Asian studies in Lithuania

Rytai ir Lietuva (The East and Lithuania)

Authors: Neimantas, Romualdas
Catalog: (Lietuvių) Civilizacijos metmenys
Published in: Vilnius
Published on: 1988
Publisher: Mintis

The author of monograph “East and Lithuania” Romuald Neimantas, talks about India, Japan, China and other Eastern countries, especially about their cultural links with Lithuania. “East and Lithuania. From Neman River to the Ganges” is a book that is perfect not only for those who are interested in the East civilizations. The book is rich in biographies of well known researchers, travel descriptions, pictures, therefore it is able to maintain the attention from the first to the last page.

In the first chapter the author introduces the first travelers from Lithuania who had traveled to the pyramids. They are Mikolajus Radvila Našlaitėlis, Matas Šalčius and the first professional Lithuanian Egyptologist Marija Rudzinskaitė-Arcimavičienė.There are overviews of these travelers as well as their biographies, travel histories and their achievements.

The second section takes the reader to the south-west Asia, to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. This chapter focuses on letters, which were written on the clay tiles – cuneiform. Also, there are presented the most contributed reserchers, who deciphered cuneiform. Moreover, attention is paid to Lithuanian travelers who have visited this country. Oskaras Milašius, the first Lithuanian asirologist, is unforgotten as well.

The third chapter, titled ,,Kas tvam asi” (translated from Sanskrit, ,,Who are you”) focuses on India. The reader is introduced with the river of extreme importance for Indians – Ganges. Considerable attention is paid to the interconnections between aryan and the balts. In this chapter, author presented the most distinguished travelers from Lithuania to India – Andrius Rudamina, Matas Šalčius and Antanas Poška.

Axis Mundi (from Latin “axis of the word”) – this is the name of the fourth chapter which focuses on China and Japan. The first rows of the chapter are started with a search for links between the Lithuanian and Tibetan art. Considerable attention is paid at M. K. Čiurlionis, who is extremely renowned artist in this area. There are a lot of information about Chinese and Japanese religions, philosophy, culture and art.

Romualdas Neimantas (1939-2009) is a famous Lithuanian orientalist. Neimantas wrote more than 30 books and numerous articles dedicated to Oriental topics. Many readers have found R. Neimantas’ books as attractive and interesting. Among them, there are these very popular books “From the Ganges to the Neman”, ,,The pharaohs footsteps”, ,,From the Neman River to the Nile”, “Amber Road “, and the monograph “East and Lithuania”. In 2011, archived for many years of orientalist’s life collection on Asian and African matters went to Vytautas Magnus University.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU