skip to Main Content
Lars Vargö

Lars Vargö

Born: October 06 1947 in Stockholm, Sweden
Resides: Stockholm, Sweden
E-mail: lars (at) vargo (dot) se

After majoring in Sinology at Uppsala University in 1971, I was a research student at Kyôto University, Japan 1972-1976. Obtained a PhD in early Japanese history at Stockholm University 1982. I served as Ambassador of Sweden to Lithuania 1998-1999, to South Korea 2006-2011, and to Japan 2011-2014. I have translated several works of Japanese prose and poetry into Swedish and published a number of books on Japan. I am presently the president of the Swedish Haiku Society.

Awards and Other Honors: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (Japan, 2014); The Order of Diplomatic Service Merit, Gwanghwa Medal (ROK, 2011); Korean Red Cross Grand Taegug Award (ROK, 2007); Ichikawa city (Japan) cultural award (2003); Swedish Academy Grant (1997).

Books Published:    Books: Social and Economic Conditions for the Formation of the Early Japanese State. (University of Stockholm, 1982); Den falska stillheten - Japan då och nu ["The deceitful tranquility - Japan then and now"] (Carlssons, Stockholm, 1992); Japansk organisationskultur ["The culture of Japanese Organizations"] (Carlssons, Stockholm, 1997); Japansk haiku, världens kortaste diktform [”Japanese haiku, the shortest form of poetry in the world”] (Carlssons, Stockholm, 2003; Second edition in 2012); Japan – makt och tanke ["Japan – power and thought"] (Carlssons, Stockholm, 2006); Winter Moon [Own collection of poems] (Hon, Seoul, 2011); Den hostande göken. En poetisk resa i harmonins örike, Den japanska lyriken ["The coughing cockoo. A poetic journey in the country of harmony. Japanese lyrics"] (Carlsson, Stockholm, 2012); Det olyckliga århundradet. När Öst och Väst möttes ["The unfortunate century. When East met West"] (Carlssons, Stockholm, 2016).      Translations: Månen i brunnens botten ["The moon at the bottom of the well" -Translations of Japanese poetry into Swedish] (Carlssons, Stockholm, 1995); Sueden kara mita nihon no sugao [Japanese translation of Den falska stillheten – Japan då och nu] (Maynard, Tokyo, 1998); Icke brännbara sopor – moderna japanska noveller [Translations of modern Japanese short stories into Swedish] (En Bok för Alla, Stockholm, 2000); En annans ansikte [”The face of another” - Translation together with Leif Janzon of Abe Kôbô’s novel Tanin no kao into Swedish] (Lind & Co, Stockholm, 2004); Sussa och Natti [“Sûsû and Neruneru” - Translation of Sûsû to neruneru, a Japanese book for children by Arai Ryôji] (Alfabeta, Stockholm, 2006); När kommer bussen? [“When does the bus arrive?” - Translation of Basu ni notte, a Japanese book for children by Arai Ryôji] (Alfabeta, Stockholm, 2007); Fri [“Free” - translation into Swedish of the Japanese novel Out by Natsuo Kirino] (Bra Böcker, Malmö, 2007); Japan – kultur og historie [“Japan – culture and history”, Danish translation of Japan – makt och tanke] (Askholms Forlag, 2009); Jag minns gräshopporna [“I remember the crickets” – Haiku by Natsume Sôseki in Swedish translation] (Bambulunden, Stockholm, 2010); Ryggsim mot dödsriket [“Backstroke towards the realm of death” -Translation of poems by Sô Sakon] (Tranan, Stockholm, 2017).      Publications (editor of anthologies): Den Östra Huvudstaden ["The Capital of the East" - Editor and contributor] (Carlssons, Stockholm, 1998); Sverige och Japan. Diplomatiska document från tre sekler [“Sweden and Japan. Diplomatic documents from three centuries” - Co-editor and contributor] (Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 2000); Taneda Santôka kushû [”Poems by Taneda Santôka” - Editor with commentary, in Japanese[ (Geirin Shobô, Tokyo, 2002); Svensk-Japanska Parlamentarikerförbundet 1992-2002 ([10th anniversary publication of the Sweden-Japan Parliamentary Association - Co-editor and contributor] (Swedish Parliament, 2002); Plikten och Aventyret. Upplevelser av diplomati [“Duty and Adventure. Experiences of diplomacy” - Co-editor and contributor] (Carlssons, Stockholm, 2008); Ljudlöst stiger gryningen - Tio svenska haikupoeter [“The dawn rises without a sound - Ten Swedish Haiku Poets” – Editor and contributor] (Östasieninstitutet, Stockholm, 2008); De hundra skratten. Japanska träsnitt som maktens bildspråk ["One hundred laughters. Japanese wood-block prints as metaphors of power" - Editor, writer and translator] (Carlssons, Stockholm, 2011).

Selected Work
 
the old monk
opens the wooden gate
for the autumn wind
 
wild geese
the border guards
lower their weapons
 
 
 
early autumn
the conductor also coughs
between movements
 
nothing to declare
and yet I pretend
to be innocent
 
 
 
the pigeons return
after the sudden brawl
in the park
 
the family doctor
hesitates to enter
winter moon
 
 

Credits: All selections are from Winter Moon (Hon, Seoul, 2011).

Back To Top