HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn opens new attraction, commemorating Thai-Japanese relations dating back 600 years

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Exhibition on Yamada Nagamasa Okya Senaphimuk and Thao Thong Kip Ma_680x300

Ayutthaya, 11 February, 2015 – Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn graciously presided over the opening ceremony of the newly-built multimedia facility displaying the “Exhibition on Yamada Nagamasa Okya Senaphimuk and Thao Thong Kip Ma” at the Japanese village, an ancient Japanese settlement in the Ayutthaya period at the Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre, Ayutthaya.

Mr. Kalin Sarasin_300450
Mr. Kalin Sarasin

Mr. Kalin Sarasin, Chairman of the Board of TAT and President of the Thai- Japanese Association said, “The new permanent exhibition, which adopts a multimedia approach, is a project initiated by the Thai-Japanese Association to commemorate the auspicious occasion of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s 60th birthday anniversary that falls on 2 April, 2015.”

The new attraction is set to help local and international visitors to delve into the past and to recall the Japanese who performed a crucial role in the royal court in the Ayutthaya period. The important roles of two model Japanese during the Ayutthaya period, Mr. Yamada Nagamasa and Ms. Marie Guyomar de Pinha, are featured prominently in this new hall, which is divided into two sections: the exhibition hall and the multimedia hall.

Mr. Yamada Nagamasa was the Japanese nobleman in the royal court of King Songtham of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. Mr. Nagamasa was the director-general of the Japanese Volunteer Guard Department as well as the leader of all Japanese settlers. He played a major role in fostering commercial relationships between Siam and Japan and was highly praised for his undivided loyalty to the monarch. King Songtham bestowed Mr. Nagamasa with the title of “Okya Senaphimuk.”  ‘Okya’ is a male title of rank, equivalent to ‘Sir’ or today’s minister.

Thao Thong Kip Ma was the titled bestowed to Ms. Marie Guyomar de Pinha, the Japanese-Portuguese lady who came from a Catholic family in the Portuguese village, located opposite the Japanese village. Ms. Guyomar de Pinha was married to Okya Vichayen or Constantine Phaulkon, Foreign Affairs Minister under the reign of King Narai the Great, also of the Ayutthaya period. During her later years, she served as a master chef in the royal court and was responsible for Western dessert menus. She was widely credited with having devised the recipe of egg yolk-based sweets; such as, Thong Yib, Foi Thong, and Thong Yot, influenced by Portuguese cuisine. “Thao” is a female title of rank, equivalent to ‘Dame’.

Mr. Kalin said, “The Exhibition on Yamada Nagamasa Okya Senaphimuk and Thao Thong Kip Ma, and the multimedia presentation will present and reiterate the fact that Thailand and Japan have long been maintaining a cordial relationship that goes back as far as 600 years ago.”

The current Japanese village is a memorial area set on the premises where Japanese merchants once lived when they started to settle down in Thailand in the late 16th century during the Ayutthaya kingdom. The village today exhibits the history of the relationships between the Kingdom of Ayutthaya and Japan and other foreign countries as part of the Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre. It opens daily from 08.00 – 17.00 Hrs., Tel: +66 (0) 3524 4340.

Interior of the Japanese Village_2-resized Interior of the Japanese Village_1-resized

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