Fosco Maraini

Infobox academic
name = Fosco Maraini
box_width =

image_width = 150px
caption =
birth_date = birth date|1912|11|15|df=y
birth_place = Florence
death_date = death date and age|2004|6|8|1912|11|15
death_place = Florence
residence =
citizenship =
nationality = Italian
ethnicity =
field = Ethnology of Tibet and Japan
work_institutions =
alma_mater =
doctoral_advisor =
doctoral_students =
known_for =
influences = Giuseppe Tucci
influenced =
prizes =
religion =
footnotes =

Fosco Maraini (November 15 1912 – June 8 2004) was an Italian photographer, anthropologist, ethnologist,writer, mountaineer, and academic.

In an interview, one of his daughters explained that one of her earliest memories of her father speaking is when he explained: ::"Remember that races don't exist, cultures exist."Centovalli, Benedetta. (2005). [ "Interview, Dacia Maraini,"] "Words without Borders" web site.]

Maraini was born and died in Florence; and in that Florentine context, it makes cultural sense that the head of the regional government publicly explained that Maraini had "honored Florence and the Tuscany by teaching us to be tolerant of other cultures." [ [ "Il gonfalone della Toscana a Dacia Maraini in memoria del padre scomparso,"] Servizi radiofonici Regione Toscana. June 8, 2004.]

An active life

As a photographer, Maraini is perhaps best known for his work in Tibet and Japan. The visual record Maraini captured in images of Tibet and on the Ainu people of Hokkaidō has gained significance as historical documentation of two disappearing cultures. His work was recognized with a 2002 award from the Photographic Society of Japan, citing his fine-art photos -- and especially his impressions of Hokkaido's Ainu. The society also acknowledged his efforts to strengthen ties between Japan and Italy over 60 years. Maraini also photographed extensively in the Karakoram and Hindu Kush mountain ranges of Central Asia, in Southeast Asia and in the southern regions of his native Italy.

As an anthropologist and ethnographer, he is known especially for his published observations and accounts of his travels with Tibetologist Giuseppe Tucci during two expeditions to Tibet, first in 1937 and again in 1948. [Maraini, Fosco. (1994). [ "Tibet in 1937 and 1948,"] Government of Tibet in Exile web site.]

As a mountaineer, he is perhaps best known for the 1959 ascent of Saraghar [ [ Carlo Pinelli, fellow climber in 1959.] Mountain Wilderness web site.] and for his published accounts of this and other Himalayan climbs. [ [ Karakorum, K-2 climb] .] As a climber in the Himalayas, he was moved to describe it as "the greatest museum of shape and form on earth." [ [ trekker web page] , just one example of the oft-repeated Maraini quote.]

From 1938 to 1943, Maraini's academic career progressed in Japan, teaching first in Hokkaido (1938-1941) and then in Kyoto (1941-1943); but what he himself observed and learned during those years may be more important that what he may have taught. Dacia, his eldest daughter, would decades later recall that "the first trip I took was on the sea from Brindisi to Kobe." [see above] ] Two of his three daughters were born in Japan. After the Italians signed an armistice with the allies in World War II, the Japanese authorities demanded Maraini sign an act of allegiance to Mussolini's puppet republic of Salo. He refused, and was interned with his family in a concentration camp at Nagoya for two years. [ [ Maraini bio note.] Life in Legacy web site.] Those memories of 1943 through 1946 evolved a daughter's book. Dacia Maraini's collection of poetry drawn from those difficult years, "Mangiami pure," was published in 1978. [ [ Dacia Maraini (1936), bio.] "Italia Donna" web site (in Italian).]

The Maraini family retreated to Italy after the Americans occupied Japan. This period became the core of another book by Dacia Maraini who remembers that they left Asia "without either money or possessions, stripped bare, with nothing on our backs except the clothes handed out by the American military."Marcus, James. [ " Broken Promises,"] "New York Times." April 9, 1995.] These years in Italy are at the core of the book, "Bagheria," which is named after the Sicilian town not far from Palermo where the family lived. [see above] ]

In time, Maraini did return to his "adopted homeland" of Japan; and in 1955, this journey of rediscovery became the basis for his book, "Meeting with Japan." [ [,9171,869417,00.html "From Sukiyaki to Storippu,"] "Time." January 4, 1960.]


* University of Hokkaido, Assistant professor (1938-1941)
* University of Kyoto, Reader in Italian (1941-1943)
* Civil internment at Nagoya (1943-1946)
* "Secret Tibet." (1952)
* Return to Japan (1953-1954)
* "Ore Giapponesi." (1959)
* University of Oxford, Fellow at St. Andrew's College (1959-1964)
* Return to Japan (1966-1968)
* University of Florence, Lecturer in Japanese language and literature (1972-1983)
* Italian Association for Japanese Studies, founding President (1972)

elected works

Maraini has had numerous photographic exhibitions in Europe and Japan; and he has written over twenty of books, many of which have been translated into several languages.


* Maraini, Fosco. (2000). "Case, amori, universi."
* __________. (2006). "Giappone Mandala." (Italian translation of 1971 book in English)
* __________. (1995). "Nuvolario."
* __________. (1994). "Gnosi delle Fànfole."
* __________. (1976). "Tokyo." New York: Time-Life.
* __________. (1962). "The Island of the Fisherwomen," translated by Eric Mosbacher. [ [ John Florio Prize for translation (1963),] Society of Authors.] New York: Harcourt Brace.
* __________. (1960). "L'Isola delle Pescatrici."
* __________. (1960). "Meeting with Japan." New York: Viking Press. 10-ISBN 0-670-46608-5; 13-ISBN 978-0-670-46608-5
* __________. (1960) "Paropàmiso."
* __________. (1959). "G4-Karakorum."
* __________. (1959). "Ore Giapponesi."
* __________. (1952). "Secret Tibet." New York: Viking Press. [reprinted by Pilgrims Publishing, Mumbai, 2002. 10-ISBN 8-173-03015-4; 13-ISBN 978-8-173-03015-4 (cloth)] ; [reprinted by Random House UK, London, 2004. 10-ISBN 1-860-46873-X; 13-ISBN 978-1-860-46873-5 (paper)]

* Maraini, Fosco. "Tradition and Innovation in Japanese Films," "Geographical Magazine." Oct. 1954: 294-305.


* Photographic Society of Japan, International Award -- 2002. [ [ PhotoHistory 2002.] ]
* Japan Foundation Award -- 1986, [ [ Japan Foundation Awards (1986)] ]
* Order of the Rising Sun, 3rd class -- 1982. [Rogala, Jozef. [ "A Collector's Guide to Books on Japan in English: A Select List of Over 2500 Titles with Subject Index", p. 144.] ]
* International Society to Save Kyoto's Historic Environment, (ISSK) -- First Honorary President.



* Lane, John Francis. [,12576,1239027,00.html Obituary, "Fosco Maraini, Italian Explorer and Travel Writer Who Brought His Understanding of the East to the West,"] "The Guardian" (Manchester). June 15, 2004.
* [ Obituary, "Fosco Maraini, Writer and Traveller Who Photographed 'Secret Tibet',"] "The Independent" (London). June 19 June 2004.
* [ Obituary, "Fosco Maraini: Dauntless Italian travel writer who devoted himself to exploring Asian civilisations, and once lopped off a finger to prove his courage,"] "Times" (London). June 29, 2004.
* Rogala, Jozef. (2001). [ "A Collector's Guide to Books on Japan in English: A Select List of Over 2500 Titles with Subject Index."] London: Routledge. 10-ISBN 1-873-41080-8

ee also

* Saraghrar
* Dacia Maraini
* Marilyn Silverstone

External links

* [ Fosco Maraini official web site]
* [ Daicia Mariani web site (in Italian}]
** [ Dacia Maraini's bio (in Italian)] -- referencing father
** [ Dacia Maraini's bio (in English)] -- referencing father
* [ Tonio Maraini's bio (in Italian)] -- son's bio, referencing father
* [ Marilyn Silverstone] -- photographer influenced by Maraini
* Japan Mint: [ 2004 International Coin Design Competition -- see competitor design, "Homage to Fosco Maraini, famous Italian anthropologist, orientalist, writer and photographer"] [ ... also see "Excellent Work" plaster model, Maurizio Sacchetti (designer)]

NAME=Maraini, Fosco
DATE OF BIRTH=2004-6-8
DATE OF DEATH=1912-11-15

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fosco Maraini — Fosco Maraini, né à Florence, le 15 novembre 1912 et mort le 8 juin 2004, était un ethnologue, orientaliste, alpiniste et écrivain italien …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fosco Maraini — (* 15. November 1912 in Florenz; † 8. Juni 2004 ebenda) war ein italienischer Anthropologe, Ethnologe, Schriftsteller und Fotograf …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Maraini — may refer to: Fosco Maraini, an Italian ethnologist, photographer, film maker, mountaineer, writer and professor Dacia Maraini, daughter of Fosco, an Italian novelist This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an …   Wikipedia

  • Fosco — may refer to:*Joseph Fosco, a Chicago based philanthropist *Fosco Maraini, an Italian photographer *Fosco Giachetti, an Italian actoree also*Foscoe, North Carolina …   Wikipedia

  • Maraini — ist der Name folgender Personen: Dacia Maraini (* 1936), italienische Schriftstellerin Fosco Maraini (1912–2004), italienischer Anthropologe, Ethnologe, Schriftsteller und Fotograf Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur U …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Maraini, Fosco — (Firenze 1912 ) letterato; orientalista ed etnologo …   Dizionario biografico elementare del Novecento letterario italiano

  • Dacia Maraini — (* 13. November 1936 in Fiesole bei Florenz) ist eine italienische Schriftstellerin. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Biographie 2 Werke 2.1 Romane …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Dacia Maraini — (born November 13, 1936 in Fiesole) is an Italian writer. She is the daughter of Sicilian Princess Topazia Alliata di Salaparuta, an artist and art dealer, and of Fosco Maraini, a Florentine ethnologist and mountaineer of mixed Ticinese, English… …   Wikipedia

  • Dacia Maraini — (née le 13 novembre 1936 à Fiesole, près de Florence) est une écrivain, auteur de théâtre et poétesse italienne de la seconde moitié du XXe siècle. Elle a obtenu le Prix Formentor en 1962 pour L’âge du malaise, le Prix Strega en 1999 pour… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • K2 — País   …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.