Sumika and Saki in Hoi An

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(QNO) - Sumika and Saki are JICA’s Japanese volunteers working in conservation in Hoi An. They are very impressed by Hoi An and want to stay here longer.

Sumika and Saki in Hoi An
Sumika and Saki in Hoi An

1. Hattori Sumika comes from Mie Prefecture in central Japan. She had worked as an interior decorator, a designer, and a supervisor for a construction company for 6 years before her structural trend changed to interior wooden materials and 50-100-year-old buildings.

 Sumika is drawing ancient house’s structure in Hoi An.
Sumika is drawing ancient house’s structure in Hoi An.

Sumika decided to join the JICA’s volunteer team in architecture so that she could do her favourite work and improve her ability. She thought Hoi An was her right choice. Her main work is now preserving and restoring ancient wooden structures.

According to Sumika, the Vietnamese are very friendly. She hasn’t had any troubles working in Hoi An because everyone loves and helps her so much. Living in Hoi An is also comfortable because she finds Vietnamese foods similar to Japanese ones. So she likes to live here. She hopes to have a chance to keep on living and working in Hoi An longer.

2. Unlike Sumika, Tanaka Saki (Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan) just came to Vietnam five months ago, and spent one month learning Vietnamese before started working in Hoi An. She graduated from the major of cultural heritage preservation and filmmaking.

Saki and her work in a museum in Hoi An
Saki and her work in a museum in Hoi An

After graduation, she participated in film production, TV advertisement and interior decoration for events. After two years, Saki decided to go to Hoi An as volunteer to work on museum exhibitions. It is her first time in Vietnam, however, she had heard about Vietnam and Hoi An from people who has worked in Vietnam before, and she also acquires knowledge about Vietnam from the books she read. She had a very good impression of this place, so she did not feel nervous at all when making the decision of coming here for work.

Saki said "In Japan, I love the ancient cities of my country like Kyoto and Kanazawa. I love Hoi An very much. The town’s atmosphere and the fields are so beautiful; the people are hospitable, not to mention that the food here is very delicious. "

The current work of Saki includes improving the content, designing the methods and display environment in the museum; giving advice on preservation methods; assisting public communication of the museums in Hoi An and the relics. Despite the huge amount of work, she does not find it pressured but very passionate as it gives her the chance to utilize her favorite major.

"By March 2020, my volunteer term will be ending, but I already felt that the two-year term is not a long one. I want to do so much for the museum in Hoi An as working here has given me the opportunity to develop my expertise and enjoy new ideas. My concern is that how we can exploit the best cultural values, the history of the exhibits that we own, since I think, the artifacts is invaluable "- shared Saki.