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Dr. Sinh Vinh (1944-2014) [Alberta University] – Vĩnh Sính

Dr. Sinh Vinh (1944-2014)

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The Department of History and Classics and the University of Alberta community deeply mourn Professor Sinh Vinh, who passed away on January 1, 2014 at the age of sixty-nine.  He is survived by his loving wife, Kyoko, son, Tan, and daughter-in-law, Grace.

In Hue, Vietnam, Professor Sinh Vinh was born into the royal family that ruled Vietnam’s last dynasty, the Nguyen (1802-1945).  He was educated in Tokyo and at the University of Toronto, where he obtained his MA and PhD degrees in Japanese history.  The University of Alberta benefited from three decades of his teaching of Japanese and Vietnamese history, and the world recognized his prolific and ground-breaking scholarship that produced over a dozen books and translations in English, French and Vietnamese.  His books, among which are Phan Chau Trinh and His Political Writings (2009) and The Future Japan (1989), won many awards, including the Canada-ASEAN Southeast Asia Policy Paper Award in 1993 and the Canada Council’s Canada-Japan Book Award in 1990.  In addition, Professor Vinh wrote about seventy articles and numerous reviews and conference papers.

In scholarship and teaching, as well as in his personal life, Professor Sinh Vinh was a true Confucian gentleman (junzi) with keen interests in poetry and music.  He was generous to all; he nourished his students and inspired them and his colleagues with his moral fortitude and steadfast resolve.  Despite a debilitating stroke, he continued to teach until his retirement several years ago.  His last class, a senior Japanese history course, attracted the full enrollment of fifty-five students.  His scholarship never stopped, and he just recently completed the manuscript for his last book, « Komatsu Kiyoshi – Japanese Activist Adventurer in French Indochina ».

Professor Sinh Vinh’s character was strong and inspiring — like the lofty pine against the frosty winter of blowing snow.  And it was on such a day, hours into the New Year, when he left quietly.

Written by Jennifer W. Jay
University of Alberta

Source : H-Asia & Alberta University, 13/01/2014.

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