An interview with Professor Michinari Sugano of the Faculty of Foreign Studies’ Department of German Studies was published on page 3 of Mainichi Shimbun’s evening paper on Monday, October 18th.
The interview is about a film now showing titled The Last Duel, about a French knight in the Middle Ages who engaged in a trial by combat to defend his honor. The judicial duel is still practiced as a tradition in some areas of Europe; Professor Sugano himself has experienced (twice!) this fencing match—with real swords—called “Mensur” during his years in Germany as a student in his mid-20s.
Professor Sugano speaks of the film, “Whether it’s during the Middle Ages or today, defending your honor and dignity is very important to the people of Europe. I engaged in the duel twice because of my pride as a Japanese. Since then, I grew to accept things with a sense of peace and calm, and by understanding the pain of others I became nicer. I hope that the Japanese people would learn about this traditional duel through this film.”