海外で活躍する日本人 ⑩ ブータン 西岡京治さん 160411

西岡 京治(にしおか けいじ、1933年昭和8年〉2月14日1992年平成4年〉3月21日)は、海外技術協力事業団に所属して活動した日本人農業指導者、植物学者ブータンの農業の発展に大きく貢献し、「ブータン農業の父」といわれる。ブータン国王から「最高に優れた人」を意味する「ダショー」の称号を贈られ、現地ではダショー・ニシオカとも呼ばれる。

 

 

 

 

  • 1964年(昭和39年):ブータンに、海外技術協力事業団(現・国際協力機構)のコロンボ・プランの農業指導者として夫人とともに赴任。赴任当初はインド人が大半を占める農業局から冷遇を受け、試験農場すらまともに用意されなかったという。そのような中、28年間にわたって日本から導入した野菜の栽培および品種改良荒地開墾など、ブータンの農業振興に尽力する。西岡の振興策は援助側の一方的な施策の押し付けではなく現地の実状に即した漸進的なものであった。このため、成果の確実性と定着性において他に例を見ないほどの成功を収め、農法にとどまらず産業・生活の基盤改善に大きく寄与した。

 

  • 1980年(昭和55年):ジグミ・シンゲ・ワンチュク国王から「国の恩人」として、民間人に贈られる最高の爵位である「ダショー」を授かり、同国において唯一にして史上初の外国人受爵者となった。
  • 1992年(平成4年)
    • 3月21日:帰国直前、敗血症に罹り、ブータンにて死去した(59歳没)。
    • 3月26日:ブータン王室およびブータン政府によって西岡京治の国葬が執り行われ、遺体は夫人の意向に従ってパロ盆地(cf. パロ)が見渡せる丘にある葬儀場に埋葬された[2]

没年以後 

  • 2006年(平成18年度):日本の中学校道徳資料集『中学生道徳 あすを生きる 3』(日本文教出版)と英語教科書『TOTAL ENGLISH 3』(学校図書)が、資料・教材に西岡京治を採用した。
  • 2014年(平成26年):功績をたたえる記念館がパロの国立農業機械化センター内に完成し、6月17日に記念式典が開かれた。https://youtu.be/TNvC4m1adQs?t=6

 

A Museum in Memory of Late Dasho Keiji Nishioka

 

His Excellency Akihiko Tanaka and Hon'ble Secretary while inaugurating the Museum
His Excellency Akihiko Tanaka and Hon’ble Secretary while inaugurating the Museum

17 June 2014: ThePresident of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), His Excellency Mr. Akihiko Tanaka and Hon’ble Secretary, Dasho Tenzin Dhendup, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) jointly inaugurated a Museum in Memory of Late Dasho Keiji Nishioka at the Agriculture Machinery Centre in Bondey, Paro.

Known as Dasho Nishioka throughout the country, Late Dasho Keiji Nishioka was sent to Bhutan by the Japanese Government as an agriculture expert in 1964. Ever since, he started working in Bondey Agriculture Farm, he brought about major developments in farming that has changed the livelihood of Bhutanese farmers. Being visionary and farsighted, Dasho not only imparted new knowledge and skills in farming, but also initiated the establishment of three agriculture centers such as Agriculture Machinery Centre, National Seed Centre and National Post Harvest Centre to provide required services throughout the country. Dasho continued to stay in Bhutan after his two-year assignment period and worked in the country for 28 years until 1992.

His Excellency Akihiko Tanaka while visiting AMC sections
His Excellency Akihiko Tanaka while visiting AMC sections

In 1980, His Majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo awarded the red-scarf and conferred the title of Dasho to him in recognition of his selfless and dedicated services to the people of Bhutan in the field of agriculture development. His Majesty also blessed Dasho Nishioka with Druk Thuksey medal in 1990. Dasho Nishioka is the only foreigner to receive the title of Dasho

Dasho Tenzin Dhendup, Hon’ble Secretary, MoAF extended warm welcome to His Excellency and accompanying delegates on behalf of the Ministry. He highlighted that the relationship between Bhutan and Japan continued to grow and strengthen ever since the late Dasho Keiji Nishioka came to Bhutan in 1964.

While addressing the gathering, he shared that food self-sufficiency and farm mechanization in Bhutan are accorded high priority by the Royal Government of Bhutan. Towards this, the Government and the people of Japan have been providing continued grant assistance and farm machines through the KR-II Grant since 1984. The farm machineries such as power tillers, tractors, threshers, harvesters, rice transplanting machines, sprayers, water pumps etc. received under this grant are used for agricultural and farming purposes and have immensely benefited the farming communities. The RGoB has received 23 KR II grants so far and a total of 2795 units of power tillers. During the last plan period (10th Plan) a total of 458 power tillers have been received and 13,099 acres has been brought under mechanization. The labour saved over traditional practices is six per acre. The grant impact has been a 15% increase in the rice productivity over traditional farming and 48.8% reduction of cost of production of rice through mechanization.

 

Dasho also added that the Ministry is now setting-up farm machinery hiring service centres in all the Dzongkhags not only to realize the government’s policy of poverty alleviation and food-self sufficiency but also to mitigate rural-urban migration, provide youth employment and to overcome the labour shortages in the farming community. The centres will provide hiring services of power tillers, tractors, threshers, harvesters, rice transplanting machines, water pumps and rice/wheat processing machines.

Hon'ble Secretary while addressing the gathering
Hon’ble Secretary while addressing the gathering

Expressing the gratitude to His Excellency Mr. Akioiko Tanaka, a 73 year old farmer Gup Drep Dorji Gyeltshen from Luni Gewog (former local leader) said, “We the farmers of Bhutan are very much thankful to Dasho Keiji Nishioka and his diligent efforts in the agricultural development in Bhutan and Bhutanese people are very fortunate enough to be selected for grant assistance and support from the government and people of Japan. Among many, the most important and helpful grants that we received were the farm machinery that helped us in reducing drudgery while carrying out farming activities” He also added that “the efforts that Dasho Nishioka had kindly put into the agriculture development in Bhutan would not have been possible without the support of the government and people of Japan”.

His Excellency and other officials also visited National Seed Centre and National Post Harvest and Processing Centre in Paro.

The inaugural ceremony was attended by Mr. Yushiro Tojo, Chief Secretary, Office of the President, JICA, Mr. Katsuo Matsumoto, Deputy Director General, South Asia Department, JICA, Ms. Yumiko Asakuma, Chief Representative, JICA, Mr. Hedeki Taniguchi, Second Secretary, Embassy of Japan in New Delhi, India, Lam Naten, community leaders and Dzongkhag officials of Paro Dzongkhag  and senior officials from MoAF.

Reported and photo by Penjor, ICS

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