Memorable programs, memorable people

20 September 2019

We Hosted the Japanese Imperial Princess

Imperial Princess Kako’s first official trip took her to Austria and Hungary to mark the 150th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and Japan. While my husband and I received in the Sándor Palace the charming princess representing the world’s oldest ruling dynasty, fond memories and experiences related to Japanese civilisation kept coming to mind. When János became Speaker of the House, our first official visit happened to be to Japan. I noticed then and there that in spite of the incredible distance and the obvious differences, there are several points where Japanese and Hungarian cultures meet. Both peoples are fond of classical music and in cinematography, as well as in poetry, there seem to be traces of a certain spiritual proximity. Poets Kosztolányi and Kányádi both identify with haiku, and in the Country of the Rising Sun young people learn Hungarian folk dances. To reveal the secret of this reciprocal attraction, we need to become increasingly familiar with each other’s cultural treasures. Such curiosity led the Japanese Princess when exploring Hungary. During the days she spent in our country, in addition to her programmes in Budapest, the Princess also visited sights in the countryside: the Pannonhalma Abbey, as well as Tihany and the Herend Porcelain Manufacture, and even set on a 5-horse carriage in the Bábolna National Stud Estate. We were very pleased to have hosted the Princess.