In memoriam dr. Vladimir Kos
It is with great sadness that we inform you that the voice of Dr Vladimir Kos, a great Slovenian who lived and worked in Tokyo for many years, has fallen silent forever. We offer our sincere condolences to his family, relatives and fellow comrades.
Dr Kos was an important member of the Slovenian community in Japan and made a visible contribution to the strong relations and friendship between the two countries. He came to Tokyo in 1956 as a Jesuit missionary. His life in Japan included work as a priest, after the war he took care of orphans in the suburbs of Tokyo, and later he taught for many years at the renowned Sophia University. His artistic work left a distinctive mark on Slovenia's visibility in Japan.
In 2004, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Janez Drnovšek, awarded him the Golden Order of Merit. Dr Kos was awarded the decoration for his literary opus, his contribution to Slovenian culture and language in the world, and his philanthropic deeds. In 2014, he was also awarded the Prešeren Fund Prize for his collections "Pesmi z japonskih otokov" (Poems from the Japanese Islands) and "Ob rahlo tresoči se tokijski harfi" (By the Slightly Trembling Tokyo Harp). In the prize citation, he was described as "the greatest poet of emigration".
Dr Kos enjoyed attending meetings of Slovenians organised by the Embassy and the Slovenian-Japanese Friendship Group. The celebrations of the Slovenian Cultural Day always included his poetry. At the age of 96, at the request of the Embassy, he wrote a beautiful and moving poem on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Statehood of the Republic of Slovenia, which original version is below in memory of Dr Vladimir Kos.
His ever-smiling face and the poetry of his soft words remain in the memory of all of us at the Embassy. His work describes both his homelands, Slovenia and Japan, the two countries to which he remained loyal to the very end. Although life did not deprive him of many bitter experiences, his approach conveyed the message that every moment, no matter how difficult, is a mere challenge, a step on the way to a better, brighter tomorrow. We lost a great person, but the heavens received a beautiful star.
Moj potni list (My Pasport)
ČEZ LETA TRI − ČE BOG DA − BOM STO LET ...
MOJ POTNI LIST − ODKAR ŽIVIM V TUJINI
JE VES SLOVENSKI! FOTO LE JE BLED:
KOT DA DOLŽAN SEM NEKAJ ZGODOVINI ...
SLOVENSKEGA PEČATA NI ME SRAM −
DRŽAVA SMO − PEČAT TO IZPRIČUJE!
IN TUDI, ČE BOM MORAL KDAJ DRUGAM ...
SLOVENSKI POTNI LIST Z MENOJ POTUJE!
PO BARVAH MI SLOVENIJA DIŠI:
V POMLAD CVETOV, V ZAMAKNJENOST PLANINE,
V JESEN SADOV IN GOB, V ZLATÓ IZ VIN ...
IN V ZIMO S SNEGOM, Z ANGELČKI IZ GLINE.
Vladimir Kos, april 2021