Tokyo: In a rare gesture, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today presented Padma Shri award to eminent Japanese Tamil language scholar Noburu Karashima for his outstanding contribution in the field of literature and education.
80-year-old Karashima could not be present for the Padma Awards ceremony in New Delhi on April 5 this year due to health reasons. The awards were given by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Karashima, presently Professor Emeritus in the Tokyo University, had spent several years in India as a research scholar on South Indian history and epigraphy at the Madras University in Chennai.
Besides amazing people with the ease with which he speaks Tamil, Karashima is also an acknowledged authority on medieval South Indian inscriptions.
The citation read that Karashima joined the Tokyo University faculty in 1964 and occupied the prestigious Chair of South Asian History at the university in 1974, which he held for 20 years.
The scholar received a standing ovation as he received the civilian award from the Prime Minister.