Distinguished Japanese historian of South India and South Asia Noboru Karashima passed away on 26 November 2015 in Tokyo. He was 82. He is survived by his wife Takako Karashima, three sons and three grandchildren.
At the time of his death, Karashima was Professor Emeritus at the University of Tokyo and Taisho University. His body of research has rewritten the economic and social history of medieval South India. He also played a critical role in developing Indo-Japan cultural ties.
About Noboru Karashima
• He was a known Tamil scholar and was instrumental in setting up the International Association of Tamil Research (IATR) and was its president from 1989 to 2010.
• He was the principal organiser of the 8th World Tamil Conference in Thanjavur in 1995.
• His use of statistical techniques to distil information from a mass of inscriptions was his seminal contribution to South Indian history.
• He also was the president of the Japan Association for South Asian Studies from 1996 to 2000.
• He wrote numerous books on South Indian History including Towards a New Formation: South Indian Society under Vijayanagar Rule, A concordance of the names in Chola inscriptions, History and society in South India and Ancient to Medieval: South Indian Society in Transition.
• He was awarded with the Padma Shri (2013) for his contributions in building India-Japan ties, Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 1995 and, Japan Academy Prize in 2003.