Japanese decoration bestowed to Ms.Dalia Švambarytė

Ms.Dalia Švambarytė
Ms.Dalia Švambarytė

On November 3rd, the Japanese government announced that Ms. Dalia Švambarytė, the Associate Professor of the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies (former Center of Oriental Studies) at Vilnius University (VU), was bestowed with the decoration of “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette” for her contribution in promoting academic exchanges and mutual understanding between Japan and Lithuania. The Japanese decoration bestowed to Ms.Dalia Švambarytė is a recognition of her hard work in the field of Japanese studies.

The details of this conferment of decorations are as follows:

1. The name and title of the recipient

Dalia Švambarytė (refer to the attached CV)

Associate professor of the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies at Vilnius University

2. Important contribution towards Japan

(1) Contribution to the establishment of the Center of Oriental Studies at Vilnius University

In 1992, Ms. Dalia Švambarytė was invited by the Rector of Vilnius University to teach Japanese language and strived to establish the Center of Oriental Studies (1993-2018). That was the first research center in Lithuania specializing in the research of Asian studies including Japanology.

In 1995, Ms Švambarytė assumed the office of a Director of the Center (a second since the establishment), and upgraded the Japanese studies to the minor program. The program was eventually upgraded to the full scale major program of the Japanese studies in 2000. Ms Švambarytė was one of the main initiators of an education department, which provided the opportunity to study Japanese as a major and which contributed to the academic development of Japanese language and Japanese studies in Lithuania.

(2) Contributions towards Japan as a Lecturer and an Associate Professor at the Center of Oriental Studies at Vilnius University

Since 1992 till today, Ms. Dalia Švambarytė has been conducting lectures in the wide variety of fields such as Japanese language, Japanese culture, the history, the classical literature, the modern literature, the ethnology studies, etc.

Her lectures, based on her deep academic knowledge, are very popular among the students – in 2013 Ms Švambarytė was elected as one of the best lecturers of the Vilnius University.

Many of her former students are active in the Japan-related fields, such as Japanese language teachers at the universities, translators of the Japanese literature, guides for Japanese tourists, staff at the embassies etc. Ms Švambarytė contributes to the development of a new generation of students of Japanese studies.

In 2002, she compiled and published the first big volume Japanese-Lithuanian Character Dictionary in Lithuania. At that time it was the only publication in Lithuanian language for studying Japanese. It significantly contributed to the efficiency of learning Japanese and the increase of the interest in Japanese language.

Ms Švambarytė also teaches the Japanese classical literature at the university. She has published translations of the Japanese classic literature (Noh and Kabuki theater plays, one of the first world’s novels The tale of Prince Genji), as well as a monograph Intertextuality of Japanese Classical Literature (2011). She is considered as a pioneer researcher of the Japanese classic literature in Lithuania. Furthermore, Ms Švambarytė has translated the Japanese modern literature works including the ones by Kenzabro Oe and Ryunosuke Akutagawa, and wrote articles on Japanese literature. In 2011, Ms Švambarytė received the Vilnius University Rector’s Research Award for her solid academic achievements.

Moreover, in 2014 she published a fundamental study History of Japan. It enabled the Lithuanian readers to deepen their knowledge not only in Japanese history, but also culture, religion and literature.

(3) Contributions to the development of the relationship between Japan and Lithuania as the Japanese-Lithuanian interpreter and translator

In 2007, during the visit of their Majesties the Emperor and Empress (their Majesties the Emperor Emeritus and the Empress Emeritus of today) to Lithuania. Ms. Dalia Švambarytė as an official interpreter for the Emperor interpreted during the meeting with H.E. Mr. Valdas Adamkus, the President of Lithuania, and at the official reception.

Ms Švambarytė also translated the script used for the audio of simultaneous interpretation of the play Sempo Sugihara. It was performed in Lithuania in 1995, and acquainted Lithuanians with the great achievements of Chiune Sugihara. He was not very well known at that time.

Ms Švambarytė created the annotation and translated the script of the Noh play “Aoi no ue”, that was played by Mr. Kiyokaze Kanze, Mr. Man Nomura (the National Treasure of Japan) and Mr. Tadao Kamei (the National Treasure of Japan) in 2005. This enabled a wide spread of the charm of the Japanese classical play by conveying the beauty of Noh in the understandable way for the Lithuanian spectators.

2020 November 4

Embassy of Japan in Lithuania

Author: Baltic Asia

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