文化遺産国際協力コンソーシアム Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage JCIC-Heritage logo JCIC-Heritage

Preservation of Duong Lam Ancient Village

Preservation of Duong Lam Ancient Village

Showa Women's University,Agency for Cultural Affairs,Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties

Viet Nam

Duong Lam Ancient Village

2003-Ongoing Masterplan,Project Planning Surveys,Human Resource Development,Fundamental Research,Awareness Raising and Promotional Activities
01/03/2010
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BACKGROUND

Duong Lam Ancient Village: Hometown of National Heroes

Duong Lam is well-known as the hometown of national heroes Phuong Hung and Ngo Quyen, who fought for Vietnam’s independence, and Giang Van Minh, a diplomat to China. Mong Phu commune is especially famous for the temples dedicated to the Giang, Nguyen, Phan, and Ha families, where ceremonies and rituals are still held, and is a beautiful commune characterized by many ancient houses situated on a small hill surrounded by a laterite wall.

Though an agricultural country, Vietnam has also been beset by the rapid development of factories and modernization of lifestyles. However, the country has taken a firm stand against these modern trends, and has revised its cultural property protection law with strong hopes of relaying the rural spirit supporting the very foundation of the country to later generations. As the first case of application of the revised law, the Vietnamese government set out to preserve the rural ancient village of Duong Lam. At the same time, it requested Japan’s cooperation, to compensate for Vietnam’s limited experience in the preservation of buildings, and also because Japan has previously demonstrated its expertise in the preservation of Hoi An Old Town. Japan has agreed to the request and has launched a preservation project in Duong Lam.

Village gate

Village scene

ACTIVITIES

The Fight against a Rising Tide of Drastic Changes toward Modern Lifestyles

In response to the request from the Vietnamese government, the Japanese Cultural Properties Department under the Agency for Cultural Affairs has agreed to provide its cooperation, and in March 2003, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture and Information and the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs. At the request of the Agency for Cultural Affairs, the Institute of International Culture at Showa Women’s University and Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties commenced a survey of preservation measures funded by a research grant provided by the Agency.

On the Vietnamese side, the Department of Architecture and Construction Planning under the Ministry of Construction participated in the architectural aspect of the joint survey, and Vietnam National University, Hanoi participated in the lifestyle, literary reference, and historical aspects of the survey, based on Vietnam’s previous cooperation experience with Japan. The survey was begun in 2003, but already by this time, Vietnam had been experiencing dramatic economic growth. As a result of a boom in children’s education, demand for single rooms for children increased and has prompted the construction of two-story, three-story, and even higher-story brick houses not only in urban areas but in rural areas as well. Seeing as how these developments have been chipping away at the traditional landscape of the country, the project has become a fight against a rising tide of drastic changes toward modern lifestyles. An interim report of the project was presented in December 2004.

Spring ceremony

Summer ceremony

RESULTS

Passing Down the Spirit of Vietnam to Later Generations

Based on the results of conservation and restoration activities, Duong Lam Village was designated as the first application case of the new cultural property protection law enacted in November 2005. Enforcement of the preservation ordinance was begun in May 2006, and a Duong Lam Village Ruins Management Office was established in July. In March 2007, UNESCO, ICCROM, and other international conservation institutions were invited to the village and asked for advice on applying for its inclusion as a world heritage site. Furthermore, with the cooperation of the Asia-Pacific Cultural Center for UNESCO (ACCU), local engineers were trained in Japan with the objective of transferring Japan’s architecture restoration technologies that are relevant to the restoration of specific buildings within the village’s preservation area, and Japanese cultural property restoration engineers were sent to Vietnam to provide restoration guidance under international funding. Meanwhile, cooperation for the preservation of intangible cultural heritages, such as clothing and food, has strengthened, and since January 2008, two Junior Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (architecture, rural village) from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are implementing various cooperation activities as resident experts. These preservation efforts are expected to produce a virtuous cycle in which an increase in the number of tourists will strengthen local residents’ awareness of preservation measures and promote greater preservation efforts to attract more tourists. In February 2009, the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs, Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Showa Women’s University, JICA, Japan Foundation, and ACCU were awarded by the Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sports in recognition of their contribution to the preservation of Duong Lam Village.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sports has embarked on the preservation of Phuoc Tich Village on the outskirts of central Hue based on its experience in the Duong Lam preservation project, and is otherwise working to pass down the spirit of Vietnam to later generations through the preservation of rural villages throughout the country. Japan will continue to provide cooperation for the preservation of rural villages in other areas of Vietnam as well.

Award of the Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sports

Award of the Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sports

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