Scholars, intellectuals and literary figures on Friday praised Japan’s contribution to promoting Urdu. They termed it a “great service” to bring the two countries together.
At a dialogue held at the National Language Authority (NLA), they praised the services of Osaka and Tokyo universities, which have been teaching Urdu for 105 years and have a separate department for the language that is widely spoken in the subcontinent.
The event was attended by Professor So Yamanay, a Japanese professor of Urdu, and his students Nori Yukikubo, Noriko Sasaoki and Kanako Azuma, who praised the Urdu language.
The professor lamented that there are only a few sources from where Japanese people can find information pertaining to Islam, as many of them cannot read or understand Urdu.
“We are trying our best to draw a list of books on Islam in Urdu to extract information on how much work has been done and also which topics need further research. We want to make sure our people can directly seek information from Urdu texts to have a better understanding of the subject,” he explained.
Moving on, the professor shared details of his recent trip to Bahauddin Zakariya University in Multan and said that he signed an agreement on behalf of Osaka University to initiate joint educational projects in future.
He added that a Japanese pictorial dictionary of technical terminologies in Urdu is being compiled by Pakistani and Japanese experts.
“This will help Japanese students wanting to learn Urdu,” he said.
Kanako, one of the students accompanying him, said she is researching on Islamic thinker Syed Abulala Maududi and her work, nearly done, will be published once completed.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2012.