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Concerning the Ceremony Associated with the Restoration of the Angkor Wat Western Causeway

I trust your days are blessed with health and prosperity. Without further delay I wish to explain the above matter, and I kindly request you to consider it.

I. Concerning the Opening Ceremony (Second Phase)

◇ Sponsors: Sophia University (Sophia Asia Center for Research and Human Development) and the Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (APSARA National Authority)

Venue: The tentative venue for the ceremony will be at the Western Causeway of Angkor Wat, Nokor village, Siem Reap district, Siem Reap province, Cambodia.

Date: Monday, May 9, 2016 [Local time: (7:30 ~ 9:00) A.M.]

[Japanese Standard Time, May 9, (9:30 ~ 11:30) A.M.]

◇ Schedule of the Ceremony: (Languages used are Khmer and Japanese)

- Reciting of sutras by Buddhist monks
- Hoisting national flags and singing national anthems of both nations
- Opening Address by H. E. Dr. Sum Map, Director General of APSARA

◇ Other Addresses:
Collaboration between Sophia University and APSARA for the Restoration of the Angkor Wat Western Causeway (Tentative title)
H. E. Dr. Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister, Kingdom of Cambodia
Cultural Exchange between Cambodia and Japan (Tentative title)
H. E. Yuji Kumamaru, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan
Angkor Wat and the Sophia Mission (Tentative title)
Professor Toshiaki Koso, Chancellor of the Sophia School Corporation
Technical Exchange between Cambodia and Japan via the Restoration of Angkor Wat (Tentative title)
Dr. Ly Vanna, Director, Department of Conservation of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology, APSARA National Authority

Congratulatory Address by His Excellency the Governor of Siem Reap Province
The Cambodian Royal Dance Troupe will perform a Classical Dance of Dedication, namely an APSARA Dance.

◇ Honorary Guests:

- Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia
H. E. Dr. Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister, Kingdom of Cambodia
Minister from the Department of Culture and Fine Arts, (Tentative)
H. E. The Governor of the Siem Reap Province
- Japan
H. E. Yuji Kumamaru, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan
H. E. Katsuhiro Shinohara, former Ambassador of Japan
H. E. Masafumi Kuroki, former Ambassador of Japan, (Tentative)
The President, Japan Foundation, Phnom Penh Office, (Tentative)
Professor Toshiaki Koso, Chancellor of the Sophia School Corporation and Professor at Sophia University
Professor Yoshiaki Ishizawa, Director, Sophia Asia Center for Research and Human Development
Professor Zenkichi Hirayama, Visiting Professor, Sophia Asia Center for Research and Human Development, (Professor Emeritus, Nihon University)
Mr. Satoru Miwa, Research Scholar on the History of Angkor Architecture, Sophia Asia Center for Research and Human Development.
Dr. Lao Kim Leang, Research Scholar on the Environment of the Angkor Monuments, Sophia Asia Center for Research and Human Development.

II. What is the Angkor Wat Western Causeway? (Please refer to the Map)

  1. It is an access causeway to Angkor Wat, an overpass of 200 meters length. The inside of the visible laterite retaining wall contains layers of rammed earth with sandstone blocks on the top.
  2. Examples of collapse in the causeway:

- In 1952, a portion of the retaining wall cracked and collapsed due to floods.
- In the 1960s the l’École Française d’Extrême Orient restored 12 meters of the southern half of the causeway.
- Work on the northern half was stopped due to the civil war.

3. The Western Causeway:

- It was constructed in the first half of the 12th century and used by the king for imperial visits while riding on an elephant. It served as the official entrance.
- The distance from the causeway entrance to the shrine measures 540 meters.
- Hindu devotional motifs are seen covering the causeway to the shrine

(A) The architectural style of the pontoon bridge is such, that if while walking along the 200 meters of the causeway over the moat we were to gaze right and left, it would appear as though we are walking over the divine firmament.

(B) The balustrades of Nagas or serpent deities (water deities) also give us the impression that we are traversing the heavenly abode of the gods.

(C) Observing the five large spires (that symbolize Mount Meru) and holding on to the Naga balustrade, we enter the main shrine with feelings of deep of devotion.

  1. The nine-headed Naga sculpture at the entrance of the causeway is a highly rated masterpiece (though the present one is a restored replica). It appears as though to abound with the intensity to roar aloud at people with deceitful minds, and is regarded as a magnum opus among the Angkor decorative motifs.
  2. Sophia University established the Sophia Asia Center for Research and Human Development at the site in 1996, in order that it may serve as a base for academic exchange between Japan and Cambodia, to train conservators, and to carry out research and enquiry into Cambodian history and culture.
  3. The restoration of the first phase of 100 meters of the causeway took 12 years to complete. Adopting as our dictum the concept that “the restoration of the Angkor monuments should be carried out by Cambodians,” the work included the training of specialists in civil engineering, architecture, and archaeology, and served as a symbol of the rejuvenation of the spirits of the Cambodians after the civil war. Despite the difficult social situation that persisted after the conflict, the first phase of 100 meters was completed in 2007.

III. Establishment of a Working Group for Training in Technical Exchange with Reference to Angkor Wat (March 2015)

In March 2015, the Working Group for Training in Technical Exchange with reference to the Western Causeway of Angkor Wat was initiated. So far, this group, which is comprised of people of both nations, has assembled on three occasions in Japan and Cambodia, namely in March and December of 2015, and in January 2016.

Members of the Working Group from Japan:

Chief: Yoshiaki Ishizawa, Professor at Sophia University, specializing on Cambodian inscriptions and Angkor history.
Vice-chief: Zenkichi Hirayama, Professor Emeritus of Nihon University, specializing on Building Structural Mechanics.
Masako Marui, Professor at Sophia University, specializing in Angkor Archaeology
Tetsuo Takeda, Consultant at Retech Engineering, specializing in Bridge Engineering
Goro Shimizu, Senior Research Fellow at Nihon University, specializing in Building Material Science
Tatsuro Koshitsuka, Former Shimizu Construction operating officer, specializing in Construction Safety Engineering
Masayoshi Kakizaki, Representative Director of Smart Building Research Institute, specializing in Building Construction Science
Zendo Tsuboi, Professor Emeritus of Nihon University, specializing in Architectural Engineering
Toshio Hanuki, Professor Emeritus of Nihon University, specializing in Building Structural Mechanics
Akira Kishi, Kishi Engineering Representative, specializing in Architectural Engineering
Yoko Kojima, Assistant Professor at Nihon University, specializing on the History of Asian Architecture
Satoru Miwa, Research Fellow at Sophia University, specializing on the Restoration of Angkor Architecture
Lao Kim Leang, Research Fellow at Sophia University, specializing on Building Environment Studies.

Members of the Working Group from Cambodia:

H. E. Dr. Sum Map, Director General of the APSARA Authority, Ph.D. in Economics, L'université Lyon-II, a specialist in Economic Cooperation Theories
H. E. Mr. Seung Kong, Deputy Director General of the APSARA Authority. (From the position of Director of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts he shifted to Deputy Director General of the APSARA Authority), a specialist in Education
H. E. Mr. Ros Borath, Deputy Director General of the APSARA Authority, (Authorized First Class Architect of the French Government), specialist in Architecture
H. E. Dr. Tan Bounsuy, Deputy Director General of the APSARA Authority, specialist in Agriculture
H. E. Mr. Sok Sangvar, Deputy Director General of the APSARA Authority, (M.A. in Tourism from Sydney University, Australia), specialist in Tourism
H. E. Dr. Hang Peou, Deputy Director General of the APSARA Authority, specialist in Water Supply Studies
Dr. Ly Vanna, Director of the Department of Conservation of Monuments in the Angkor Park and Preventive Archaeology, APSARA Authority, (Ph.D. in Area Studies from Sophia University), specialist in Archaeology
Dr. Chhean Ratha, Acting Deputy Director of the Department of Conservation of Monuments outside the Angkor Park, APSARA Authority, (Ph.D. in Architectural Engineering, Nihon University), specialist in Architecture
Dr. Tin Tina, Deputy Director of the Angkor International Document Center, APSARA Authority, (Ph.D. in Area Studies, Sophia University), specialist in cultural heritage management
Mr. Tann Sophal, Deputy Director of the Department of Conservation of Monuments in the Angkor Park and Preventive Archaeology, APSARA Authority, (Graduate of the Faculty of Architecture, Royal University of Fine Arts), specialist in Archeology
Mr. Mao Sokny, Technical Staff of the APSARA Authority, (Graduate of the Faculty of Architecture, Royal University of Fine Arts), specialist in Architecture
Mr. An Sopheap, Technical staff of the APSARA Authority, (Graduate of the Faculty of Archaeology, Royal University of Fine Arts), specialist in Archaeology

(Address and Contact details)
Japan: 7-1 Kioi-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8554
General Affairs Bureau Planning Group
Tel: 03-3238-3179 / Fax: 03-3238-3539
Sophia Asia Center for Research and Human Development
(Director, Professor Yoshiaki Ishizawa)
Tel: 03-3238-4136 / Fax: 03-3238-4138
Email: yoshia-i [@]sophia.ac.jp [@]→@
Cambodia:
Address: No. 342, Phum Treang, Khum Slokram, Siem Reap city
Tel/Fax: +855-63-964-267
Researcher, Satoru Miwa (Siem Reap office)
Mobile: +855-12-834-144
Researcher, Lao Kimleng (Siem Reap office)

【Reference】(PDF)

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