Poems that Decode Japan’s Intellectual DNA: The Ambassador’s choice

Commentaries and Op-eds January 23, 2020, Red Circle

Diplomats are perhaps thought of as having a limited interest in areas outside those that concern international relations, domestic political developments in the country where they have been stationed, bilateral issues relating to their home countries and protocol.

However, sometimes language barriers, the economic and political importance of the country in question, its peculiar social norms and strong traditions based on a long and multi-layered history, make it preferable to spend time and efforts on deeper studies.

As for myself I have had the pleasure to be posted at the Swedish embassy in Tokyo four times after first spending three years in Kyoto, doing research on Japanese history.

This, I feel, has made it easier to understand certain perspectives of the modern political developments, but has also strengthened an urge to always look at aspects which may not always seem necessary or logical. One such aspect is Japanese poetry.

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