Hanoi in the 1990s through the Lens of one Japanese

Diep Nguyen

20:50 11/08/2019

BizLIVE -

My first impression of Hanoi was dark, because of weather and buildings which was not maintained, but people’s smiling faces were warm, I started feel like Hanoi soon, Kobayashi said.

Hanoi in the 1990s through the Lens of one Japanese

Hanoi 1999 - Photo Courtesy: Yuichi Kobayashi

Recently, a big number of Vietnamese have been astonished and felt keen interest in the collections of photos and video of Hanoi about almost 3 decades ago take by Yuichi Kobayashi, the staff in one Japanese company and also an amateur photographer. Bizlive holds short interview with Yuichi Kobayashi about the reasons why he captured all those photos and videos, his thinkings about Hanoi 3 decades ago and the current time.
Why you were in Hanoi at that time? What made you decide to take those photos and videos? How many videos that you have taken? 
I visited Hanoi the first time in early of 1995. I visited nearly every month by business reason in 1995. And, I started to live in Hanoi from 1996. I returned to Japan in 2000. And I was assigned to work again in Hanoi from 2007. I lived for about 10 years.
My first impression of Hanoi was dark, because of weather and buildings which were not maintained. But people’s smiling faces were warm. I started feel like Hanoi soon. People’s lives were not wealthy. But people had warm mind and they cooperated with one another. It was very “rich“ human’s life situation.
When I walked around city, I felt that the atmosphere people having close range each other. This is one of important point the reason of I like Hanoi. And, people having high pride in one's country. It’s very good point too.
And, every street in Hanoi was having tall and old tree along street. When I think about capital city in the world, I don’t know the capital city that have beautiful greens like Hanoi city. Many of people in Hanoi are saying “Hanoi is dirty and noisy City!!” I don’t think so. Hanoi is still very beautiful city in the world by many of beautiful trees along every street and maintained old buildings now.
 In your views, what are the values that Hanoi should keep? For example architecture, culture, living customs. What do you think about the modern Hanoi? Anything that you regret about Hanoi’s new changes?
The life of Hanoiians have become enough rich now for usual life. I think the country of Vietnam should think about balanced development for good future. I think that they should learn the case the other developed countries, about good points and bad points in their development histories and Vietnam should not only try to catch up developed countries.
Vietnam still tries to catch up the other developed country. I don’t want to say that is no good. But I think that Vietnam should make effort increasing the point of original advantage of Vietnam. And, for my view, Vietnamese should think of grow up disadvantage points for using advantage points for making competitive power as the country in the world
For example, people’s skill and sense for Precision processing (for producing precision industrial parts etc.) is one of advantage. But, the management of balanced QCD (Quality, Cost, Delivery) is behind in the world standard. 
About automobile manufacturing, I heard that the automobile of “Made in Vietnam” is started to produce in Vietnam. It is one of the good news. But it is “Assembled in Vietnam” only. I think that the ability for process precision parts is important power of country in the future. (especially automobile business field). 
I want that the people in Vietnam to have interesting more about this point now. The education system of the country should think to increase people’s ability to process precision parts with balanced QCD. Producing “Object” by precision skill is one of valuable advantage of Vietnam in the world.
For example, “IT” field, many of the company of IT matter has order from abroad to design software now. Vietnam is one of famous country in the world about software designing. It is good but IT business should be not only “Ordered design of software”. It should be “General creator for efficient work” for the factory, for the office work, for the business of agriculture etc. It’s needed to have about experience of work and knowledge of operation, sense of management for creating system by IT. Because IT is one of tool for making efficient work first. 
I think human development is important to be competitive country in the future.
Can you please share with me some about your current life and work in Japan? Do you plan to go to Hanoi or Vietnam in the future? What are the things that Vietnamese should do for the future?
I came back to headquarter of the company in Japan 2 years ago. If I have chance to work in Vietnam again, I can come back to Hanoi any time for work with people of Vietnam.
And, many of people of Vietnam work in Japan now. I am interested a lot about their work situation for their work after they come back to the country for development future Vietnam. I am having relationship some people about these matter in Japan now.
I was surprised about reaction of people in Vietnam for my old photos and videos. Before from 5-10 years ago, people had not interesting the matter of “Old”. Some of them said to me before “I don’t have interesting old. The old is only bad. I don’t need to know the matter of old.” Many of people gave massage to me this time “I’m glad to be able to watch my sweet old street ! ” I felt a lot that people’s feeling and thinking was changed for the matter of old and new balanced. It was not balanced before from 5-10 years ago.
Thank you so much for sharing!
Followings are some of Hanoi photos in the 1990s take by Yuichi Kobayashi
 Ba Trieu Street 1995
 Hang Dau Street 1999
 Taking the bus in Hanoi in 1999
 Hang Gai Street 1999
 Hang Gai Street 1999
Guom Lake 1999  
 Guom Lake 1999
 Pham Ngoc Thach Street 1995
Yuichi Kobayashi  

DIEP NGUYEN

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