Ambassador KITAOKA, together with Ms. SAKAI, the Counsellor, visited “Varrak”, Estonian publisher

Together with Ms. MAIDE, board member and co-owner, Ms. KAER, Chief Editor
On 31st August, Ambassador Hajime KITAOKA, escorted by Ms. Yuki SAKAI, the Counsellor (Deputy Head of the Mission), visited “Varrak”, an Estonian publisher, located in Tallinn, the capital city to meet Ms. Krista KAER, the Chief Editor, and Ms. Pille MAIDE, the co-owner and a board member.
“Varrak” is one of the biggest publishers in Estonia, and famous for the translation and the publication of works by Japanese novelists.
Their coverage of those works is so wide ranged from the classics by Ryunosuke AKUTAGAWA to Yukio MISHIMA, Haruki MURAKAMI, Yoko OGAWA, and Banana YOSHIMOTO.
Indeed, “Varrak” has played a very important role to introduce Japan to Estonia!
Ms. KAER is also the founder of the international book festival “HeadRead Literary Festival”, annually held in Estonia at the end of May, and famous for her translation of Harry Potter series into Estonian language.
She told the Ambassador that Kenzaburo OE once visited Estonia soon after the recovery of its independence, but no visit of famous Japanese novelists has been made since then.
The Ambassador and Ms. SAKAI wished for a visit of a Japanese novelist to her Festival to materialize in the future!
The Ambassador praised the publications of “Varrak”, and asked Ms. KAER the reason why the publication of books in Estonian language could be so popular despite the small population of only 1.3 million.
Her answer is that the language and literature are regarded as religion, and authors are regarded as prophets in Estonia.
Estonia has never lost its tradition, culture and language during the harsh history of 700 years of domination by big counties, followed by half a century of the annexation to Soviet Union.
Why Estonia could manage it?
Now the secret of Estonia’s success has started coming up to the Ambassador!
The visit finished in a friendly manner with a photo session.
The Ambassador would like to express his sincerest gratitude to Ms. KAER and Ms. MAIDE for welcoming him and Ms. SAKAI in such a cordial manner under COVID19!