Fosco Maraini

The Enchantment of the Women of the Sea — by “Museo delle Culture” of Lugano

50th anniversary exhibition, celebrating the relationship between sister-city’s Kyoto and Florence
Official Italian event co-organized by the Italian Institute of Culture and Consulate General of Italy

Born in Florence, Italy, Fosco Maraini (1912-2004) was active as an anthropologist, orientalist, mountaineer, and photographer. Maraini came to Japan for the first time in 1939 to research the culture of the Ainu people at Hokkaido University, and from 1942 lectured at Kyoto University. Despite returning to Italy after the war, he continued to visit Japan frequently, publishing many writings and photographs on Japanese subjects that made a major contribution to the wider international appreciation of Japanese culture. Amanoshima (‘The Island of the Diving Women’) was photographed in 1954 on the islands of Hegurajima and Mikuriyajima off the north coast of the Noto Peninsula. Shot using a hand-built underwater camera, it documents the ama, local women who dove for shellfish with almost no equipment. Full of a pure and serene beauty, they seem to symbolise a naturalism peculiar to Japan as an island nation. Kyoto, where he lived with his family as a young man, was a special place for Maraini, and this year’s exhibition is being held to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of its sister-city relationship with Florence.


Fosco Maraini, The Enchantment of the Women of the Sea, Japan, 1954 ©2015 MCL – Vieusseux – Alinari

⑫Traditional building in Gion Shinbashi (PASS THE BATON KYOTO GION/Opening in summer 2015)

103-2, 77-6 Sueyoshi-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0085
Keihan Line “Gion-Shijo Station” 5 min. on foot from exit 7

Open Everyday

Admission Fee:Adults, Students (University, High school students) 500 yen

[Related program]

A Love of Japan: Memories of Fosco Maraini. 4/19 16:00–17:30
Fosco Marani’s Ama 5/9 14:00–15:30

pass© 2014 Naoyuki Ogino