Martin Vačkář

A leading Czech japanologist.

In the 1960s he studied English and Japanese at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. However, he interrupted his studies and went straight into work – to Japan. From Japan he headed to Zurich where he continued to learn Japanese and began to learn Chinese. He later wrote for ‘Lidové noviny’ and worked as a coordinator for Japanese TV teams filming in the Czech Republic.

He wrote a script to a play titled ‘Manhattan’ which is based on Woody Allen’s short stories, the script for musicals ‘My Fair Josephine’, ‘Love is a Mirage’ and a script to a musical about Marlene Dietrich.

He describes the character of the Japanese as follows: „They are incredibly nice and industrious. Of course they have their bad traits. They can slander and create rumours. But they are mainly a community that perceives their mutual coexistence very honestly and seriously. But they also have their individual feelings and they can live independently. The community is above the needs of the individual. This is the biggest difference to life in Europe. „