A gateway to a world completely different from ours opened in the Simonffy Street Youth House on 22nd of September 2023; visitors could learn more about Japanese culture and martial arts.
A day of Japanese traditions and martial arts was held at the DEMKI Youth House. The main organiser and face of the programme was Tibor Balogh, editor of the Budo Art website, who has lectured in Debrecen before.
Tibor Balogh became engaged with the culture of a faraway country at the age of 13. As he recalls, it was then that he became interested in Eastern martial arts and started to study wing-tsun kungfu. He moved to England in 2008, and it was there that his deeper interest in the Japanese art of sword drawing (IAIDO) was sparked in 2013. He also collects Japanese swords.
The event also allowed participants to learn more about kyudo, the art of archery, and to watch a demonstration. They were also able to learn about the history of the bokuto, or wooden sword, and also to walk through the evolution of the beautiful cubas, the ornate crossguards of Japanese swords.
The karate master Simizu Nana, who lives in Hungary, spoke about cultural differences from a Japanese perspective, and Tibor Balogh gave a presentation on fibre weapons. At the end of the day, Antal Prikkel spoke about naginata, the Japanese long-handled blade, which is a traditional Japanese fibre weapon, and also introduced the participants to one of the branches of Japanese swordsmanship, the katori shinto ryu.
Deputy Mayor of Debrecen and the main patron of the event István Puskás said that in Debrecen, there are no two ways about it when it comes to meeting other cultures, and thanks to this event, the knowledge of Japanese culture will be enhanced in-depth and in substance.
József Takács, President of the Hungarian-Japanese Friendship Society, said that the society was founded 36 years ago, and its mission is to introduce as wide a segment of Japanese culture as possible to Hungarians.
Tibor Balogh recommended the Budo Art website which already offers 200 translations of Japanese swords and culture, making it the largest site in Hungary for learning about this topic.