaeological remains.


He made significant contributions to the excavation of relics across the country.


In 1998 he discovered a cast bronze drum dating back to the 1st-3rd century CE at Luy Lau in Bac Ninh.



Japanese archaeologist killed in Vietnam accident
The discovery was of great significance since it proved that bronze drums were cast in Vietnam and not brought in from elsewhere, according to the Vietnamese Institute of Archaeology.


He and his Vietnamese colleagues also discovered casts of arrows dating back to the reign of King An Duong Vuong, who ruled over the ancient kingdom of Au Lac from 257 to 207 BCE, proving arrows were made in Vietnam then.


He is fondly remembered by people in Kim Lan village for finding financial support to set up the ceramic museum there last year.


He had visited the village many times for excavations and discovered important relics there.

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