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(E) Japan - Croatia, Jewels
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  07/21/2005 | History | Unrated
(E) Japan - Croatia, Jewels



It seems that a well known tune U boj, u boj from the
opera Nikola Subic Zrinski by Ivan Zajc is taught in
Japanese schools. Information by Mr.
Nenad Bach, New York. Professor Vladimir Devidé,
japanologist from Zagreb, considers this very
probable: he remembered a very young boy walking on a
Tokyo street Komaba, wearing a huge rucksack filled
with books, and whistling the familiar melody - "U boj, u
boj"! (personal information, 2004).

A web page "U boj, u boj" has been prepared for
Japanese readers, with historical account, where you
can listen to the tune performed by Japanese choire
singing in Croatian!

(Provided by Kwansei Gakuin Glee Club).


Lovro von Matacic, one of the greatest conductors of
the 20th century (1899-1985), started his career in 1919 as conductor
of orchestras in Osijek, Novi Sad, Ljubljana,
Belgrade, Riga, and in Zagreb in 1932. From
1942-1945 he was conductor of the Vienna Opera. After
1945 he was imprisoned by the Yugoslav communist regime, and
together with Croatian poet Tin Ujevic and painter Kristian Krekovic
sentenced to confiscation of all movable and immovable property. In 1950's he
became organizer of Festivals in Dubrovnik and Split. In 1956 Matacic
moved to Germany to conduct East Berlin Opera and the famous Dresden
Staatskapelle, then conducted at Bayreuth in 1959, and from 1961 to 1966
was Gereralmuikdirektor in Frakfurt. He was also guest
conductor in Vienna Opera, Milan Scala, in Chicago, Naples, Palermo, Rome,
London, Cleveland, Tokio, Prague, etc., and was elected the honorary
director of the Japanese Orchestra in Tokio. From 1970 to 1980 he was
conductor and artistic director of the Zagreb Philharmonic
Orchestra, and almost simultanesously from 1973 to
1979 had the same role in the Monte Carlo Orchestra.


Miroslav Miletic, viola player, founded the Pro Arte
string quartet in Zagreb, which in 1970's was among 10 best string
quartets in the world. Among his numerous students was Hiroshi Hirano,
violist from Japan (Tokyo). As a composer he promoted
Croatian folklore and church music (in
particular from the island of Hvar). He considers the
Croatian folklore music the most beautiful and the richest in the world.
In 1975, accompanied by the Leningrad philharmony, he
played his Viola concert.

Maestro Miletic collaborated also with K. Stockhausen
on electronic music. He has his works published at
Schott, Berben, Meckverlag, Pizzicatto etc, and an LP
issued in the USA.


Croatian violoncellist Monika Leskovar (1981) is
winner of the prestigeous Tchaikovsky competition in
Japan for 1995 (a student of maestro Valter Despalj),
the third prize at the 1997 Rostropovic
competition in Paris, the second prize at the 1998
Eurovision contest for young instrumentalists, winner
of the 1999 Roberto Caruana competition in
Milano, Italy, the second prize at the famous ARD
competition in 2001.


Nenad Bach's work and his life story have been
featured on all the major US TV networks (CBS, ABC, NBC), on CNN, on Sky
Channel, and on TV channels in Russia, France,
Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Japan, and many other countries.


It is interesting and little known that in Japan there
exist two recordings of Vlaho Paljetak's well known
song Marijana - in the Japanese language! I had opportunity to listen them on two
records issued in Japan, when I visited Mr. Mario Kinel in his appartment in Zagreb (Mr.
Kinel was a well known pop-music composer and
translator; he even translated Vu plavem trnaci into Italian and German).
Of course, out of Japanese verses I understood only -
Marijana. Marijana is also very popular in Czechia. It was included in both Croatian
original and Czech translation into the book "Svetove Evergreeny"
(World's Evergreens), published in Prague in 2000
(Petr Jansky - MUSIC CHEB).



Among Croatian Latinists and writers in Croatian a
central place is occupied by Marko Marulic, who is the
"father of Croatian literature"
(born in Split, 1450-1524). He was the most famous
spiritual writer of
his time in Europe, and also the first who defined and
used the notion of `psychology', which is today in
current use.

His book De institutione bene vivendi (six volumes, 64
chapters), published in Venice in 1506, had fifteen
editions until 1686 and was translated from Latin into

German (five editions between 1583 and 1614, all in
Köln, in parts already in 1568), French (7 editions, the first in 1585),
Japanese (in parts, 1585) Portuguese and Czech,

altogether 40 editions. It is well known that St.
Francis Xaver had taken only two books on his long pilgrimage to the East
(India, Japan and China): the Bible and De institutione.

Furthermore, in his testament St. Francis Xaver asked that Marulic's
book be burried with him. Therefore we may conclude that

Marulic was a spiritual father of St. Francis Xaver.

St. Francis Xaver's personal sample of Marulic's book
was kept in Madrid in a collection of valuables until
1937, when it had dissapeared. St. Ignazio Loyola
included De Insitutione into the list of basic
references for the formation of Jesuits.

Marulic left us many beautiful verses and the epic
poem Judita written in the Croatian language, for
which he sais expressly to be written in the
Croatian verses (versi harvatski). Some of his
original verses are held in Glasgow (GB). His Judith
was translated into English, Hungarian, French,
Italian, and some parts into Spanish. Marulic
translated from
Latin into Croatian the famous "De imitatione Christi"
by Thoma de Kempis.

The original Marulic's manuscript of "De institutione
bene vivendi" has been stolen from the Croatian
National Library in Zagreb around 1980. Any
information about this would be appreciated.

According to investigations of a French specialist
Charles Béné, Marulic's texts have been used
extensively by Thomas More and Henry VIII.

It is known that Marulic's "Evangelistarium" that was
read by Henry VIII bears many comments by the King. It
is considered that two of the king's three literary
works were written under the influence of Marko

Marulic's poem "Carmen de Doctrina Domini Nostri Jesu
Christi pendentis in cruce" was translated into
English as "A Dialogue betwext a Christian
and Christ hanging on the Crosse" by Philip Howard,
Earl of Arundel (1557-1595).

According to C. Verdiani, Marulic is also the author
of the Florence Codex, which contains a biography of
St Jerome written in the Croatian language. There he
wrote "St Jerome is our Dalmatian, a glory, honour and fame,
and brilliant crown of the Croatian language".

In Croatian: Jerolim je nass Dalmatin, on je dika,
posstenje i slava i svitla kruna hrvatskoga jezika. It
is worth mentioning that preserved
manuscripts of Marko Marulic show that he also used
the cursive glagolitic script.

Marko Marulic sent a dramatic letter to the Pope
Hadrian VI, describing an extremely tragic position of
the Croats threatened by the onslaughts
of the Ottoman Empire and asking for help.

His books were known not only in the whole of Europe,
but also in Japan (in the 16th century) and South
America. For example, parts of De institutione bene vivendi

were translated into Japanese already in 1585.

When St. Francis Xaver arrived to Kogoshima in Japan
in 1549, he also brought Marulic's "De insitutione
bene vivendi". According to bishop Hamao from Yokohama, president of Japanese Bishop's Conference and of Asian Caritas, the formation of earliest Japanese
Christians had been very probably based on the spirituality of Marulic.
See here (in Croatian).

It is interesting that in Berlin a monument of Marko
Marulic was set up in 2000. In the Library of
Congress, Washington, a symposium was held devoted to
his work.



Anthony Maglica, holder of hundreds of patents and
trademarks, founded Mag Instrument, Inc, in Los
Angeles in 1955, and designed Mag-Lite flashlight,
which is now an American product icon, among 100 top
products that "America makes best". The Maglite products have
been honored by the Japan Institute of Design and the
Museum for Applied Art in Germany. Mag
Instrument donated thousands of flashlights to aid in
the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center and
Pentagon in 2001. Born in New York, and as
a child raised in Croatia, Tony Maglica has plenty of
other interests which include also Zlarin, Croatia,
where he grew up.


The SUVAG center for voice transmission for
reeducation of speach disorders and deafness has been
founded in Zagreb in 1961 by Academician
Petar Guberina (1913-2005). The name of SUVAG is
coined from Systeme Universel Verbotonal d'Audition Guberina.

His books were translated into many languages,
including Arabic and Japanese.

In France, he was awarded the Legion of Honour:
Knighthood in 1968, the Officer’s Cross in 1989, which
he was awarded in main quadrangle of
the Sorbonne in Paris.


Danilo Blanusa (1903-1987), Croatian mathematician,
professor at the University of Zagreb, was born in Osijek. He
discovered a mistake in relations for absolute heat Q
and temperature T in relativistic phenomenological thermodynamics,

published by Max Planck in Annalen der Physik in 1908.
This result that he published in Glasnik mat.-fiz i
astr., 2/1947 in his article "Sur les paradoxes de la notion d'Ă©nergie",
was rediscovered 13 years later by Heinrich Ott, and
published in "Zeitschrift fĂĽr Physik" in
1963. It is already time to correct wrong attribution
of this discovery to Heinrich Ott in the scientific
literature, since Blanusa's priority is indisputable.

Blanusa's most important work is related to isometric
immersions of two-dimensional Lobacevski plane into
six-dimensional Euclidean space and generalizations.
This result is included in
authoritative Japanese mathematical encyclopedia
Sugaku jiten published by Iwanami shoten, Tokyo, 1962,
p. 612. His work about imbeddings of
hyperbolic spaces into Euclidean spaces has been cited
in 1956 by John Nash (well known mathematician, Nobel
prize for economy; Blanusa is cited
in his paper "The imbedding problem for Riemannian
manifolds", Annals of
Mathematics, Vol 63, No. 1, 1956, pp. 20-63).


The Baroque art in the Croatian north is described by
a famous Japanese photographer [Keiichi Tahara]:

Quand un ami française m'a conseillé d'aller voir les
Ă©glises baroques en n'ai pratiquement
rien trouvé sur ce sujet. Cela m'a paru étrange, et
j'ai cĂ©dĂ© à la tentation...

Keiichi Tahara: Les Anges de Croatie, Ă©d. Assouline,
Paris, 1995 (Baroque art of the Croatian north),
translated into Croatian under the title Pamcenje
andjela, Nakladni zavod Globus, Zagreb, 1996,


Ivan Rabuzin (1919) - designed a curtain decorating
the stage of one of the best Kyoto theaters (Japan),
as well as the Takarazuka theatre in Tokyo (10.5 x 24
m, 1980), and several other museums in Japan: Sategaya
Art Museum in Tokyo, Saitama Museum of Modern Art in
Urawa, Isetan. He also had exhibitions at Daimaru and
Shinsabashi in Osaka. Since 1976 his designs are used
by "Rosenthal", renowned producer of procelain ware.
He is also a member of the Croatian Parliament
(Sabor). It is interesting that Rabuzin's father was a
miner, while his mother was blind.

His art was exhibited throughout the world: Zagreb,
Paris, Antibes, Zurich, Milano, USA (Louisiana,
Smithsonian Institution, Carnegie Insitute Museum of
Art, Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Milwaukee Museum
Art Center, Chicago Public Library, C.W. Post Art
Galery/Long Island University, Pittsburgh), Oslo,
Munich, Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, Verona, Brescia,
Florence, Tokyo, Osaka, Geneva, Cologne, London, etc.
Several films have been made about Rabuzin's work,
including one in Japan (Moritani Shiro, Kyoto). Amonog
numerous monographs devoted to his work we mention
only the following one: Masayoshi Honme, Ivan Rabuzin
/ Taiji Harada, 1990, published by Kodanasha, Japan.


If we measure the quality (and popularity) of haiku
poetry by a number of international prizes, then
Croatia can be ranked very high: immediately after
Japan and the USA (1993, 1995). This is due to
continuous efforts and enthusiasm of Vladimir Devidé,
a well known Croatian mathematician and japanologist.
He obtained a prestigeous Japanese ``Order of Sacred
Treasure'' - Konsantõ Zuihoshõ. Here is his haiku
related to the aggression on Croatia written in 1991:

A small pool of blood -
Chilled in air raid: little girl
and her huge doll

In the burned-out village
a wounded stray dog
sniffing charred bones

The unique beauty of Croatian landscape is offerend by
the magnificant mountain of Velebit, and the famous
Primosten vineyards, where folk builders used drystone
walls to protect every handful of soil from being
washed away from the arid rocky terrain. Thus an
amazing rocky lace of Primosten has been obtain over
the centuries, whose large sized photo can be seen
inside the building of United Nations in New York. It
is not surprising that Velebit's Endemic Garden and
Vineyard from Primosten have won the gold medal at
Japan Flora 2000 international exhibition of garden
arrangmenents. The exhibition in 2000 was held on
Awaji islands near Kyoto, with participation of 60


Charles Billich is outstanding Croatian painter born
in 1934 in the town of Lovran in Istria, and since
1956 working in Australia. He has permanent exhibition
of his works at Hakane Museum in Tokyo since 1997, and
was designated the official artist of the Australian
Olypic team for Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000. I
like his Canberra cantata. In 1998 Charles Billich
completed his series of Bleiburg paintings. He was
elected the official painter of Australian and the USA
national teams at Olympic Games in Greece, 2004. In
2004 he was elected the Official Artiest of the 2008
Bejing Olympiad. Laurate of the Milan & Spoleto Award,
Italy, in 1989. His most famous galeries are Billich
Gallery in Sydney (100 George Street), Australia, and
Fortezza Gallery in the lovely town of Lovran,
Croatia. In 2004 he had the exhibition of some of
important Croatian contributions to science, held in
the building of United Nations in New York (portraits
of Faust Vrancic, David Schwartz, Lupis Vukic,
Slavoljub Penkala, Josip Vucetic, Nikola Tesla, Marin
Getaldic, Rudjer Boskovic, Marco Polo, Andrija
Mohorovicic, Spiridion Brusina, Lavoslav Ruzicka, also
Croatian cravate, and an oil representing one of truly
painful Croatian themes from the period 1945-1948
immediately after the WW2: Bleiburg). He was
commisioned to paint East Timor's official
independence painting. He presented a pinting to pope
John Paul II.

Charles Billich Collections (incomplete):

The Vatican Collection
The Parliament of Japan
The Royal Collection of Thailand
The City of Rijeka, Croatia
The Town of Lovran, Croatia
The City of Orebic (Franciscan Monastery: The Way of
the Cross), Croatia
Embassy of Croatia, Canberra, Australia
City of DĂĽsseldorf
The City of Osaka, Japan
The City of Sydney, Australia
State Theater, Sydney, Australia
The City of Melbourne, Australia
United States Sports Academy
New York State Govt. Port Authority
Hall of Congress, Washington D.C., USA
Internatinal Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland
QinShiHuang BingMa Yong Museum, X'ian, China


The name of Croatian sportsman Mirko Filipovic Crocop
is well known in Japan.


This for sure is not everything that can be said about
Japanese-Croatian cultural relations.
However, already this is indeed impressive.
Let us mention that there exist Japanese-Croatian
cultural societies both in Japan and Croatia.

Collected for the readers of CROWN, under the
initiative of Nenad Bach, by

Darko Zubrinic, Zagreb



All of this above you can find

Bravo Darko, your work is fantastic, inspiring and of national value. , a future encyclopedia.


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