Japanese FM grants certificate of appreciation to pioneer Japanese Egyptologist Yoshimura

Ahram Online , Thursday 17 Aug 2023

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Wednesday that Egyptologist Sakuji Yoshimura, Professor Emeritus of Waseda University (Ph.D. in Engineering) has received the Japanese Foreign Minister's Certificate of Appreciation for the year 2023

Japanese FM


Yoshimura received the award to honour his outstanding contributions to the promotion of friendship and brotherhood relations between Japan and Egypt, according to the Japanese foreign ministry.

Yoshimura established the first team in Asia to research and excavate Egyptian antiquities in 1966.

He conducted research and excavations for more than half a century, leading several joint research projects with academics from Japan and Egypt.

He also contributed to the development of academic exchanges and mutual understanding in this domain between the two countries.

"It was in 1966 that I started doing field studies in Egypt. Forty-six years have already passed since then. Upon entering Waseda University as a student, I met the late Professor Kiichi Kawamura, who specialized in the origins of agriculture in Near Eastern civilization. I said to him 'Let’s do archaeology in Egypt,'” writes Yoshimura.

"Nearly a half-century has elapsed since he made that proposal in 1964. In 1966, I embarked upon a general survey of the archaeological sites in Egypt. To do it, I went to Egypt and back on a tanker and I got around on a jeep that I had brought with me from Japan. In conducting the survey, I relied heavily on the goodwill of Japanese companies for equipment and provisions. For example, a canning company supplied me with food and a camera maker gave me a camera - all for free."

"Needless to say, we conducted our general survey to make sure we will be able to do research and excavate in Egypt with both our own budget and the donation from several companies because it has to do by ourselves. Though I laugh when I think of it now, a fishing equipment maker gave me five sets of fishing gear in order to fish in the Nile River. With this support, I was able over a seven and a half month period to travel beyond Egypt and also visit Syria, and Iraq to compare Egyptian with Near Eastern civilizations."

"I made two field surveys covering most of Egypt’s important historical remains. Being confident of my ability to carry out excavation research in Egypt, I drafted a research plan and intended to submit it to the Ministry of Education and Science for Grant-in-Aid funding," Yoshimura remembered.

At the present time, in cooperation between the two countries, Professor Yoshimura is leading and supervising the excavation and restoration work of the second solar boat of King Khufu, scheduled to be one of the main exhibits at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).

This is being done with the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The embassy of Japan in Egypt, represented by Ambassador Oka Hiroshi, has expressed its sincere respect and appreciation to Yoshimura for obtaining the Foreign Minister's Certificate of Appreciation.

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