I GIORNI DELL’UNDICESIMO VIALE
GLI AINU DI HOKKAIDO NELLE FOTOGRAFIE DI FOSCO MARAINI
MUSEO DI STORIA NATURALE
SEZIONE DI ANTROPOLOGIA E ETNOLOGIA
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(15 November 1912 in Florence – 8 June 2004 Florence)
was an Italian photographer, anthropologist, ethnologist, writer, mountaineer and academic.
Fosco Maraini is well known especially for his field 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.
In 1930, when he was only 18, he successfully showed his experimental black-and-white photographs in Rome at the exhibition
” Mostra Nazionale di Fotografia Futurista”.
In 1939, with a grant from the Japanese government, travelled to Sapporo in Hokkaido to study the tribal traditions and arts of the Ainu people, then on the verge of extinction.
He was also attracted to the art of ukiyoe or wood-block prints, especially those made by Hokusai (1760-1849), a master of evocative perspectives whose art influenced Maraini’s own work with a camera.
Maraini also photographed extensively in the Karakoram and Hindu Kush mountain ranges of Central Asia, in Southeast Asia.
His field work was recognized with a 2002 award from the Photographic Society of Japan, especially for his impressions of Hokkaido’s Ainu.
The society also acknowledged his efforts to strengthen ties between Japan and Italy over 60 years.
Maraini is also known for his published observations and accounts of his travels with Giuseppe Tucci during two expeditions to Tibet, 1937 and 1948.
FOSCO MARAINI BOOKS
Secret Tibet (1952)
Ore Giapponesi (1959)
Meeting with Japan (1960)
L’Isola delle Pescatrici (1960)
The Island of the Fisherwomen (1962)
Jerusalem: Rock of Ages (1969), Photography by Alfred Bernheim and Ricarda Schwerin; Translated by Judith Landry; New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc.
Gnosi delle Fànfole (1994)
Case, amori, universi (2000)