Mario Vattani launches a work of historical fiction in Japan – River of Fire and Perfumes


Former diplomat Mario Vattani publishes his first novel in Japanese.  The title will be “River of Fire and Perfumes”.


This is a work of fiction and history which moves on two distinct levels, covering a period between 1866 and 1945, a sort of ‘Noh’ representation, using the author’s own words.After the Japanese edition of this book, Vattani hopes to find an Italian editor.

Between 1866 and 1945 a great passion blossomed between two newly created countries – Japan and Italy – which were timidly appearing on the international scene. It was a close relationship which was abruptly ended in 1945 because of a terrible war fought on the same side, but ended in tragedy. That was the end of the political and military attraction, but the cultural passion goes on in our days.

With this book, Vattani wants to relive the memory of a bygone epoch, with its lights and shadows, starting with the earlier contacts made by private merchants coming from Torre del Greco to sell corals and pearls and with Piedmontese gentlemen buying silk

Mario Vattani in 2003 discovered Japan touring it for months with his motorcycle and keeping a diary about what he was seeing and experiencing.  Born in 1966, educated in an English college and, besides English, he is fluent in French, Japanese and German. He has married a Japanese lady, and they have two children.

Mario Vattani became famous in Italy – for some infamous – in 2012 with his removal de vehementis, by the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, from his post of Consul of Italy in Osaka  The minister had no courage to help him out of a media storm in which he had fallen. He did not even gave him a phone call  to show some solidarity, normal among colleagues, after an unprecedented  journalistic onslaught.

Terzi di Sant’Agata first recalled and then suspended Vattani from the diplomatic service, speaking about ‘Fascists who cannot be part of the diplomatic service’ all of that because Vattani was caught playing rock music with a band known as ‘Sotto Fascia Semplice’ at the Casa Pound of Rome and then a single picture emerged in which he was offering a fascist salute to the public. The Italian left-wing press wanted him lynched, calling him names and inventing episodes of his past which had never happened.When the media storm subsided he was cleared by a tribunal of all those non-existing charges which had been hurled at him but, acting like a real gentleman, immediately resigned from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, after 20 years of service.

We wish to Mario Vattani the best of luck with his first-novel and we hope to be able to get a copy of it in Japanese and then post a review it here in English.


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