Khyentse Foundation Award for Excellence, July 2011

At a gathering of students and faculty at the University of Hamburg in July, Ms. Ayako Nakamura received a Khyentse Foundation Award for Excellence in Buddhist Studies. Ms. Nakamura was recognized for her distinction in the field of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies. “I am highly honored and deeply grateful to receive such a wonderful award.  It is a great recognition of my struggle and efforts of many years to study and try to understand Buddhist philosophy, and it is certainly a source of further motivation for my research in the future,” Ms. Nakamura said after the ceremony.

Originally from Kanagawa, Japan, Ms. Nakamura received her MA in Classical Indology, with a focus in Buddhism, from the University of Hamburg. She is near completion of her PhD, with a doctoral dissertation on the concept of Buddhahood or “awakening” as found in the Bodhisattvabhumi, Mahayanasutralamkara, and Buddhabhumisutra, along with their commentaries.

The selection committee in the Department of Indian and Tibetan Studies at the University of Hamburg was in full agreement that Ms. Nakamura should be nominated for the award, both for her proficiency in the relevant languages of Sanskrit, Tibetan, and classical Chinese (not to mention her fluency in English, German, and of course Japanese) and for her detailed study of awakening, one of the most important concepts of Mahayana Buddhism.

Now in its second year of presenting awards to outstanding scholars in Buddhist studies, Khyentse Foundation is pleased to be able to honor the academic achievements of dedicated students like Ms. Nakamura. As of the summer of 2011, in addition to the University of Hamburg, awards have been given at the University of Sydney, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania, and Peking University.