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"Nippon superstition - History of the Hungarian-Japanese relations" - Peter Wintermantel’s book launch

On 3 April 2017, the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade (IFAT) launched its new book titled: "Nippon superstition – History of Hungarian-Japanese Relations". The author is Peter Winermantel: orientalist, researcher, and diplomat.


In his welcome notes, László Vasa, deputy director of IFAT greeted the guests. He expressed his particular pleasure for the hard copy book, which is a high-quality publication, and especially welcome in the era of the digital world.

Kosuge Junichi, Japan's ambassador to Hungary, also greeted the participants and congratulated the author on his long and persistent work, which resulted in the book. He underlined that the official relationship between the two countries started nearly 150 years ago, therefore the timing of the book-launch is a welcome support to highlight the anniversary.

Judit Hidasi, an expert on Japan, professor at the Budapest University of Economics highlighted the author’s skills, most of all his proficiency in Japanese affairs at different areas. The book, among others, cites and uses wide-range of documents, while it has a horizontal approach looking at both culture, economics and civil society.

Balázs Ablonczy, historian and associate professor at Eötvös Loránd University, questioned the author about his commitment for the subject, and about the sources of the people and stories appearing in the book. Mr. Wintermantel noted, that his interest for the subject was a consequence of a bet, which he lost against his father. According to his promise, he had to choose a difficult language to learn. Later, his engagement for Japanese language and culture drifted him to those academic, professional and personal career choices, which resulted in the current book.